Miners shaken by employer’s reaction to video

5 March 2013
Over recent weeks the world has gone crazy for the Harlem Shake. The craze has seen many thousands of people upload their own version of themselves and their friends, colleagues or random strangers dancing along to DJ Baauer’s track, and it has received so much attention that you’d have to have been down a mine not to have noticed.

But, as the BBC reports,  even miners (now ex-miners) have caught the bug. And while it looks like they’re having fun in the video, their expressions will have certainly soured since. In the eyes of the company their antics were a clear breach of health and safety, so up to 15 staff have had their employment terminated.

I completely appreciate mining is a dangerous business, and health and safety must be taken seriously. But there have been no reports of so much as a stubbed toe as a result of the video. It seems highly unlikely that there was even a hint of malice in their intentions, just a strong desire to inject a bit of joy into their job. Does that merit being fired? Is there anything wrong with people being happy while doing their work? Do happy workers make good workers? No, no, and yes, in my view.
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