On the Lighter Side
This page provides a mixture of quotes, stories, anecdotes, lists, definitions of terms, and questions and answers, some humorous, that help to make points relevant to risk and safety.
New items are added regularly so check back periodically.
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
- William Shakespeare
Some people get lost in thought because it is unfamiliar territory for them.
A young man came to two doors that he could open as he pleased.
Behind one was a hungry tiger which would immediately tear him to pieces. Behind the other door was a lady most suitable to his years.
He refused to take the chance of opening either door, lived safe, and died chaste.
Another young man came to the doors. He decided to perform a risk assessment, collected all the available data on lady and tiger populations, used sophisticated technology to listen for growling and to detect the faintest whiff of perfume. He completed checklists. Finally, he opened the optimal door and was eaten by a low probability tiger.
A third young man took a course in tiger taming. He opened a door at random and was eaten by the lady.
Adapted from, Managing the Unknown, William C. Clark, 1977, and an ancient myth.
You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.
- Naguib Mahfouz
If you don't want to bet your life, don't gamble with safety.
Government workers were sent to a cemetery to test headstones for safety. They laid insecure headstones flat in case they fell on someone but caused an even greater hazard - tripping over them.
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Category: Questions and Answers
Q: What chemical has the following properties?
Rapid temperature rise can result in explosive vaporization. Inhalation can result in asphyxiation and is often fatal. Prolonged but constant contact with the skin may cause dermatitis. Incompatible with strong acids and bases. Forms hazardous decomposition products.
A bus carrying 5 passengers was hit by a car. In the time it took for police to arrive on the scene, 14 pedestrians had boarded the bus and begun to complain of whiplash injuries and back pain.
The important thing is not to stop questioning.
- Albert Einstein