Do Home Improvement Shows Do a Good Job Promoting Safe Work Practices?

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There are literally dozens of TV shows devoted to home improvement. In fact, there are even whole networks that feature nothing but shows about renovating your house or yard.

Naturally, these shows depict “professionals” using various potentially hazardous tools, most notably power tools. And in some cases, the professionals teach the homeowners how to use these tools themselves. But are they teaching them safe work practices at the same time?

I must confess that I enjoy watching these shows. And they tend to be fairly good at promoting the use of some safety equipment, such as safety glasses and gloves.

But I’ve noticed that on some shows, the female hosts wear jewellery, including dangling bracelets, while using power tools, such as various kinds of saws. And I cringe every time I see it.

Alison Victoria, host of Kitchen Crashers, is just one example. She often wears bracelets, a watch and rings while working with power tools. It would be very easy for these accessories to get caught or entangled in the equipment and result in serious injuries. By wearing jewellery while using such equipment, she’s setting a poor safety example for the homeowners she’s teaching—and for the viewing audience.

I get that the point of these shows is to teach people how to install kitchen cabinets, refinish floors, build a deck, etc. and not to provide safety training. But given how little effort it would take the shows to set a good example and promote safe work practices, it’s sad and frustrating that they don’t try harder to do so.

As OHS professionals, you have to set a good safety example and ensure that appropriate steps are taken to protect your workers from hazards, such as entanglements in machinery. That’s why you should bar workers from wearing jewellery in the workplace—and properly discipline them when they do so.