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Safety and the Movies: MAN OF STEEL

By Matt King

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s… SUPERMAN!

This past summer, the new Superman film, Man of Steel, came out. Directed by Zach Snyder, the movie took a slightly more serious take on the Superman mythos, the darker edge being found throughout the movie, and not just in the patchy beard Clark grows while working on a boat (the beard means he is oh so angsty). In the movie, Clark/Superman has to go up against General Zod, who has escaped from a Kryptonian prison and is now out for Clark’s blood, amongst other things.

That, in itself, is dangerous, but there are numerous other parts where one really ought to question Clark’s (and the movie’s) understanding of safe procedure. While Superman may be out fighting for truth, justice and the American way, is he fighting for safety? For this month’s Safety and the Movies, we’re taking a look at Man of Steel.

1. Know your limits

At one point in the movie, Clark is working as a fisherman on a boat. When his crew goes to respond to a fire at a nearby oil rig, Clark goes immediately into action mode. As a large oil derrick begins to fall, Clark rushes in and grabs it. Flames are erupting all around him, licking at his face and body. This sort of thing happens regularly with Clark. He finds himself in a dangerous situation and saves people. This is to be applauded. However, Clark is Superman. He is a super-being from another planet who is superstrong and has lasers for eyes. His safety isn’t in question. Yours, on the other hand… At work, if something dangerous is happening, it is important to know your limits. If you think something is too dangerous, then you have the right to say so.

2. Know proper emergency procedure

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

In a pivotal scene that I won’t spoil, a tornado is seen ripping across a Kansas highway. Clark and his parents, Jonathan and Martha, get out quickly, running towards a nearby bridge. Jonathan directs even more people to take shelter under the nearby bridge. This is not correct procedure. When fleeing a tornado, do not sit under a bridge. According to Roger Edwards, of the Storm Prediction Centre, this would be a “very dangerous idea.” There could be loose debris or worse flying under it, and, ultimately, the bridge would either not do anything helpful, or, worse, collapse on top of you. So don’t listen to Jonathan Kent.

3. Know your environment

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

The last hour of Man of Steel consists mainly of (**SPOILER**) Superman and General Zod punching each other in Metropolis. It’s a lot of fighting, but this isn’t really about workplace violence (a very serious topic that ought to be respected and understood). No, it’s more the fact that Superman seemed to have no clue as to where he was while fighting him. As Superman and Zod fight, whole buildings collapse and throngs of people run in fear. These are, after all, two god-like entities, duking it out in a city that is being ravaged by their every move. This is part of Zod’s plan, being the villain he is. However, Superman, AKA Clark Kent, should know better. He could have taken Zod up to space or he could have brought him out to a field—they are in Kansas, after all. So what does this mean to you? Well, it’s important you know your environment, because what you do and where you do it can affect your co-workers’ safety, as well as your own.

When it comes to safety, it looks like Superman isn’t so super after all.

For those who have seen Man of Steel, check out How It Should Have Ended’s take on the movie. Do you agree?

What did you think of Man of Steel? What about the ending? Do you have any movies you’d like us to take a look at for Safety and the Movies? Let us know in the comments!

One Response to “Safety and the Movies: MAN OF STEEL”


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