Thin Or Thick Sausages, Senhor?

An American worker at a sausage factory was sucked into a sausage machine while he was cleaning it. Somehow the machine switched on and sucked him in headfirst as far as his shoulders. He was released and taken to hospital as a precaution but claimed he was fine. All jokes aside, it goes to show how accidents in the workplace can happen, very quickly and all too often, fatally.

In Spain a matador was gored by a bull the other weekend, an occupational hazard when taking part in the first part of the sausage making process, no doubt. While the bull might end up in a Spanish sausage factory, the difference between the two incidents (apart from being on different continents and a whole host of other dissimilarities) is the acceptance of risk at play with each occupation.

The matador and his crew (he is but one of several ‘dors out there at the bullfight) are aware that what they do has inherent risks. They and the crowd paying to watch are all too well aware of the reality that someone might get hurt, even killed… other than the bull. Not so the sausage maker. He arrives for work knowing all the cows and bulls he will come in contact with are dead, well and truly. Mind you, the machinery used to make sausages on an industrial scale is as potentially lethal as any enraged bull.

Some jobs have obvious hazards and inherent risks, some jobs are not so apparently dangerous. The trick to staying safe is to be able to know which is which and to remain alert to the potential for harm even when the sausage machine is switched off or the bull is not in the ring yet.

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