Playing around with other people’s lives is no joke. Horseplay and pranks at work have killed many workers and injured countless others over the years.
• It’s against the law and you could be prosecuted if horseplay results in a serious injury or death.
• You could lose your job. Zero tolerance for horseplay is a policy commonly enforced by companies.
• Horseplay can create an unsafe work environment on the job. You, your co-workers and the public can be endangered. Showing off with feats of strength, driving dares and other antics are dangerous.
• Horseplay can trigger workplace violence. Teasing or making fun of another worker can have serious consequences, as the worker tries to escape the harassment or fights back. A pain in the backside from a power stapler is reason enough to retaliate. New workers and workers with ethnic or language differences are frequently the target of pranks — and that is just not fair.
What can you do about horseplay? Make a point of not encouraging or providing an audience for horseplay. Don’t start it, participate in it or applaud it.
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