Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Pop Culture PPE
If Bob the Builder can do it, so can you. Every time I've seen Bob the Builder (quite often with a 3 yr. old son), he always wears PPE. He was going at it with a jack hammer wearing: ear muffs, a hard hat, work gloves, and safety glasses. Working on a scaffold? Wearing a fall-harness. Brain wash 'em young to be safe. There is a balance in the workplace between 'safety' and 'practicality'. Hence having an hierarchy of controls, rather than just a monolith. This is particularly noticeable in Hollywood. In Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne is in the process of building the first Bat Suit, spray painting it Menacing Black. What is he wearing? Some short-sleeved shirt to make sure you notice Christian Bale has nice arms. But, he's wearing a nice half-face respirator. The filter cartridges of which do look like 3M's organic vapor/HCl/etc. No safety glasses, though. I suppose after paying an actor millions of dollars for his image, you need to make sure you get your money's worth. It's amusing. They make the effort to portray a character doing something that is "safe", when pretty much the only folks who would notice are the auto body repair mechanics or industrial hygenists. But Safety only gets a bit-part, a walk-on role, only enough so that ... what? Am I supposed to think Bruce Wayne is 'being safe'? Or did some costume director see some set design gal wearing a respirator while assembling and painting the sets, and think "... ooooh .... that looks kinda menacing?" And now Bat Man is wearing it because it fits in with the 'high tech' glamor going on in those scenes? And yet, only a few scenes later, while using a grinding wheel, he's got safety glasses on. What's the moral? Who cares why they're doing the right thing.