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Dangerous Workplace
"Makes the Christmas Purge of '68 look like fun old times. Nearly half of mid-management was sacked. And, Lindsey? They used actual sacks."
Lilah Morgan, Angel

Some locations in TV land are far, far more dangerous than their real-life counterparts. The chances of a violent death are high, for major and minor characters alike. Often Lampshaded by an X Days Since sign when played for comedy.

See also No OSHA Compliance.

Examples:

Comic Books
  • Everywhere in Comic Books, but the ones that really stand out are airplanes and construction sites. If there is something hanging suspended from a crane, it is going to try and fall on someone.
    • The ones that really stand out are the headquarters of supervillains and superheroes alike, since they tend to be favored targets. It occasionally gets bad enough that the villains/heroes just say "screw this" and move somewhere else.
    • Also, any given supervillain holding facility is one of these, seeing as how they are one and all Cardboard Prisons. In particular one ought not to work at Arkham Asylum without having your insurance paid up and your affairs in order.
      • And with Arkham, have a really good therapist on hand... considering the prison's track record for driving its employees insane.
  • The Xavier Institute of Higher Learning was billed as a safe haven for mutants where they could learn how to develop and control their powers and bond with fellow mutants. Hazards include repeated invasion attempts by kill squads from alien empires, supervillain attacks, training simulators becoming sentient and murderous, anti-mutant hate group attacks, and occasionally the other students. The sad thing is that the Xavier Institute was still the safest place for mutants in the world. I say "was" because after one too many attacks the X-Men finally gave up and moved operations to San Francisco. When that didn't pan out either they created a new mutant "Utopia".

Literature
  • In Tom Holt's J.W. Wells & Co. series, the firm of J. W. Wells and Co. might seem like a great advancement opportunity - but that assumes you live long enough to advance. And don't wind up transformed into a piece of office equipment.
  • In The Man With The Terrible Eyes, there's Iotech. Aside from all the torture and unethical experiments going on, there are also shadow monsters being stored in the basement.
  • Willy Wonka's factory in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory practically runs on NOOSHA Compliance, and the crazy inventions being tested on the Oompa-Loompas have resulted in such mishaps as one growing so much hair that "we had to use a lawn mower to keep in in check", 20 of them being turned into blueberries, one floating off into space, and (in the sequel) 131 being de-aged out of this plane of existence, though it's implied or stated that most of them were rescued. Note that Mr. Wonka, when similar disasters happen to his visitors, talks about the solutions as if they were standard safety procedures.

Live-Action TV
  • CTU Los Angeles in 24. To date (and counting various tie-in works), the building has seen a terrorist bombing, an EMP attack, a nerve gas attack, an assault by Chinese mercenaries, three shootings of unarmed characters, two rampages by the same character in different seasons, a schizophrenic woman committing suicide, a murder disguised as suicide, multiple acts of non-lethal violence (torture, physical combat) between characters and multiple undercover informants working for the enemy. There's a reason why CTU Los Angeles was shut down - the producers of the show couldn't find any credible threat to throw against the division anymore. In total, more than 100 CTU employees died during the first six seasons of the series.
    • The licensed video game based on 24 includes a level set in the CTU. Naturally, it's been taken hostage again, only this time it's by Peter Madsen (Christian Kane of Leverage), setting off an EMP to render the office pitch-dark and inescapable.
  • Speaking of Christian Kane: He played a stressed-out attorney for two seasons on Angel. Why so stressed? Well, he works for Wolfram & Hart (a parody of real-life firm Jacoby & Meyers) which has a very high mortality rate for a legal firm. The banality of office work is taken to a macabre level on this show: clerks going apeshit and bludgeoning co-workers with fire extinguishers for failing to replace the copier toner; and of course the annual Christmas layoff (where employees aren't sacked but rather cut up and thrown into sacks).
    • One explanation for its ridiculous death rate can be attributed to the fact that apparently when under threat the entire building locks down and a spell is enacted to make anyone who dies come back as a bloodthirsty, indiscriminate zombie...why did they think that was a good idea?
    • Angel lampshades the "high-risk employment" of working at the firm in "Hellbound", noting for the first time that the building ought to be full of spooks — but isn't. This leads the good guys to realize that a particularly powerful ghost is feeding off the weaker ones.
  • Sun Hill police station in The Bill: At least 10 Police Officers have died inside this station, in its front car park or as a result of injuries sustained in either. Not to mention the prisoners who die in their cells.
  • Twin Peaks.
  • Wisteria Lane. Murder, theft, arson, backstabbing... just another day in the neighborhood.
    • Subverted since Wisteria Lane isn't really their workplace, it's where they live. If anything, working overtime at the office is the safest thing possible.
  • Whitbury-Newton Leisure Centre in The Brittas Empire: a few dozen deaths onscreen, and the unnerving boast that "Last year, 600 people visited this Centre and nearly 500 returned home without any loss of life or serious injury" — all this in a Sitcom.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Sunnydale High, though admittedly this is no longer a problem as of the finale. Because it was swallowed up by Hell along with the rest of the town.
    • The Magic Box's storekeeper keeps getting killed over the seasons. In "Real Me", Giles decides to buy the shop and run it with the Scooby Gang there to hangout and protect him.
      • On an eerie note, none of the magic store's owners have lived. This includes Anya (killed by a Bringer) and Giles (killed in Season Eight).
  • Smallville High had so many students mutate and die it's amazing anyone was left for their graduation (naturally graduation day had its own fatality).
  • Global Dynamics in Eureka - and by extension, the entire eponymous town. According to one character, Eureka, which is a high-income, zero-unemployment, low-density suburban town, has a mortality rate twice the national average. Characters frequently take the senseless, totally random deaths of innocents, sometimes in terrible ways, in stride, apparently out of sheer desensitization.
  • Midsomer Murders - A detective show about a quiet area of rural England where the murder rate appears to be about 1 in 4 people. Lampshade Hanging about this is, of course, rife.
  • Cabot Cove in Murder, She Wrote: a quaint, little Maine town... in which at least 50 people were murdered in every which way (poisoned marmalade, anyone?)
  • The bridge of almost any starship in any of the various Star Treks: because of the unfortunate prevalence of Explosive Instrumentation, there's a good chance a member of the bridge crew will be injured or killed in any given battle.
  • Casualty 1906 makes London seem very dangerous, but this is due to the compression of a year of major medical incidents into a mini-series.
  • British Soap Opera Dream Team had a staggering death toll for a show set at football club. The eight season was a particularly amazing year seeing 7 characters killed off in a crash when the season villain rammed his car into the coach carrying the team (he had earlier murdered another main character and the same season saw an unrelated suicide).
  • Warehouse 13: if you aren't careful, you can be bludgeoned to death by multiplying dodgeballs.
  • Crinimalists aren't usually in as much danger as cops, but the Las Vegas Crime Lab on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is an exception. Either at the lab or in the field,characters have been shot,bitten,beat up,caught in an explosion...the spinoffs don't apply,though,as they are detectives rather than civilians.

Video Games
  • Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee has meatpacking and perperation plant Rupturefarms, which is full of mines, huge ceiling to floor un guarded/fenced meatsaws often within metres of working employees (see: Slaves), huge Bottomless Pits, and guards ordered to shoot on sight. Oh, and grenade dispensers. Somewhat justified because the owners intend to turn the employees into another kind of meat, so they obviously aren't concerned about their safety.
  • The Bone Pit mine in Dragon Age II. Something horrible shows up to harass/kill/eat the workers in each act. In the first act it's dragons. In the second act it's a crime syndicate, giant spiders and the undead. It reaches a head in the third act when all of the workers are slaughtered by a High Dragon.
  • Aperture Science from Portal. Even before the whole "murderous AI kills entire staff and their daughters" thing, safety clearly wasn't high on the priorities list. For example, they made entire buildings out of asbestos.

Web Comics
  • The House of Cheese restaurant chain from Sluggy Freelance was specifically designed to set off a Manchurian Agent's killing trigger, causing her to massacre everyone inside.
  • Castle Heterodyne in Girl Genius is a prison/labor camp for political prisoners, especially Sparks. Being sent there is tantamount to a death sentence with a chance for appeal, a chance based on how it appeals to the Castle to kill them.
  • The Snail Factory features an extremely hazardous work environment as it primary setting and injury and death are so common that the management no longer tries to prevent these things but just tries to control its negative affects on employee morale.
  • In Kevin & Kell, predators at Herd Thinners often fight for supremacy. It's rare for a CEO to retire the peaceful way.

Western Animation
  • And of course we have Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, which is periodically flooded with radioactive waste, occasionally has storage barrels smashing through support columns and causing floors to give way, is infested with rats, has cooling towers that are very badly crumbling, has no lead in its radiation shields, and doesn't even have urinal cakes in its toilets. And that's not even counting the workers, who scream and panic whenever there's a problem with the reactor, who engage in everything from chess games to cockfights to "Nap Time", remove emergency procedure posters to make get-well-soon cards, and engage in log-rolling contests using waste drums. Homer Simpson is hardly the only lazy and incompetent employee at the plant-if anything, he's a typical example.

Real Life
  • Pick a factory, any factory, before labor unions threatening (and going through with) everything from sit-ins to full-blown armed rebellion forced the management to improve safety standards. The role of the unions in setting safety standards has largely been taken over by federal-level government agencies like the OSHA these days, and opinion is divided on whether or not they do a better job of it.
  • Steel mills. There are around 1000 ways to get killed in one, and none of them are pretty. Lampshaded in the movie Super 8. The steel mill shown only at the beginning has a prominent banner of the ilk of 'X days since the last workplace accident' ... before a worker resets the already not-stellar number for the time to 1. This sets the tone of the movie to come as one where Anyone Can Die.
  • Ports and any other place featuring the near-constant movement of vehicles and other objects weighing several tons, often high over your head.


Cutting CornersI Need an Index by MondayIncompetence, Inc.
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