Work Smart. Work Safe.
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Safety and the movies… Monsters Inc.

By Matt King

We have done two other Pixar movies for Safety and the movies, doing Ratatouille way back in January and The Incredibles in May. Pixar movies are often great family films, telling great stories with humour and excitement.

But, as the two previous movies revealed, for the vigilant viewer they are also rife with safety lessons. This week, we’re continuing the Pixar trend and focusing on Monsters Inc..


Pete Docter, who would later go on to direct Up (which might be better known as the movie that makes anyone with tear ducts weep), made this movie which could be described as a workplace comedy. Mike and Sully, voiced by Billy Crystal and John Goodman, respectively, are two monsters working at a factory that turns screams into energy. As it’s a workplace comedy, there are lots of little things we can learn from, as well as a few we ought to avoid…

1. 2319: Contamination!

If you watched the clip above, you’ll see a pretty drastic reaction to a sock. But think about the movie: within the context of the film, this is a possibly dangerous substance, something that could cause harm. There’s something to take out of this: if you work with a hazardous substance, you need to follow protocol. If you are subjected to that kind of material, it can cause severe damage. While the clip seems like an overreaction, it’s worth thinking about – how would you react to hazardous materials?

2. Such great heights

This is a pretty thrilling section, with Mike and Sully flying from door to door as they desperately try and get Boo to safety. Well, here’s where they go a bit wrong. These guys have no fall protection and, as the clip shows, they are playing it fast and loose at incredible heights! If they fell, as Mike almost does, they could be in danger of breaking something or, more likely, dying. Wear fall protection, or rather, wear your proper personal protective equipment (PPE).


3. Where’d you go?

Early in the movie, when Sully and Mike first bring Boo into their world, Sully loses Boo. She runs around and eventually hooks up with another group of kids (monster kids), while Sully falls under the impression that she’s been crushed into a cube. It’s important to let people know where you are. Sully is very upset by the thought of Boo dying, but more importantly, Boo could have died. If you are working alone—lifting boxes, for example—it’s important to let people know where you are. If those boxes fell on you, you might not be found for a while if no one knows your location. But if you tell someone beforehand, then they’ll know where to find you if they think you’re in trouble.

Before I sign off, I just want to include a clip from the end of the movie. If you haven’t seen it, then you may not want to watch it. It’s just a lovely piece of movie making I thought I’d share. My eyes always get a little teary. Remember, work smart, work safe and try not to be too monstrous.

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