Safety sleuths investigate why grandma got ran over by a reindeer
Remember the comical holiday song “Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer”? It tells a family tale about a Christmas season that went horribly wrong for the grandmother. As the song tells it, Grandma found herself in trouble on the streets while walking home alone on Christmas Eve. The conditions were not ideal. She allegedly got run over by one or more of Santa’s reindeer. The injuries, it is assumed, caused her death. So how did this happen?
As the song goes:
Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas Eve…
She’d been drinkin’ too much eggnog
And we’d begged her not to go
But she forgot her medication
And she staggered out the door into the snow
We are given several clues as to why Grandma couldn’t have fared well in this scenario. At first glance, it appears that the family’s safety values were not established very well. They begged her not to go, but she went anyway. Why did grandpa let her make this trek alone? Let’s take a look at the hazards she faced:
- She had been drinking too much eggnog
- There was a high probability of slips-trips-falls in the snow
- Walking in the dark and without being easily seen could increase the possibility of her being struck by a fast-moving vehicle
- Walking home alone while fully aware that snow was falling
- An apparent lack of proper PPE
The combination of these hazards did not make for a safe environment, which leads us to the moral of the story: If she had the support of a stronger safety culture, Grandma would be safe and alive.
We at WR would like to suggest that you don’t do what Grandma did and give some thought to making safety a value at all times of the year!
With the New Year just around the corner, it is an excellent time to re-evaluate your safety culture with your employees and ensure that your work environment is as safe as it can be.