26 May

Horseplay, practical jokes, or pranks in your work environment is all fun and never done to intentionally cause injuries but could lead to accidents and life-threatening injuries that can sometimes even have fatal consequences.

An everyday tool like a hammer casually thrown toward or at a co-worker has the potential to cause deadly injuries or even could become fatal, even if it was done all in the name of fun and good times. 


What is Horseplay?

Horseplay is an activity that usually starts with harmless intentions. An employee may act on impulse, during working hours, and do something silly which may result in disciplinary action being taken against that employee. The employee may be issued with a first or final written warning or maybe even dismissed.  

Horseplay can refer to any unsafe act that is caused by an individual and usually it is seen as “it’s all in the name of fun”. These unsafe acts include but are not limited to: 

  • Pranks
  • Practical Jokes
  • Unauthorized competitions/contests
  • Damage of company property
  • Intoxication (Year-end functions, Team Building)
  • Poor vehicle operation
  • Unsafe Acts as a result of fooling around. 

Reasons why your Workplace isn’t the place for Horseplay

What starts as harmless fun could end up having disastrous consequences. A person who is the target of practical jokes and pranks suffers both physically and emotionally.

Additionally, frequent horseplay at work makes everyone distracted. Instead of focusing on their job, employees are concentrated more on discovering the next prank and protecting themselves from it.

People who joke around don’t just cause injuries to themselves, but also those around them. Above all, it creates an unsafe working environment that is prone to injuries.

Horseplay in the Workplace creates risks that could be avoided easily. 

Dangers Caused by Practical Jokes, Pranks, and Horseplay at Work

Injuries due to practical jokes and pranks at the workplace could be easily avoided, just by not engaging in it, in the first place.

Here are a few potential hazards of workplace horseplay:

  • Running, chasing others, pushing can lead to slips, falls, trips and other accidents. When you’re involved in these acts, you are likely to:
    • Not notice sharp items or liquid spills on the floor
    • Crash into a sharp object, heavy equipment, moving machinery or even push others into any of the above said objects
    • Knock bulky items onto others, who aren’t engaged in the horseplay
    • Knock hazardous chemicals
  • Throwing tools to/at others are one of the most common injuries of goofing around. You could
    • Stab the other person/bystander with a sharp edge
    • Hit someone in sensitive areas like the head, ears, eyes, foot leading to deadly injuries
    • Throw the object from a height and hit a person standing below accidentally
  • You could expose yourself or another employee to harmful chemicals at the workplace
  • Speeding or racing around with heavy machinery like forklifts can cause you to hit other people and object, injuring both the driver and bystanders
  • Climbing on heavy machinery like cranes and forklifts could lead you to get crushed or pushed under, leading to fatal injuries and even death
  • Other practical jokes like switching off lights, hiding someone’s safety gear are not funny –       they’re dangerous

Remember, that practical jokes and horseplay is not only dangerous for you but also for others. Even if you don’t suffer an injury, involving yourself in such activities could invite disciplinary action and sometimes even work termination

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