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Safety and the movies… Captain America: The First Avenger

By Matt King

Photo: Marvel Studios

He stands for truth, justice, and the American way. No, I’m not talking about Superman, but rather Marvel’s own heroic patriot, Steve Rogers, also known as Captain America.

This week, a new instalment in Marvel’s ever-expanding universe of superhero flicks arrives in theatres—Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But perhaps before diving into that movie, join us for another edition of Safety and the movies, where we’ll take a look at Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger.

1. Wear your PPE or, how to read the fine print

Photo: Marvel Studios

Photo: Marvel Studios

In order for Steve Rogers to become the tall, ridiculously muscular person we all know as Captain America, he is subjected to an experimental super-soldier serum. Now, the movie and comics suggest this is necessary for him to be the soldier he ought to be, and, in many ways, it’s almost like he’s simply putting on some elaborate PPE, albeit PPE that is permanent and irreversible. But, at the same time, I really hope that Steve read the fine print on whatever waiver or liability forms they had him sign and asked all appropriate questions. Because while PPE is necessary, it’s never necessary to be subjected to something you think isn’t safe at work, and this transformation looks particularly painful and dangerous. If you think something is questionable when it comes to your safety, make sure to speak up and ask your employer about it.

2. Get the training first

Photo: Marvel Studios

Photo: Marvel Studios

At one point in the film, after hearing that one of his old friends may have been captured by the evil Johann Schmidt, Captain America mounts a secret solo rescue attempt that goes against all protocol. Not only is he breaking many rules, but he’s also doing this without much in the way of training. Admittedly, he has the super-soldier serum, but for months beforehand, all he has done is pose and try and raise morale by looking really cool and weirdly muscular. Not the best training. In your own job, try not to follow Captain America’s path here: while it’s very important to help others, you aren’t doing anyone favours if you go into your job without any safety training or knowledge. Know what’s at stake; know what it means to be safe in your job.

3. Team work makes the dream work

Photo: Marvel Studios

Photo: Marvel Studios

Later in the movie, Captain America gathers together a ragtag team of soldiers. As a team, they infiltrate the base and are largely pretty successful. All in all, they are doing pretty dangerous work, but the idea of a team working together to get the job done is prominent throughout the Marvel universe—The Avengers is an entire movie based on that conceit. If we work together, great things can happen. It’s the basis for many a clichéd pop song, even. And it’s true when it comes to safety, too. Maybe you work individually, but if you work with others, working with your co-workers to foster a safe work environment is imperative to actually having one. Looking out not only for ourselves, but also for each other will help create an atmosphere where safety is the norm, and hazards are simply, much like Captain America himself, frozen in the past.

That’s it for now, folks, but if you have an idea for future Safety and the Movies posts, let us know by sending us a tweet @HeadsUpAB.

One Response to “Safety and the movies… Captain America: The First Avenger”

  1. Thanks for discussing Safety and the movies… Captain America:
    The First Avenger | Work Smart. Work Safe..

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