Famous Dangerous Duos of Safety


Some things just naturally go very well together, in fact so much so they actually wind up complementing each other and can enhance either their ability, flavor, strength or beauty.  Peanut butter and jelly come to mind along with steak and potatoes, Batman and Robin, Ying and Yang or Gracie and Allen.  I’m sure you can come up with even more.

Antony and Cleopatra

However, there are some things that may look like they may pair well together but for whatever reason, the pairing just brings doom and destruction like Cleopatra and Antony or Bonnie and Clyde. Then there are those who together just create havoc like Lucy and Ethel.

When it comes to safety either in the workplace or at home, there are pairings that never should be together as the result can be quiet dangerous if not killer!


Water & Electricity.  Exposed wires around sinks, showers, battery rooms and other areas where water is present can cause electrocution and death.  Water is an extremely good conductor of electricity and makes for a quick pathway directly to you!  At work, shut those circuits off via LOTO until you can have the problem corrected and that should have done been yesterday.  At home, you should have GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlets around your sink and near water.  To avoid an electrical shock to someone using a device like a hairdryer, it trips off as soon as it detects any interruption in the current which water can cause.



Flammable Fumes & Sparks.  What makes this so dangerous is that you can’t see the fumes in the air from the chemicals and solvents you may be using or storing but they are there.  As temperatures rise and get warmer the faster these items go from liquid state to gas and if not stored properly or working in a confined area that has poor or no ventilation those gases keep building and looking for a source of ignition.  One spark is all that is needed and that can come from a forklift or light switch to set it off and land you in the ER or the obituary page.  Make sure where ever you are working it is well ventilated, free and clear of trash and debris and all solvents or chemicals are stored in the proper container and in metal storage cabinets. There should also be an eyewash station right there.


Dust & Sparks.  As for fumes above the same goes for dust.  Yes, dust.  Not those little dust bunnies under your bed but dust that’s produced as a result of manufacturing or food production.  If the levels of dust are not removed manually or through a filtration system and allowed to accumulate, it’ll only need one little spark to go boom!  On February 7, 2008, fourteen workers were fatally burned in a series of sugar dust explosions at the Imperial Sugar plant near Savannah, Georgia.  In 1996 a Western Sugar factory in Scottsbluff, Nebraska exploded killing one and injuring 15.  Even if you go as far back as 1963 you’ll find seven workers killed in a Moses Lake sugar beet factory blast.  It’s not just sugar dust that’s an issue, you’ll read of explosions occurring in grain silos and wood mills, anywhere dust is made.

Like all equipment, dust collectors should be inspected to ensure they’re working properly, including all screens, dust socks and make sure someone is assigned to emptying the collector bins on a consistent basis, there’s is no excuse to having overflowing full bins making matters worse.

These are just a few examples of Dangerous Duos out there.  How many can you find and name in your part of the world?


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