They’ve been doing some road work on the main street in Sulzburg. I have no idea why – it didn’t look to me like anything needed to be done. Not being a homeowner I pretty much ignored it. Not my taxes, at least not directly.
I paid a little closer attention though when my bus for German class was a couple of minutes late. I usually time my arrival so that I am not waiting, but on this occasion I took a closer look at what was happening across the street since I was standing across from where the action was.
I know little about road construction, so I won’t voice an opinion as to whether the concrete blocks lining the street needed work. I’ll just go on the assumption that the city’s public works department doesn’t schedule unnecessary repairs.
What caught my eye was the man with the circular saw who was cutting concrete blocks to the correct size. What I noticed was him turning on the saw, and walking behind a fellow worker who was bending over. It looked to me like the spinning blade was just inches from the man’s back. If he had unexpectedly stood up he would have been severely injured – or possibly even killed depending on the angle of impact. It looked to me like an accident waiting to happen.
The man with the saw then proceeded to do his cutting, and I was left with questions as I watched. As I said, I don’t know much about construction, but I thought there were basic safety rules that people everywhere observed. I was surprised therefore that neither of these workers was wearing protective eyewear.
Maybe that isn’t necessary. Maybe concrete never splinters, and cuts are always true, which would make protective gear unnecessary. Maybe the rules are different here.
Worker safety isn’t something I have given much thought to, as most of my jobs have been rather sedentary. I suppose I could be electrocuted in a computer malfunction, or fall off my chair and injure myself, but carpal tunnel issues are the biggest occupational hazard. Well, I suppose there’s always the possibility of terrorist attack, but those are relatively rare, and, sadly, I have already experienced one. In theory I know how to get through one safely.
On the streets of Sulzburg however, I would think workers need to be a little more careful.