Why I cringe when I watch TV

I have a confession to make. There are times when I will binge watch HGTV. I will sit on my couch all day long and watch a marathon of the latest and greatest home reno shows. The artist in me likes to see how they reno or modify a space.

At the same time, the safety professional in me cringes when I watch it, especially during demo activities. Sure, they are wearing work boots and safety glasses. Sometimes they will wear respiratory protection, though I wonder if they have been properly fitted for it (especially the guys with full beards). Rarely will they wear a hard hat even though there is debris falling all around them. Then when they get up on a roof, fall protection is even less frequent.

How many of them have been properly trained in using the skid steer, the EWP, the excavator, the forklift?

It is even worse when I see the women walking through an active construction site wearing frilly dresses and sandals. Or wait – when they bring their kids or dogs to the job site! What are they thinking?!

As most of these shows are in the US, I wonder if any OSHA inspectors watch these shows. And the few that are in Canada, do Ministry inspectors watch and have the same reaction as me.

For the producers of the show, I know they are trying to make money and make it as fascinating as they can to keep people watching. But is it too much to ask for them to make sure all participants are safe, following the minimum requirements of the legislation? Is there not a safety professional on site making sure the production team are safe? Why are they not also applying the same rules to the ‘performers’?

In Ontario, movies and TV sets, and other performing arts falls under the construction regulations. The regulations in Ontario can be very strict and specific in relation to what can and cannot be done. I know home builders have more challenges in following and maintaining a safe work site. Some contractors feel the rules don’t belong to them. And some small contractors (with only a handful of workers) think that safety is too expensive, time consuming, etc.

The other challenge is when homeowners see these shows, they think they can do that too. They don’t know how to protect themselves from getting injured. They just copy what they see on TV. I feel like the performers and cast should at least try to set an example for those watching.

Will I keep watching these shows? Mostly likely, especially to give me ideas as to how I can change things around my own house and annoy my husband. And when my mother-in-law visits, she will watch that or W Network. And I will watch it with her.

And I will still cringe and comment on it as I watch it about the ridiculous actions of those on the screen. What about you? Do you watch it and cringe or ignore it all together? Or do you just comment on it as your spouse is watches each episode?


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