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"The movie ends in a stock movie location I thought had been retired: a steam and flame factory where the combatants stalk each other on catwalks and from behind steel pillars, while the otherwise deserted factory supplies vast quantities of flame and steam."
Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook Appa 2005, on Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever

Industrial complexes in which climactic battles are fought always seem to have been built with a callous disregard for the safety of workers. Inside, you're likely to find narrow catwalks with simple rope/cable (or no) handrails inevitably hung by what might as well be knitting yarn over open bubbling vats of green acid, massive exposed machinery flailing everywhere without protective covers, safety switches in awkward places far from the machinery they control, blast furnaces glowing fiery red, and other hazardous conditions so terrifying that any sane person would probably insist on a six-figure danger bonus to even go near the place.

In short, if the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (or the local counterpart in non-American/European settings) ever saw the place, it would be condemned in seconds. Sometimes, the story will Hand Wave this by referring to the factory as "abandoned." However, it will never be explained why it hasn't been demolished yet, why it still receives electricity, or why all the machinery is present and operable as if it's itching to be the setting of a climactic showdown.


And oddly enough, for all the lack of safety compliance, the factory's door will be unlocked or easily entered, and there will be not a single night watchman in the obviously dangerous facility.note  Usually all the crushing, spiking, and burning machinery will be left to run unattended; but if this is not the case, they will all be activated by a single exposed switch placed on a bare stretch of wall.

Of course, this means the hero and the villain will immediately rush into the heart of such a complex to have their final battle, instead of just settling things in the parking lot. On the other hand, this does allow for the frequent accident of the villain falling to his doom. Any collateral damage in the battle will invariably hit a Big Red Button, cause Failsafe Failure, and no one could survive that resulting explosion.


These environments still exist because they are visually interesting and allow the cowardly villain more opportunities to sneak around behind the hero, or the overmatched hero to find some way to even the scales against the seemingly omnipotent villain. Granted, it's always possible to put together a dramatic fight sequence in a perfectly balanced tournament-style environment (see the last segment of The Karate Kid (1984), or virtually any movie where martial arts is the foundation of the plot), but the ultimate authority on such matters in entertainment is, of course, the Rule of Cool.

These facilities are also often referred to as "Smoke and Fire Factories", in reference to the fact that the function of the building is rarely explained, with smoke and fire as its only discernible outputs. Incidentally, OSHA Compliance is not just about construction and design, but also about people in the facility following proper procedures, so the act of having a battle in a workplace is already non-compliance with OSHA, even without the smoke and flame.

Note that if a villain plants a few explosives in such a place, it transforms from a mundanely unsafe facility into an instant Death Course. For the video game equivalent, see Eternal Engine and Malevolent Architecture. Construction Zone Calamity will usually employ this trope for laughs. Homicide Machines is when a horror film does this with everyday household appliances. No Seatbelts and Railing Kill are subtropes.

Rule 87 of the Evil Overlord List gives advice on how to avoid this—and if you're plotting to rule the world, you should heed its advice.

This trope is always present in a Nightmarish Factory.

This has nothing to do with the lack of approval without accompanying a certain Wildling to go beyond The Wall. Then again, their world is not a safe place either. It also has nothing to do with Oshawott's Pokémon Speak.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Lampshaded in the first episode of Code Geass. After Lelouch falls into a hijacked truck, he wonders "Why didn't they stick a ladder on the inside, too?"
  • The Para-mails in Cross Ange are a very much invoked example. The Norma who are tasked with piloting them are discriminated against and therefore considered expendable by the society subjecting them to their lot.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
    • Evangeline's "resort":
      Asuna: Hey, wait a sec, why doesn't such a high bridge have any handrails? I wish this fantasy stuff would give me a break already!
      • Worse than that. While it's technically a private residence for people who have no need to fear falling... it's a private residence in a pocket dimension, in the form of an often sunlight-flooded tower surrounded by open water, deliberately designed to house a vampire in comfort. This isn't "somebody forgot about safety standards", it's out-and-out Malevolent Architecture.
    • Mahora itself, which has stuff like vampires, dragons, and demons all over campus, none of which the students are aware of. And presumably some of the teachers are unaware as well; nobody felt like informing Negi of all the weirdness. Such as an evil vampire with a grudge against his father...
      • Technically, one of the students is aware of all of this. That's because she is the vampire.
    • Library Island, the school's library and Japan's largest repository of dangerous magical books and a few monstrous creatures. You need grappling hooks, rappelling clips and spikes, a minimum of three people, and hopefully some sort of hovering device and an eleven-foot pole... And that's before you get to even the most basic of magical books!
  • In Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Kurotowa is sent to investigate the God Warrior being excavated in Pejiti only for his guide to fall a couple hundred feet to his death, and he says "This is why they keep having accidents." Justified in that this is After the End, the OSHA died along with the industrialized world in the seven days of fire.
  • In Science Ninja Team Gatchaman there are no seatbelts in the God-Phoenix control room, even though the individual vehicles have them. This in a flying battleship that regularly gets knocked all over the place. The Jigokiller episode had Dr. Nambu standing over a BIG tank holding the plant of the title, on a narrow catwalk with waist-high rails. The rails are so damaged that he cuts his hand on one. Granted, the plant didn't eat men, but it could move independently and had already been shown to throw G-4 about quite nicely. The rail crosses over with artistic license, since the blood from the cut is what kills the monster. Galactor bases and mechs are no better: They fit the waist-high rails and deep pits to a T, usually, and blow up if looked at wrong. (A bit of exaggeration, but not much.)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!; Let's see, where to start...
    • To begin with, Duelist Kingdom. The island (which is somewhere in the South Pacific, in the middle of nowhere) is barely adequate for a dueling tournament. No facilities to provide for food or hygienic needs (as mentioned in one episode) and the stations have flame thrower devices that the special Eliminators can access. It's a wildfire waiting to happen. The castle is a little better, although the roof and balconies (where Yugi faces Kaiba) have no guardrails or anything else that could prevent an accidental death from a fall. (Or someone trying to do it on purpose). And speaking of whom...
    • Dueling atop a flying zeppelin may be dramatic, but again, no safety precautions whatsoever. Jonouchi nearly falls to his doom right before the duel with Rashid. Not to mention Kaiba is way too mule headed and concerned with gaining the God Cards to order it to land, even if three contestants are unconscious and possibly dying. Alcatraz is just as bad; it's a tower built on a demolition site, designed to resemble a shining tower rising out of a ruin to symbolize Kaiba's triumph. Dramatic again, but not exactly safe.
  • The Old Momentum Reactor in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, obviously. It caused Zero Reverse, and was still dangerous afterwards. How dangerous? There was a portal to Hell inside it. That's pretty dangerous.
  • The Duel Academia in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX; it's on an island miles away from the rest of civilization, and is sitting on top of the ruins which hold the spirits of 3 evil monster cards. That's not all; there's an abandoned dorm in which all of the students in it have mysteriously disappeared, and the school has made minimal attempts to cover it up. The whole island is a magnet for evil spirits to manifest themselves in card games in which people's souls are on the line.
  • While Pokémon's anime tends to skip the Gym puzzles, it still has some clear examples — Koga (all kinds of ninja traps), Blaine (a dormant volcano, and later a lava pit), and Clemont (whose stand-in robot literally threw unworthy or losing challengers out of the very high Prism Tower) standing out. The last one was acknowledged and ultimately fixed.
  • Spoofed in Himouto! Umaru-chan: Alex and Umaru play a Dating Sim set in a former mining town where stuff randomly blows up because apparently there are old sticks of dynamite just lying around everywhere. And nobody questions this.

    Comic Books 
  • From Watchmen, we have the intrinsic-field subtractor experiment, which vaporizes anything put in the chamber. It comes equipped with a massive steel door to the chamber that closes on a timer without any interference, confirmation, or even presence of a human scientist. There are no checks done to see if any personnel is in the chamber at the time, no warning sounds or signs displayed when a timed closing is imminent, despite frequent work being done inside (why else would Dr. Manhattan have left his coat inside the chamber?). There's no way to open the door from the outside or inside, and no way to stop the disintegrator-beam from firing after the door has closed. And to top it all off, these are all explained in the comic as safety features. Bear in mind, this experiment was being done back in The '50s, and at the time, nuclear safety really was almost this crude. To be fair, the scientist responsible for this monumental stupidity realized just how much of an idiot he had been even as he was explaining it to the soon-to-be-deceased John Osterman.
  • The origin of The Joker in Batman involved falling into a vat of some unspecified acid at Ace Chemicals, staining his skin and hair, giving him his distinctive appearance and driving him insane. Batman: The Man who Laughs suggests that the chemical plant in question was in trouble with OSHA. Some versions of Two-Face's origin also involve this trope.
  • Superman:
    • In the Superman/Supergirl story Krypton No More, Superman looks into the case of a plastic fabric which makes vinyl chloride -a known carcinogen- when a worker tells him of the non-existent safety standards:
      Milton: Like I tell ya, Mr. Kent — the company knows that this vinyl chloride we work with may cause cancer — It knows that some of the guys are dying 'cause they work with the stuff — yet they don't do nuthin' —! No safety standards — No special benefits — Nuthin!
    • In Kryptonite Nevermore, Professor Bolden was going to test a potentially dangerous Kryptonite engine... and his only apparent security measure was Superman -the same guy who is killed by kryptonite radiation- paying attention to his experiment and saving them.
    • One of the earliest Superman comics had him dealing with a mine owner who couldn't be bothered to properly maintain the safety equipment in his mines until Superman tricked him into spending some time in said mine and then orchestrated a cave-in so the owner could experience just what life was like in a decidedly unsafe mine (This issue predated the existence of OSHA by nearly 40 years, but the point still stands.
    • In Supergirl Vol 2 issue #1, Kara bursts through a factory's wall to save two workers. A bucket's guide-chain snapped and poured a shower of molten steel on them. Fortunately, she shielded them.

    Fan Works 
  • Explicitly mocked in chapter 45 of the Firefly fanfic The Treasure of Lei Fong Wu. Zoe and her party find such a gap. One of the team points out that it is both necessary for the operation of the ship, and presents "formidable opposition" to boarding parties. Such that it would be more or less impassable if the other side was defended, even with the flimsy, railing-less bridge up.
  • Lampshaded at least three times in Fallout: Equestria as Littlepip repeatedly encounters buildings, including a factory, a mad science lab, and a powerplant, with one major feature in common:
    "How did catwalks over heavy machinery become the dominant aesthetic?"
  • As this Fan Fic Rant reminds,
    Labcoats, gloves, goggles; these things aren't just there to look good / sexy / nerdy (depending on your point of view), they are all protective gear. It won't help if you're running around showing off lingerie/skimpy outfits/your birthday suit while you go about sciencing. Goggles go over your eyes, not on your head.
  • Lampshaded in Starcrossed, where Scotty tells Geordi that in his time, warp core breaches were only created in the lab for experimentation, and the TNG basic design has been rejected as a useless and dangerous piece of Tim Taylor Technology.
    • One of the main reasons the Imperials wanted to get back to their own galaxy was so they wouldn't face having to downgrade to the Star Trek warp drives. This was mostly a concern of speed, as Hyperdrives are far faster, but one Imperial Captain stated, "I will not have my ship be a flying bomb."
  • The Total Drama story, Legacy plays with this trope and ultimately defies it. It takes a contestant's death and the enactment of a "memorial" law to clearly establish that reality show contestants are to be considered employees for the purpose of applying workplace safety regulations.
  • Averted in Sophistication and Betrayal, where the protagonist's safety headgear actually saves his life in a construction accident.
  • Mocked and lampshaded at two points in Star Wars Paranormalities.
    • Subverted with the Valkoran Empire's Obliterator-class Star Destroyers. They have some corridors that lead right into the plasma cannon's firing tunnel, but have force-field airlocks that activate during firing cycles. Valkoran Trooper Private Will Helms somehow gets trapped in one of these tunnels, and nearly sucked out into space before being incinerated by the plasma sphere. They get points for having force-fields, but Zolph Vaelor questions why the architects would place corridors leading right into the tunnel itself. Admiral Marx Gravlek just passes it off as an obstacle for keeping infiltrators like him out.
    • The mockery is taken further with Darth Vader's castle on Vjun. Private Helms (same one) is talking with another Valkoran trooper about the creepy atmosphere of Bast Castle and his previous death while standing on a walkway with no guardrails. Once the trooper laughs at him, she hits him on the shoulder and accidentally causes him to fall off the walkway and die again.
    Zolph: "By the Force! I'm really beginning to feel bad for the poor souls who worked here."
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Blaine had his Gym inside the Cinnabar Island volcano, as shown above in the anime entry. However, many trainers complained about almost losing a Pokémon in the hot lava, so the Pokémon League forced him to relocate to a safe traditional building.

    Films — Animated 
  • The set of the in-universe show of Bolt has some egregious safety violations. For one thing, there is apparently no fire suppression system and the set is highly flammable—when some torches are accidentally knocked over, it goes up like flypaper. This is on the set of a modern TV show... one imagines the unions for actors and stagehands would have been sending the studio some very strong letters afterwards.
  • In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, apparently nobody considered including any rails in Live Corp's new factory. Especially egregious considering that they are present within Live Corp's headquarters shown earlier in the film.
  • In The Emperor's New Groove, the lever that flips you into Yzma's secret lab is right next to a lever opening a trapdoor to a crocodile pit. Lampshaded when Yzma's henchman Kronk pulls the wrong lever. Returning from her trip to the pool, the alligator-encumbered Yzma says, "Why do we even have that lever?" (Kuzco would also like to know.)
    • This is also played with in the TV series. Every time Yzma goes to her lair in the school, she orders "Pull the lever, Kronk!", followed by something DIFFERENT happening to her each episode. Even Kuzco does this in a secret bunker that he had hidden in the jungle for some reason.
  • In WALL•E, while the Buy n Large mega-corporation would be pulverized by the EPA if the company didn't basically own the ENTIRE planet (not even counting the literal mountains of trash, their plan to take care of the garbage is to just incinerate it all), they do have very good safety standards. The Axiom's trash compactor gives ample warning before it sends the garbage into space (even though no human could realistically get down there, and the doors close before the trash is sent off), the garbage chutes have covers over them, there is a ton of safety features on the escape pod (seat restraints, flares, flotation devices, fire extinguisher), and there are manual emergency door overrides that for once actually work.
    • One thing about the trash ejection that does play it straight: There's no failsafe in place in case the inner doors are blocked from closing completely before the outer doors open. Even worse, in this case the outer doors appear to be stuck on. There is an emergency close button, but the WALL-As have to press it manually. The only reason WALL-E and EVE didn't get sucked out into space was because M-O arrived at just the right time. Oddly enough, in the deleted scene where WALL-E was rescuing EVE rather than vice versa, such a failsafe did seem to exist, as once M-O is trapped in the door WALL-E and EVE aren't sucked out.
    • BnL really has the opposite problem: babying humans for so long that they've become, well, giant babies. The corporation has taken great pains to create robots for every task, keeping the humans from doing anything that resembles either work or risk, but also preventing them from accomplishing anything.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A study conducted in 2014 discovered that the creation of the chief antagonist in 7 of the top 25 highest-grossing superhero films could have been prevented had said antagonists' employers followed basic workplace safety regulations.
  • Alien:
    • In Alien, the Nostromo has obnoxious strobe lights and steam jets that have no apparent purpose other than to make life difficult once the self-destruct protocol is initiated.
      • Confounding the problem, the ship is woefully understaffed, so much that a single case of food poisoning would have caused them all to die, even without the eponymous alien. Oddly Small Organization anyone?
      • The Nostromo is a hauling ship, and its crew are glorified space truckers. It makes economic sense to put just a bare minimal crew to comply with whatever standards there may be for space travel, and if something actually did go wrong, the AI could probably bring the ship home all by itself (while not being allowed to do so during "normal operation").
    • LV-426 in Aliens does have handrails, but they are only thigh-high, and result in at least one Colonial Marine falling over and plummeting through the floors of an atmosphere processor.
      • Note that Aliens was filmed in Acton Lane Power Station, inviting speculation as to the OSHA compliance of the real life location.
      • There is a huge unshielded rotor at the end of the Air-Vent Passageway that swallows Newt.
    • Alien³ has a man cleaning a tunnel right next to a fan that has no protective venting whatsoever.
  • Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. The power goes out and it seems not a single building in town has emergency lights except the hospital, where they flicker uncontrollably.
  • The power center of the OsCorp building in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has high-voltage cables accessed by narrow walkways suspended above huge uncovered water tanks full of giant electric eels. Then there's the stroke of genius that (almost) everyone should be allowed to go home for the night instead of keeping adequate night shift staff at an electricity production facility which is indeed active 24 hours a day.
  • The Arrival: Charlie Sheen pushes a disguised alien out of an elevator, falling to his doom. The aliens have interstellar travel, secretly build a vast network of Global warming-inducing terraforming plants on Earth, yet their elevators are exposed, completely lacking in rails, or even walls for that matter. Go figure.
  • The Batman (1989) drops gangster Jack Napier into a giant bubbling vat full of... something to turn him into The Joker. Justified: Jack turns on a bunch of the machines and makes them run at unsafe levels to create a diversion for the cops. The vat full of green acid? You can see it being filled in the background of several shots, as a result of these actions. Laser-Guided Karma indeed.
  • In Bird on a Wire, the final battle between Rick Jarmin and the bad guys takes place in the zoo that is filled to the brim with nasty security breaches / insane design. Let's count all the ways things can go wrong: 1) Mixing leopards and tigers in the same space. 2) putting chimpanzees and baboons in the same habitat then 3) allowing aforementioned leopards and tigers access to the monkey habitat 4) also, crocodiles and snakes and 5) rickety bridge/ledge that connects with 6) unsecured artificial waterfall that fills artificial lake filled with 7) wholly natural piranhas! And that's not mentioning lack of any security from "behind the scenes", which allows our hero access to the cages of all those animals without any problems.
  • Child's Play:
    • The Good Guy Doll factory in Child's Play 2 apparently has highly inaccessible (and locked) exits, blocked off by conveyor belts and doll assembling machines.
    • Child's Play 3 has the haunted house carnival ride, which has a real swinging blade capable of slicing flesh (Well, doll flesh, anyway) clean off and a giant, deadly, uncovered ventilation fan, Apparently worker safety unions don't exist in the Child's play universe.
  • In City of Ember, the generator of Ember has catwalks and stairs going above and alongside heavy, dangerous, steam-emitting machinery of all kinds. And the official, government-approved method to escape the city involves hundreds to thousands of people riding a ridiculously dangerous water toboggan on tiny wooden boats that are intended to pass above large water turbines. Note that it's not described as being nearly so dangerous in the book; most likely this was done for dramatic effect.
  • Daylight which featured Sylvester Stallone as a hot shot EMS rescuing people from a blocked and weakened underwater "Hudson Tunnel" (standing in for the Lincoln Tunnel) in New York City. The ventilation facilities for said tunnels was something that has just flown under the radar of the OSHA whale for sure. In real life, the ventilation system costs several hundred million dollars, consume several dozen kilowatts of power, and in the event of an emergency the fans will run at 105% capacity until failure. And trucks like that aren't allowed to go through any tunnels for exactly this reason. Even ones that just catch on fire like they would in real life instead of producing an Independence Day-sized fireball. And ones where the explodium barrels are actually secured.
  • In Dredd, Peach Trees has a skateboard park. On the outside of the seventieth floor.
  • Elysium: Max's foreman telling people to do really dangerous things, like go inside a radiation chamber to fix a door jam, or get replaced. Worse still is the fact that said radiation chamber has no emergency shutoff button, not even from the outside. Justified in that OSHA probably doesn't even exist anymore. One particular thing to note is that the radiation chamber, once active, does have sensors to detect if something is in there that shouldn't be. It doesn't turn the chamber off, of course, more like "BTW, you're cooking some dude."
    • The whole thing is made pretty ironic due to the intercom in the factory constantly blaring on about working safe.
  • Enemy Mine features a mining ship with little to no safety features in sight, resulting in plentiful deaths and mutilations. Possibly justified in that it belongs to illegal strip-miners who employ illegal slave labor who may not be arsed into caring about legal safety regulations.
  • In Event Horizon, the ship shows The Medic a vision of her son back home to lure her into the bowels of the mechanism. After chasing it up several levels on a ladder, she finally reaches out her hand to take his... and plummets several stories into the engine room, off a darkened ledge with no handrail. To be fair, it may have had a handrail before the ship went to hell and back.
  • In Ex Machina, all the doors of Nathan's house can only be opened via keycards, and automatically lock during a power failure. So... What happens during a fire? Or any other kind of emergency situation?
  • The Final Destination films might as well have been called No OSHA Compliance: The Movies, considering how many gruesomely-fatal accidents result from a single trivial mechanical glitch.
  • In the Firefly movie Serenity, Mal needs to access a machine that's "a little hard to get to"; it's on a platform in the center of a deep shaft filled with moving and grinding machinery. The bridge controls are for some reason only on the platform itselfnote , and even extended, the bridge is narrow and has no railing (though at least the platform does). Justified in that the machine serves as his secret backup, the death course is just another layer of security.
  • The Fly (1986): Seth Brundle's home doubles as his laboratory, where he works to complete his teleporter. Such a groundbreaking and risky experiment, ideally, should have been conducted in a cleanroom free of any potential contaminants. His fusion with a fly while teleporting was just waiting to happen.
  • In The Fugitive, Richard Kimble, Marshall Gerard, and Dr. Charles Nichols all chase each other in a laundry room full of scalding hot pipes and a huge I beam on a chain for someone to get hit in the head with.
  • Lampshaded by Galaxy Quest in a number of places, most notably when The Captain and the Bridge Bunny need to pass through a part of the ship that is essentially a Death Course for no reason other than that it was used as one in the original series the ship was based on. On seeing what they had to do to get past, the Bridge Bunny (Sigourney Weaver playing actress Gwen De Marco playing Lt. Tawny Madison) exclaims, "Well, forget it! I'm not doing it! This episode was badly written!"
  • The Green Hornet Serials: In a less extreme (if still fatal) example, everyone at the Grimbolt Steel Mill seems to consider a worker passing out and falling into a vat of molten steel as just one of those things that happens when you're working there.
  • The higher-ups of Ellingson Mineral Company in Hackers, apparently, think that an oil tanker has no need for manual controls, because computers are much safer. So what happens when a virus gets into the mainframe and is propagated to the tanker computers?
    The Plague: The little boat flipped over.
    • Interestingly, it's one of those higher-ups who suggests putting the ballast under manual control before being condescendingly told by The Plague that there's no such thing anymore. Obviously, he wasn't the one who made the decision to go for all-automatic.
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: Wayne Szalinski has his shrink ray facing the attic door, and keeps the door unlocked even after it's established that the machine doesn't work yet (it blows things up). While there are minors in the house.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the alternate mine track turns into a dangerously fast roller coaster track that is elevated over sharp rocks, has hairpin turns and sudden drops, and at one point runs high above a magma chamber. The various junctions and equipment strewn through the path indicate that miners (children, at that) are meant to work there. Another one possibly justified because the owners were evil: the kids were slave labor. Amusingly, a boarded-up track has a "DANGER" sign across it. You don't say!
  • Lampshaded in I, Robot when Will Smith, trying to get to the brain of the villain computer, complains about the stupidity of a design involving narrow catwalks suspended over a 100+ -story shaft. Especially when trying to cross while being attacked by hundreds of killer robots.
    Spooner: This is poor building planning.
  • Most James Bond films contain examples of this, though it may often be justified as being part of the (super)villain's secret lair.
    • Dr. No has a completely unshielded nuclear reactor, complete with a coolant pool with barely a railing between it and the control stations. An Air-Vent Passageway even opens into the room.
    • Thunderball: The health spa at the beginning has a back-stretching machine. The nurse straps Bond into it, turns it on and leaves the room. Somebody else comes in and turns the machine to maximum setting, which nearly kills Bond. There's no reason why that machine should be capable of doing that. (The same could be said for the steam bath Bond tries to parboil Lippe with in return.)
    • In The Man with the Golden Gun, Scaramanga's laser has a maintenance access area mere inches from the path of the beam, which can be switched on if someone so much as bumps the control panel. Additionally, his complex's power source involves uncovered vats of cryogenic liquid, which naturally have catwalks above them from which it is easy to fall. Did we mention the whole thing explodes if something (like, say, a body) causes the temperature to rise?
    • In Moonraker, Bond turns off the artificial gravity of the Big Bad's space station with the flip of a switch.
      • In the same film, Drax's astronaut training center has a centrifuge that apparently has a 'kill' setting for no reason. There is a kill switch, but if that doesn't work (or someone disconnects it), the person inside the centrifuge is dead meat.
    • In Licence to Kill, Bond is trapped on a conveyor belt leading to a pair of toothed rollers. There is an emergency stop switch... on the far end of the conveyor. Then again, this may have been a deliberate Death Trap.
    • In Goldeneye, the Big Bad keeps drums of aircraft fuel and vats of cryogenic liquid in the same room as the workstations from which he controls everything.
    • In Tomorrow Never Dies, a number of mooks end up crushed by newspaper printing presses. Later, we see the Big Bad's ship, in which both the Sea Drill and a nuclear missile are stored and launched in the same space as the crew's workstations. There doesn't even appear to be any means of venting exhaust from the rocket motor.
    • Die Another Day: The diamond lasers at the Big Bad's ice fortress apparently have some sort of Party Mode, where pressing a button will cause them all to turn on and start spinning around wildly.
    • Quantum of Solace: If you're going to run your hotel on hydrogen fuel cells, you might want to protect all that explosive hydrogen with more than a chain-link fence. Then again, the hotel was still under construction. How, exactly, does one recharge said fuel cells? By separating the hydrogen atoms and oxygen atoms in plain, ordinary water, which is, thanks to Quantum's activities, in very short supply in Bolivia. Karmic Death never tasted so good.
    • Spectre: 007 blows up a gas canister in Blofeld's Moroccan base in the middle of a gunfight. As he and the Bond Girl bail out, the entire lair explodes in smithereens because of a chain reaction that was apparently caused by shooting the gas valve. It's probably the most fragile Supervillain Lair in the Bond franchise, and Bond nonchalantly looks at the base exploding, as he's been used to trashing and destroying villain bases.
  • Jurassic Park. In both the novel and the film, the park is not ready to be opened to the general public. In the novel, Hammond is simply too arrogant to really care; in the film, he's too optimistic. Several of these were patched by the time Jurassic World opens up.
    • In the book most of these things can be explained by the fact that Hammond is basically a scam artist who tricked people into investing. Despite his claims to the contrary a lot of the park has been built cheaply, or simply hasn't been finished. Also, the disastrous lack of staff can be explained by his desire to keep the park a secret until it opened. A necessity considering that he is playing fast and loose with the law.
    • The entire park relies exclusively on electric fences to keep the dinosaurs penned in. Did Hammond honestly not consider the possibility that something as prone to temporary failures as electricity would not be enough on its own? Hammond seriously intends to operate a family-oriented theme park that will always be just one power outage away from disaster.
    • You would also think Hammond would keep a well-armed security force on standby in case any dinosaurs escape, but nope. The park appears to have no full time security guards.
    • "I told you we needed locking mechanisms on the vehicle doors!" Hammond's much-vaunted automated tour cars can be opened while in motion, and the vehicle does not stop at any point. It could make it incredibly easy for a guest to get lost in the park (with all the environmental hazards this implies), or get run over by another tour car.
    • There are poisonous — but very pretty! — plants everywhere throughout the facilities, from the Visitor Center landscaping (within reach of guests, including children) to the animal enclosures, where the park's prized dinosaurs could consume them. In the novel, Ellie even lampshades the stupidity of having an incredibly poisonous plant around the pool. This plant is so toxic you can get sick just from touching it.
    • Electric fences are within quick and easy reach of anyone, from park guests to park personnel. If a park guest gets out of the tour car (see above) there's nothing stopping them from reaching out and grabbing a fence line. Bear in mind that these fences are sufficiently electrified to prevent enormous dinosaurs from breaking through. Guess what happens if a much smaller animal, like a human, touches them. Also, there are security doors to the animal paddocks which have electrified locks on the outside of the door, so anyone wandering the service roads can stumble into them.
    • And those electronic locks? Can't be operated by hand. One of the most tense scenes near the end of the film becomes ludicrous when the Fridge Logic hits you that a manual deadbolt could have solved the entire "boot up the system/keep out the raptor" dilemma much more easily. Lampshaded by "Weird Al" Yankovic on the Rifftrax commentary:
      "Y'know, my bathroom door has a button on the knob. Ya press it, AND IT LOCKS."
    • Raptors are loaded into (and presumably, unloaded from) their exclusive pen by means of a large opening at the end of the structure. A cage is then pushed into place so that it opens into this door, spilling its content into the raptor pen. The problems with this are numerous: a) there is no mechanism locking the cage into place and fix it to the door; b) there's no counterweight on the other side of the cage; c) the cage is light enough to be pushed into place by hand; d) the cage door has to be raised by a park worker standing on top of the cage and lifting the door with his own strength and balance — even though the pen is already equipped with a crane for lowering food into it.
    • No independent, battery-powered emergency lighting anywhere. Not even in the service sheds with the deep, steep staircases leading down into pitch darkness. And we don't mean "flashlights," we mean basic emergency floodlights on walls or ceilings, particularly in vital areas like the control rooms and generator rooms.
    • According to the book, the backup generator did not have sufficient power to run the fences on the animal paddocks. Which means that losing main power for more than a few minutes (even for things like planned maintenance) brings a non-trivial risk of the animals breaking out. And the mechanisms used to make sure that the controllers are aware that the system is on backup power (and that the backup generator was running out of fuel) were clearly inadequate, as nobody remembered any of this until the backup generator shut down.
    • And in Jurassic World...
      • Once again, a lackluster security force. Although a special capture unit is sent to hunt down the Indominus rex, the park itself is completely unguarded, there are no proper evacuation procedures, immediate access to shelters, or even trained personnel to assist visitors in emergency situations.
      • Guests can easily override controls of the "hamster ball" tour vehicles and venture into areas not meant to be visited. Even a supermarket's shopping cart has active locks to prevent it from rolling out of its designated range, but these hamster balls can go wherever they please.
      • The Mosasaurus pool, like any aquatic animal show, has stadium seating. Presumably, the dino can't get out of the pool, but the climax of the movie reveals it can leap out to ground-level (that is, over the top of the seats) whenever it pleases. That's a lot of crushed and/or eaten guests if it ever gets peckish during a show!
      • The Indominus is kept in a pen with severely deficient security cameras — it can easily hide from them at its leisure — and security is staffed by a single, inattentive, out-of-shape guard. The pen itself, while admittedly meant to be temporary, has neither the moat of its predecessors nor a double-door access corridor like the current raptor pen does, so the Indominus only needs to slip out one door to break free.
  • The Bloody Hilarious German training video parody Klaus the Forklift Driver. Actually, the workplace does conform to all safety standards, but the employees keep ignoring the safety rules and the film shows the disastrous consequences. It must be seen to be believed.
  • In Let the Right One In, fourth-floor hospital windows can be opened — by the patient from the inside, no less! Shockingly, someone falls to his death. Even in 1980s Europe, windows in hospitals were permanently closed to prevent suicide, or sometimes people getting in.
  • In Lockout, the spaceship has some panel on the wall that explodes violently when shot ONCE (despite bullets being shot all over the place in other scenes with no similar explosions).
    • Also, when Hock locks himself and Emily in a room and shoots the door lock to lock them inside, somehow he nicks a nitrogen line which slowly fills the room with nitrogen gas. WHY is there a nitrogen gas tube running through the wall of a cell?
  • The Lord of the Rings movies never have handrails on their catwalks and bridges above bottomless pits. This is justified for Sauron's forces, given that the dark lord probably doesn't place much of a worth on a single orc's life, and Sauron himself couldn't be killed by heat or a fall, but that doesn't explain Saruman's ramshackle construction sites. The prevailing lack of handrails on high bridges and ledges makes even less sense in Rivendell, Moria, and Erebor.
    • In The Hobbit, Erebor had some pretty questionable mining practices. The crowning glory has to be the guy who thrusts a red-hot metal nugget into a pair of enormous hammers right above his head. With his hand.
    • And the Dwarven Steel Mill at the basement of Erebor would be closed within seconds should OSHA get a hint. The blast furnaces (which emit carbon monoxide and Hell-Fire in Real Life) are located indoors and the runners for hot metal are completely open, with no protective measures for the workers. It generally isn't a good idea to surf on a wheelbarrow on a stream of glowing hot metal.
    • There is, however, a very practical reason for all those narrow rail-less bridges across bottomless pits — they force any attacking army into an easily-defended chokepoint which has no cover whatsoever from arrow fire.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Averted early in The Incredible Hulk, when Bruce Banner (working at a Brazilian soft drink bottling plant) cuts his finger and immediately has them shut down the production line so he can make sure his blood didn't taint any bottles. Unfortunately, Bruce stops when he sees a blood spatter on the conveyor belt, completely missing the droplet that landed on a bottle and kicks off the main plot by revealing his location to General Ross.
    • The Avengers plays it straight, however. The helicarrier may be a marvel of engineering, but one has to wonder what goes on behind the scenes at SHIELD, since no one seems to have realised that angling the flight deck out over one of the four rotors holding the carrier aloft is an astoundingly bad idea. Of course, we see later on in the film that it is possible to slow down the rotors, and the 'carrier can fly on just three. But that still means it's designed to have its own flight capability hampered every time it lands a plane, and the uneven use would lead to nonuniform wear on the engines.
      • Additionally, these are four immensely powerful rotors — powerful enough to, when activated, expel hundreds of thousands of liters of ocean water out the turbines in order to lift the Helicarrier out of the water, and then keep it aloft. They must gulp down an incalculable volume of air from directly above! Yet people standing on the landing strips can basically lean over the edge (which has no railing) to look at them, and risk getting sucked into them.
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, Etri's forge is ignited by a concentrated beam of solar energy so powerful it can melt just about anything. If the focusing lenses don't open, there's a set of levers that can be pulled to manually open them, which close the moment you stop pulling on them. In order to pull the levers, you must stand directly in the path of the beam the lens creates.
  • The title city's underground machine rooms in Metropolis fit this trope. Unlike most examples, the fact that the people in charge of the city didn't care about the safety of the workers is a major plot point.
  • The cult Soviet sci-fi two-parter Moscow — Cassiopeia has the relativistic starship ZARYa crewed by teens due to the length of the journey. The safety features appear to be more or less ok (even the walls on The Bridge are padded in case of sudden acceleration), except for the garbage disposal system. It's a hatch that swivels in the middle as soon as the Big Red Button is pushed, putting the garbage into a large pyramid-shaped transparent container and immediately ejects it into space. It's no surprise when a crewmember (albeit one who sneaks aboard) accidentally gets dumped into space and has to be recovered by The Captain going EVA before Proxima Centauri toasts him.
  • In Murders in the Zoo, the zoo has an unenclosed bridge on a public path that crosses over the crocodile pool. Unsurprisingly, Eric Gorman pushes his wife to her death off it.
  • The climactic battle in The One, starring Jet Li, takes place in just such a factory. A couple of isolated, detonated explosives, and suddenly the entire building is a shower of sparks and flame. But at least the walkways can handle guys leaping twenty feet into the air before landing on them.
  • In The Phantom Planet, two plates that produce enough gravitational force to disintegrate, which are used in a death duel built around the participants attempting to push each other onto the plates, are simply left activated without anything resembling a warning sign or safety rail. This is especially stupid because the plates can be turned off; they just apparently don't bother to do so after they're used.
  • In the beginning of Reign of Fire, it's just the employees for a change who display horrible disregard for safety precautions: A child around ten years old is allowed to enter a tunnel excavation site without adult escort or wearing a hard hat just because he is the son of the forewoman (who doesn't care about this either). Meanwhile, one of the workers has hit an underground cavern and gets the bright idea to send the kid in to check out this completely unknown territory. Sure, he decided to do that on his own and was a Jerkass anyway, but that's just idiotic.
  • Justified in the 1984 Killer Robot movie Runaway, where the reason for the lack of safety rails on a construction site is that only robots work up there. Knowing that the hero suffers from vertigo, it's where the Big Bad chooses to make a hostage exchange. Played straight, though, when the button to reset the elevator turns out to be underneath it, so Ramsey has to climb under the lift platform while hundreds of stories up.
  • Skyline gives us the trusty old "roof door that locks people out on the roof". Roof doors only lock on the inside of the building, to keep people from going out and jumping/falling off. They don't have locks on the outside so people don't get stuck out there.
  • In a fight scene from Snowpiercer, Minsoo throws a baddie off a catwalk and into an irresponsibly uncovered cog machinery.
  • In Spider-Man 3, the soon-to-be Sandman falls into a sand-filled open pit that is part of some lethal-looking experiment involving mysterious radiation. He had to climb a fence with a sign that said "DANGER DON'T COME IN HERE", which he either missed or ignored in desperation to escape the cops. Considering how many superheroes and villains owe their powers to messed-up experiments, one would think that engineers and scientists have learned to at least put a cover on the damn pit so that enterprising kids and random rabbits don't fall in. There is a fence and a warning sign, but apparently they never got the memo that the Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence only existed in video games. Even better, the scientists involved in the project did have the foresight to make sure the system warned them if foreign matter appeared inside the sand pit, but then decided that it wasn't worth worrying about. One of them decided that it was probably a bird that would fly off when they started, and told the other one to continue with the experiment.
  • The Star Trek films:
    • Star Trek: The Motion Picture: A transporter which is on the fritz and not safe for use will apparently still accept incoming transports from another location, rather than letting the sender do all the work. Given they were working on a console which went haywire due to the transport, this could be chalked up to extraordinarily bad timing, though it still raises the question as to why no one told the sender that transport wasn't safe. Kirk, after all, was beamed into an orbiting station and then flown over. Also, beginning in this movie and in the rest of the TOS movies, engineers now had radiation suits.
    • Seen in the 1982 film, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, in the engine room of the USS Enterprise. Apparently, there's some sort of engine chamber containing radioactive materials, and the only way to enter this chamber is through a revolving door. When Spock goes in to make repairs (with no radiation suit!) he cannot be retrieved for medical treatment because the entire compartment would be flooded with radiation. Justified by the massive battle damage that had caused the leak in the first place. Word of God is that Starfleet had that design there because they figured any ship that damaged was as good as dead anyway.
    • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country has this as a plot point. Praxis exploded because the Klingons have No OSHA Compliance. Their mining operations were so extensive and poorly regulated that the whole planet was a powder keg waiting for a spark.
    • Oh, Star Trek: First Contact...
      • Some of the hull windows were said to be force fields, but this was in an enclosed maintenance-type area seemingly only accessible via Jeffries tubes and was normally covered by a retractable piece of hull anyway. As it is, force fields are used to seal hull breaches in any case in every series other than Enterprise.
      • There are some coolant pipes running up from the floor. They are filled with a flesh-melting gas capable of filling quite a good chunk of engineering. The plan involves puncturing one by shooting it. The backup plan has Data... karate-chopping it.
      • "Excuse me sir, I have some questions. So you don't want to fire our weapons in Engineering, to avoid hitting the warp core. Okay, that makes sense. But you want us to hit the smaller, harder-to-hit part that's right next to it?"
    • In Star Trek: Nemesis. The green shiny glowy thing channeling Thalaron radiation in Shinzon's ship is all open and exposed, allowing anybody to walk right up to it, hand phaser said glowy thing, and blow the ship all to hell.
      • Also, the chamber containing said device is immediately aft of the bridge, that apparently anyone can just walk into.
    • Star Trek (2009):
      • Romulan Space Mining Corp apparently picked up ship design plans from the Republic/Imperial Industrial Design Bureau, specifically Volume 3: "Platforms, No Safety Railings, and Bottomless Chasms". Given justification in the prequel comic, saying the Narada was warped by Borg tech. Also justified in that (1): it was a mining vessel, and probably used the chasms for storage and (2) they are Romulans. With enhanced strength and agility they can quite easily jump from platform to platform, and don't need to worry about falling.
      • Alternate-timeline Starfleet, on the other hand, makes this token effort to avert the trope in the transporter room: "Caution: Do not enter transporter while transport is in progress." Most people, when dealing with something as absurdly dangerous and volatile as a transporter (which, in terms of Starfleet accidents, are probably second after the infamous holodeck), would have instituted advanced technology like a door, which would have to be shut before the transporter could be operated.
      • Though the engineering areas of Federation ships in the movie seem to have plenty of railings and OSHA compliance (they would, since they were filmed in actual factories, like the Budweiser brewery!), there's no clear reason why those super-futuristic warp cores need so much smoke and fire, or why interplanetary shuttlecraft seem to emit so much steam.
  • The Star Wars galaxy is filled with indoor, 500+ foot deep (and often completely pointless) chasms that have no guardrails.
    • Even the Emperor's throne room has a Bottomless Pit with little waist-height rails. Its mouth is at the top of a skyscraper above the Death Star, bringing up some interesting Fridge Logic as to why this pit had to be extended up the building.
      • This could possibly be explained as using less metal to create the Death Star, making it less expensive.
      • Offhand it appears as though the spire is hollow with the elevator running up the middle, and what Palpatine gets chucked down is the interior of the spire.
    • In a A New Hope, the tractor beam's power is controlled through a panel perched on a tower over a bottomless pit. Also, the catwalk to access the controls is about a foot wide. And those two controller dudes perched on the itty bitty platform right next to the gigantic superlaser beam!
      • Another scene in the film where Luke and Leia are stuck in an arch way that has an extendable bridge over another giant chasm. Not only do we never get an explanation why the Death Star needs these giant trenches inside a space stationnote , but we also see no sign that the extendable bridge has guard rails, nor was there anything preventing Luke from running off the edge through the open door way that didn't even have a warning about the giant trench. Luke was able to effectively "lock" the door behind him by shooting the door control/bridge extension on his side, some how deactivating the door controls on the other side, all without a manual way to extend the bridge or open the door.
    • Coruscant is chock full of Floating Platforms, none of which have proper railings, only an ankle-high border that most likely makes things worse by making it easier to trip and fall to your death. Not helped by the fact that so many people wear robes.
      • Padmé's apartment, at the top of a miles-high skyscraper, also has a huge open balcony with no railings in her living room. It is, however, convenient for parking a starfighter there so that one can make a dramatic exit. Hope she wasn't planning to raise her kids in the place though. (She isn't there was an an entire scene where she discusses raising them on Naboo.)
    • The Geonosian Droid Factory from Attack of the Clones Is this even by the standards of the galaxy in-universe. Conveyor Belt o' Doom, retractable platforms, giant swinging arms that can decapitate a person, and giant vats for carrying molten being carried on rail located right next to more of the obligatory platforms with no guardrails. Despite this it is shown having a manual override that actually works and most of it is Justified as A. The factory has been closed down for centuries so it naturally would not be up to date in terms of saftey standards. B. The Geonisian Aristocrats exhibit a We Have Reserves mentality, C. Said Reserves are conditioned solely to serve those Aristocrats and don't about the lack of safety standards. D. The entire operation is illegal. and E. The above mentioned retractable platform is meant to serve as a launchpad for the winged overseer drones to use.
    • Mustafar. Between the unstable (after Obi and Vader cause a Failsafe Failure) platforms all over and the lava, it is not surprising The Separatist chose this planet as their final hideout. The only thing keeping the place from melting to slag were the forcefields... which were disabled by two guys laser-swordfighting.
    • The Phantom Menace's climactic lightsaber battle maintained the franchise's proud standard of bottomless pits without safety rails around them.
    • Bizarrely, the primitive Ewoks actually have railings in their tree villages. Even more bizarrely, these are at a height suitable for human-sized beings (they are like chin-up bars for Ewoks).
    • Zig-zagged in The Force Awakens. Han Solo confronts Kylo/Ben on a narrow walkway with no handrails, then gets stabbed and falls to his death. Rey climbs around the inside of Starkiller Base using access panels which really should have some sort of walkway to them. On the other hand, several walkways ARE shown with safety railings.
    • It is likely that one of the biggest problems in the Star Wars universe is death by door. Palpatine must've hired Joseph-Ignace Guillotin as his interior designer.
      • The Death Star is a space-going battlestation, and the most fearsome weapon ever produced. It's expected that it's going to come under attack, especially by large ships with big guns trying to pulverize it. Decompression is a real risk, and given the Empire's proven disregard for human (to say nothing of non-human) life, it's no surprise at all that they would prioritize preventing the crew of a critical operations room from being blown into space over a few guys getting bisected by speed door. The even faster-and-heavier door in Padme's throne room? Anti-intruder security maybe? For a peace-loving agrarian society, the Naboo seem to have an abundance of practical paranoia, at least as far as their rulers are concerned.
    • The blast doors. These are quadruple-section doors that close in from the corners, leaving an increasingly-shrinking square in the middle. Yes, in the event of decompression or a firefight, these doors need to close quickly for the safety of the onboard personnel (and to prevent pesky intruders from escaping, natch). But if a body (organic or mechanic) gets caught in the opening and mulched by the doors, that's a whole lotta cleaning up involved, and that's if the doors don't jam from all that matter caught in them. An episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars has a clonetrooper dying in exactly this way while trying to escape from a maximum-security Separatist prison planet. The actual death is off-screen, but you can tell exactly what happened.
    • Pod racing on Tatooine is recklessly dangerous even by the standards of the Star Wars Universe. No safety inspection before the race, many places along the track you can ram other racers off the road and not be seen, the course winds through hazards like canyons and Sand People territory (who just love to shoot at the races), any pod, no matter how much of a death trap, is accepted, and even children are allowed to participate. Did we mention the part where the pods are basically jet engines held together by a magnetic grid and leather?
      • Also keep in mind that these podraces took place on a planet that was essentially run by organized crime (the Hutts), and the people who participated were either really good at it and a little bit crazy, people down on their luck hoping to win enough money to leave the planet, or slaves who were forced to participate. When Tusken Raiders camped out and started shooting at the racers (killing a couple), the crowd cheered. Nobody cared how unsafe it was, it was all part of the show.
      • This was elaborated on in Legends, where it's revealed that podracing was eventually banned by the Empire; not that this necessarily stops dangerous activities, since Swoop racing becomes popular afterwards. This was declared by some to be an example of Imperial bigotry, since almost all swoop racers are human while almost all podracers are non-human. If so, the Empire was accidentally doing the aliens a favor.
  • Terminator:
    • The Terminator: The final fight takes place in a dangerous factory, with Sarah Connor using it as her only weapon.
    • Terminator 2: Judgment Day averts this, as the smelting factory here has plenty of guardrails, with the only spot without them intended for lowering objects into a vat. The factory is also evacuated when a helium tanker crashes into it, with one worker hitting the alarm and everyone immediately running for it.
    • Oddly, Terminator Salvation's factory at the end does have guardrails, even though it's been used for years by robots who would never need them.
  • In Three Big Men, Evil Spider-Man is gruesomely killed in various ways in a factory, including a printing press, crushed by gears, and even ran over by rail carts. SHEESH...
  • Total Recall (1990):
    • In the Martian spaceport the windows protecting the terminal from the near-vacuum outside: a) are not bulletproof, despite the presence of armed guards and agents, b) shatter completely from a handful of bullet holes, making those small holes into one large one, and c) have emergency shutters that must be activated manually, while holding on for dear life as the room rapidly decompresses. And the whole bay over the dome is just as fragile, minus the shutter due to its size.
    • Near the end of the movie Quaid and Rictor fight on a large cargo elevator which ascends from a wide open room into a shaft with the walls flush right next to the edges of the elevator, with no guard rails or cage on the elevator to prevent something from getting caught in between and crushed. (Guess how the fight scene ends?)
  • In both the film and comic versions of Watchmen, someone thought it was a good idea to have a room with what is essentially a disintegrator run on a timer. Meaning the timer automatically closes and locks the door, before activating the machine a bit later. All of this without anyone present to make sure someone doesn't wander through the door, get locked in and vaporized. Apparently there's not even an emergency stop switch anywhere near the machine either. Or, inside the room. And yet, the inability to open the door after the countdown's started? "It's a safety feature." In the comic, the font size of the text is intentionally taken down to point out that the scientist himself sees the stupidity of the safety feature.
  • In WarCraft, Dalaran seems to have no railings whatsoever, which is especially problematic in that it's a city made of platforms floating hundreds of metres aboveground. Presumably, the magical inhabitants of Dalaran don't see the need for it, as they can turn into birds, teleport or cast shields long before hitting the ground.
  • Westworld is built on this trope.
    • The master control room is airtight, has no emergency exit, and in the event of a power failure, there is no way to open the doors or get fresh air into the room, or to contact the outside world, so everyone dies. Apparently this is standard engineering practice because the staff don't even seem all that surprised by this appalling lack of safety procedures, just frustrated that the power failed.
    • The concept of Westworld involves giving loaded firearms to ordinary tourists and encouraging them to engage in movie-style gunfights and barroom brawls, with the precaution that the guns won't fire directly at other tourists and the robots won't harm the tourists. These precautions seem totally inadequate! The tourists could cause all sorts of harm by careless handling of firearms even without directly shooting each other. And they could hurt themselves and others quite easily in a brawl, even if the robots don't attack them directly. However, there are possible justifications for this — a small degree of risk may be part of the appeal of Westworld, it is not clear whether it is located in a country with strict safety enforcement, and it is possible there are more safety precautions we are not told about.
  • The ending of White Heat, starring James Cagney, is a fight scene that takes place in a chemical plant in Long Beach, CA. This one is somewhat justified in that there was a firefight where pipes and tanks were hit, and Cagney's character randomly turned several valves in an attempt to cause distractions.
  • Wild Wild West: The cockpit for Loveless' Spider Tank is missing a big chunk of railing. Sure enough, one of his own henchwomen falls to her death when startled by the heroes.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: Many parts of the factory violate the OSHA laws as thoroughly analyzed by Film Theory. Examples include, but aren't limited to:
    • The height of the hallway right before the chocolate room. note 
    • Repeated lack of guardrails or bannisters.
    • Repeated lack of safety equipment.
    • Many exposed hot pipes in the inventing room.
    • A deadly fan in the same room as soda that makes you float to it, with no sign of grating to prevent anyone from being chopped up.
    • The Wonka-Mobile covering everyone in foam and sending them through a car wash. Fun Fact 
    • The fates of the kids sans Charlie.

      The same video, however, points out that the movie was made, and presumably takes place, shortly before OSHA was established, possibly turning these into subversions; you can't violate something that doesn't yet exist. That said, see the entry of Film Theory.

  • Animorphs 26, "The Attack", sees the kids transported to an alien world covered in giant super-structures described as the kind of Lego towers gods would make. They're understandably disturbed by the complete lack of railings, but after Jake uses it to take out a Howler, he decides it's "a kind of crazy I could get to like."
  • Some parts of the eponymous factory in Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are pretty dangerous. Part of the problem is that Willy Wonka is an incredibly eccentric person and is obsessed with attractive aesthetics ("I insist upon my rooms being beautiful!") over safety issues, and it's also possible that he doesn't care that much about the latter given his near-indifference to the accidents his guests get themselves into.
  • Discworld: The climactic confrontation in Feet of Clay takes place in a screamingly dangerous candle factory, in a medievalesque parody of the factory scene from The Terminator. Justified in that Ankh-Morpork laughs in the face of any kind of health or safety regulation.
  • Domina: Played with. When Adam lures the Composer into Zero Forge, he finally defeats her (for the moment) by knocking her into a giant vat of liquid nitrogen. Zero Forge has a bunch of them just lying around. However, they have dozens of failsafes and safeties to keep people from just falling in; Adam has to manually disable a few things before MC is able to hack in and open the lid on one of the vats.
  • In Eden Green, the main characters visit an alternate world from which horrifying needle monsters are invading, and explore a mountain once occupied by an alien civilization. The tunnels sometimes run along the outside of the mountains, with no handrails; the title character even points out how dangerous this is.
  • In Foundation, it is mentioned that "some fool tampered with" a large nuclear plant, and, depending on the edition, either leveled or contaminated half a city. An earlier story featured a badly repaired station doing the same to half a planet.
  • The Great Ship series has very little in the way of OSHA compliance — ships and trains will accelerate at a hundred Earth gravities, turning the passengers into what amounts to a bag of blood and bone dust, until the passenger's Healing Factor kicks in.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Hogwarts is a really unsafe school by any standards. There are many well-known spots, such as a disappearing step, constantly shifting staircases, or the giant murder tree on the grounds, around the castle that nobody bothers to fix or at least warn the students about. Potions is done without even the most basic safety equipment, such as aprons or goggles. Not only does a badly made potion have a chance to explode or get in students' eyes, but also cause massive (painful) growths, catch everything on fire, or turn everybody into cats. That's not even getting into Quidditch, a game played hundreds of feet in the air on sticks of wood that has heat-seeking cannon balls trying to knock off students from their brooms. Good thing Madame Pomfrey's magical remedies are enough to handle all but the worst injuries. Plus it's right next to a monster-infested forest filled with dangerous creatures that include xenophobic centaurs, giant spiders, and possibly werewolves. It gets a lampshade as early as the second book, when the school is in danger of being shut down as a result of students getting petrified. Hagrid says that parents expect injuries at Hogwarts, what with all the underage magic going on in there, but that these particular attacks are too dangerous even for their relaxed standards.
    • The Ministry of Magic possesses a vast storeroom of magical artifacts, many of which are apparently quite dangerous, that are just haphazardly stacked on flimsy shelves. They also have a veiled archway which is apparently a direct portal to the afterlife. Said archway is simply left sitting on a dais without so much as a single railing around it to prevent someone from accidentally stumbling through it.
    • The wizarding world in general seems to be pretty lax about very weird accidents and rather dangerous beings and artifacts. Somewhat justified in that magic has a mind of its own and you're not going to be able to plan for all the ways it will go wrong, but nobody seems to consider taking even the simplest actions to reduce the possibility. Magic might be able to heal a great number of injuries, but it can't bring people back from the dead.
  • The issue is averted in Swedish dieselpunk novel Iskriget in which Johnny, a protagonist who usually works in a civilian airship, comments negatively on the cramped crew spaces inside a Russian military ice-cruiser.
  • The Chicago meatpacking industry in Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle. The whole industry, for the record. Not just a single plant. In fact, it was so graphic about things like this, that when President Theodore Roosevelt read it, he had inspectors investigate and found that Sinclair's claims were true. Roosevelt was so enraged that it led to sweeping safety laws and regulations for the meatpacking industry being passed, which eventually led to the creation of the FDA. One steel manufacturing plant also gets its due. In turn-of-the-century Chicago there were very few non-hazardous industrial jobs, since there are few if any capitalist motives to keep low-level employees safe and healthy. As soon as one worker got sick or injured, there were hundreds if not thousands of desperate immigrants lined up at the factory gates to take his place.
  • In one scene from the Lensman novel Galactic Patrol, an insane crewmember destroys himself by vaulting his control panel and landing on a series of high-voltage power distribution circuits. Is he in Engineering? No, he's the Navigator/Pilot and he's on the bridge of his ship.
  • The Lord of the Rings: In The Fellowship of the Ring, the Fellowship has to cross the bridge of Khazad-dûm in Moria, which is right above a huge chasm with no rails or walls, wide enough for just one person. It's justified since the route was just the "back door" and the bridge is a defensive measure against orc or goblin attack. The attacking army would be forced to go single file at a snail's pace to avoid tripping, while the dwarves could pelt them with arrows from a safe position. The main entrance has a massive, magically reinforced gate instead.
  • The Master Key: Rob crossed his entire bedroom floor with live wires. How is he still alive?!
  • Pile-Up from Parellity, a city built by bandits and marauders.
  • Lampshaded, just like everything else in the book, in Redshirts, when an emergency door is closed by shooting the lock panel, much to the incredulity of one of the characters, who retorts that the space station "one big code violation."
  • The third book of Septimus Heap features a narrow, wobbling bridge without handrails.
  • Most of the illustrations of machines and architecture in the works of Dr. Seuss are full of tall, rickety buildings as well as staircases and walkways with no guardrails.
  • Subverted in Spinneret: the alien facility that the humans are investigating has nice things like safety interlocks on doors to prevent people from entering hazardous areas. Problem is, humans can't read the warning signs, and interlocks don't help if you're on the wrong side of the door before things are turned on...
  • Subversion of the inversion of the "No Seat Belts in Star Trek" issue below, in a Deep Space Nine novel: despite shoddy production standards in the future's future (as the Federation is falling apart and the universe is about to end), the new Phoenix features safety restraints on all the bridge chairs. Captain Nog then uses them to restrain the entire bridge crew in preparation to betray them to the Romulans. It's a time-paradox-enabled Gambit Roulette.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • In the Star Wars Rebels prequel novel, A New Dawn, this becomes a notable problem in the Gorse system. Thorilide production and mining weren't exactly safe jobs to begin with (especially the part about baradium-bisulfate being transported between Gorse and its moon, Cynda), but they at least had safety procedures. However, once Count Denetrius Vidian came to the system and started prioritizing efficiency over safety, things got worse (and given the Empire's track record with this trope in both canon and Legends, it's not all that surprising). For instance, in the mostly-abandoned Moonglow mining facility on Gorse, the Count suggests that living beings work around exposed acid pools without safety rails (and note that this is on a planet where earthquakes are frequent) — when Moonglow's comparatively sane boss works around the facility's otherwise blatant lack of safety regulations by having droids work around the vats. There are even protests for better worker safety on Gorse. Ironically, Vidian used to be a safety inspector when he was Lemuel Tharsa, but became disillusioned with the job after being in too many non-OSHA compliant facilities and exposed to many dangerous chemicals that ate away his most of his body. In the two-chapter epilogue, most of the miners leave the Gorse system and Vidian's rival, Baron Lero Danthe, decides to just have heat-shielded droids mine the thorilide on Gorse's uninhabitable sunny side.
    • The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher (a retelling of The Empire Strikes Back in the style of William Shakespeare) has a scene in which two Mooks discuss this. Apparently, the Empire's building codes require the existence of large, railing-free pits next to pedestrian areas in the middle of all major buildings. They decide it's intended as a giant boast: the Empire has no OSHA compliance because they laugh in the face of death.
  • Star Wars Legends: Death Star the novel by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry. Bureaucratic incompetence and slave labor combine to create a really unsafe Death Star. Are you going to make your evil master's starbase safe?
    • The architect character almost always lampshades this when she's shown at work. It's even implied that the station would be even more of a deathtrap without her input.
  • While it's not the site of a fight scene, the eponymous school of the Wayside School series of books exemplifies this trope. The setting is a 30-classroom school "accidentally" built thirty stories high, and missing a nineteenth story. The school can start to sway as a result of high winds (as per the second novel in the series, Wayside School is Falling Down). The main characters, a class of students on the thirtieth floor, are led onto the rooftop by their teacher. A fire drill is also taking place, and the students believe that no one will be able to rescue them. However, it's only a herd of cows that have somehow managed to get onto every floor of the building. Poor planning, at that. You can also fall out of the window if you're too close to it and fall asleep. Luckily, the school is so tall that there's plenty of time for Louis the yard teacher to run up and catch you. (Of course, in real life, all this would accomplish would be killing the yard teacher, but the Rule of Funny rules at Wayside.)

    Newspaper Comics 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Exalted, this is the unintentional design ethos of Autochthon, the Primordial "god" of technology and progress. Machines practically worship him and are incapable of hurting him, so it never occurs to him to bother with even the most basic safety features. He just doesn't realize that rapidly spinning razor sharp gears, giant slamming pistons, huge arcs of lightning, deadly steam vents, and whipping monofilaments are dangerous to other people. His creations are all of impeccable quality and quite unlikely to break, but he makes no attempts at safety for human users. Autochthon's inhabited interior isn't any safer.
  • Paranoia tabletop role-playing game: Life in the dystopian Alpha Complex is a daily struggle against insane regulations, faulty or untested equipment, and impossible odds for most clones (against their fellow clones). Especially if they happen to fall into the food vats. Remember, citizen, happiness is mandatory. The Computer is your friend.
    • Not only justified but actively encouraged in Paranoia. Since The Computer is responsible for everything, questioning safety measures means you are questioning The Computer. Which is treason.
      • Not bringing potentially dangerous working conditions to the attention of Friend Computer is also treason, but that's a different trope.
  • Robo Rally revolves around robots who race for their lives in a factory full of lasers, crushers, Conveyor Belt o' Doom, and so on...
  • Spelljammer setting has "Accelerator", Magitek cannon that pulls into the barrel and shoots anything placed on its reception cup. Which specifically included a torn off hand of any poor sod who failed to drop ammo accurately, or just stumbled and accidentally grabbed the cup.
  • Some of the artwork for Warhammer 40,000 utterly embraces this trope (as do certain game mechanics — for example, every tank is a Sherman), in the name of the Rule of Cool. Oddly averted in-universe, however, as the Adeptus Mechanicus do follow safety instructions.
    • They don't seem to think too much about people tripping on the exposed cables they leave all over the floor in every single piece of art they appear in, though. Repeatedly lampshaded in the Ciaphas Cain series.
    • Depending on your average tech priest, Machine Safety may mean making things safe for their operators or making things safe for the machines. Securing the obligatory giant industrial fan may mean putting a grating on top of it... or making it strong enough that it can shear through a human falling into it without ceasing to work.
    • Played with in the Adeptus Mechanicus: it's implied that much of the rituals are actually timing methods for the various machines. They often coincide with exactly how long it takes a machine to boot up, for example. This is done in such a way that while the Techpriest might not understand what he is doing, the thought of an angry machine spirit is fear enough that he will never stray from protocol. Given that an angry machine spirit usually reacts by malfunctioning, it's unknown if the precursors to the Ad Mechs actually implemented the ritualization knowing his people will devolve into religious fanatics, or if it's just a massive misunderstanding in the first place.
    • Ork technology, on the other hand, runs this completely straight. Much of their tech literally runs on the Ork's belief the tech will work. When it doesn't work, the results are quite explosive, which isn't necessarily a bad thing in the Orks' eyes. Also some of their weapons use sentient creatures as ammo.
  • In BattleTech, the Clans have this reputation. Since they're a caste-based society, the warriors (the top caste) have utter disdain for the safety of technicians and laborers. When one technician defected to the Inner Sphere, he was utterly shocked by both the amount of safety equipment that techs were given to do their jobs and by the fact that when there was an accident, medics were immediately rushed out to save the victim's life.
    • Heck, the Clans were like this from their very earliest days, according to Historical: Operation Klondike. One interlude in that book is a message from a plant manager venting about the human consequences of the warriors' demand for more and more military material in the buildup to the retaking of the Pentagon Worlds:
      Every team on every shift has been working overtime FOR TWO YEARS. OF COURSE there's going to be accidents and quality control problems. WE JUST LOST THIRTEEN MEN because of an accident that COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED! I TOLD THEM six months ago that we needed to shut down the lines one shift every week for maintenance. And what did they do? They threatened me and my family if I didn't keep the lines running at full speed. I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner. And now that it did happen? They don't give a good goddamn that thirteen men are dead and twenty-three more are going to be in the hospital for months. They don't even realize that half a shift is GONE, or that it'll take MONTHS to get the plant operational again. We still have to make quota. They only care about their precious goddamn equipment. The HELL with the rest of us.

    Theme Parks 

  • The priceless Fairy Castle dollhouse assembled by Hollywood actress Colleen Moore is an invoked example: the professional architect who designed it wanted its layout to be whimsical, not functional. This includes this freestanding staircase in the Great Hall that only winged fairies could ever be expected to risk traversing, given its lack of railings.

    Web Comics 
  • 8-Bit Theater gives us the most dangerous thing in the dungeon.
  • Subverted in Antihero for Hire when Dragon and Crossroad fight on a walkway over vats of acid that turn out to be empty.
  • Darths & Droids: lampshades it, like every trope that's appeared in Star Wars. And again here, with inversion: the only places they have railings are the ones where a fall would likely not be fatal.
    • Which is probably the reason there are railings: If you survive, you can file an official complaint.
      • But then again, your grievance would probably be addressed by Vader himself which is even more dangerous to your continued existence.
  • DM of the Rings on Lothlórien:
  • Girl Genius has the quasi-overlord of Europe using Castle Heterodyne as a prison. The Castle is run by a fragmented artificial intelligence that interprets every order creatively as to cause the most death. This Castle is Ax-Crazy, it's inventive, and worst of all, it likes to think it has a sense of humor. Very rarely do the inmates actually complete their sentences. The Castle itself actually does employ some safety measures, primarily railings, but at the same time it has poison dispensers (clearly labelled) that are designed to curb illiteracy, giant killer jack-in-the-boxes in the nursery, a killer plant sitting in an open atrium, and a giant roaring fire consuming a section of the castle's basement. Considering the place was the home base of a family line of the most insane and violent Mad Scientists in history, the Heterodynes generally deliberately designed it that way.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, the first-year students' dorm rooms are stacked directly atop each other like bunks — 30 stories high. They can only be reached by ladder, and there is neither wall nor railing on the side with the drop. The unlined bridge over the Annan Waters, on the other hand, is actually justified: any railing would cast a shadow, which would allow the Glass-Eyed Men to cross. To offset the danger, it's at least twelve feet wide, so the only way to fall off is to be pushed.
  • The proto-webcomic Henchmen introduces the concept of the Health and Danger Department, working on the logic that the best possible fighting force is one in peak physical condition and constant mortal danger. Hence deliberately moving walkways over vats of toxic waste and whacking the poor henchmen about the head with a cricket bat while they fill in a "Risk-Awareness Test" form.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! has the peanut butter factory: a walkway over a huge open vat of peanut butter. At least it has railings.
  • Irregular Webcomic! spoofs lack of railings and Tolkien in this comic.
    • There's also this.
  • Minions At Work repeatedly invokes and discusses this — like here (the minion had said it needed handrails).
  • In Nip and Tuck, the Show Within a Show Rebel Cry features an attempt to avert an attack -- impossible because their unessential reactors were shut down by regulations.
  • Penny Arcade plays with it.
  • Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger had an arc poking fun at Star Trek, where the protagonist horrified by their ideas of safety and security, about from the moment he flew into a hangar of Enterprise expy and on... and on. It took two days of patching supervised by his AI to make him wear on this board something other than a spacesuit.
    Quentyn: Sorry, Captain. Old ranger cadet rule #1: "No matter how shiny the forcefield is, keep your helmet on until the airlock is closed."
  • The classic short webcomic series The Repository of Dangerous Things has a hilariously OSHA-noncompliant workspace as its chief element. See, for example, the pantry.
  • Schlock Mercenary:
  • Scumthorpe Tiberium from The Scumthorpe Files continuously pollutes water supply with radioactive waste, which leads to disastrous cases of genetic mutations among the future generations of SimNation.
  • The building containing various Secret Government Departments in Skin Horse. Lampshade Hanging:
    Tip: It's a nightmare of fungus, radiation, uncased asbestos and weird thing skittering. OSHA would have a fit if they were cleared to come down here.
    • Meanwhile, in-house security at black-ops agency Anasigma involves basically every lethal device you can imagine, and some you can't.
    Nera: [staring at giant swinging scythe] Why do people even work here?
  • The Snail Factory features industrial accidents as a recurring theme. In one episode it's even revealed that the factory saves money by not having guardrails around an open vat and allowing workers to fall in, thus increasing "the protein levels".
  • S.S.D.D lampshades and justifies this with Collective of Anarchist States Fabrication Site 12. The factory is completely automated, so there usually aren't people there to begin with. More importantly, the unstable A.I running the place does not like dealing with visitors, especially advisors and has Vetinari Job Security so she includes egregious safety violations to serve as Schmuck Bait. One inspector notes how suspicious this is and is killed for it.
  • Star Mares, like every other parody of Star Wars, makes a comment on the inability of Imperial planners to consider workplace safety in their designs. The ponies who work in 'The Pit' have submitted numerous requests to install simple safety rails in their wonky-gravity chamber and are repeatedly denied because it isn't in the budget and the safety measures would probably get eaten by the Pit's occupant anyway.
  • Zigzags in The Whiteboard. Paintball safety is a Serious Business (as in real life), with preemptive Amusing Injuries to violators (referees use tasers, mallets, staplers and duct tape); a oneshot character routinely violating safety rules wears an eyepatch. When it comes to other activities of Doc and Roger, they honestly try to comply with rules, with mixed results. Their coffee maker requires boiler operator's license, thus Sandy and Pirta cannot use it. Their nuclear reactors had to be kept secret until they finished the paperwork, and they still cannot be used for heating. Experimenting with time resulted in The Men in Black confiscating everything dangerous-looking. And sometimes Doc and Roger get carried away by prospects of More Dakka. This includes fireworks, custom paintball guns and Doc's cooking explosives.
  • In El Goonish Shive, the "Paranormal Things That Are Of Little Use To Anyone Storage Facility" or PTTAOLUTASF appears to be so low priority that some of it's windows don't even have glass.

    Web Original 
  • Hadriex: From time to time he gets a good jab in when he encounters these sorts of areas, but this scene takes the cake.
  • A Let's Play of The Legend of Zelda Parallel Worlds had some fairly funny discussion of this trope. Including a short parody of Stairway to Heaven.
  • Brought up in Cracked's 6 Sci-Fi Movie Conventions (That Need to Die) article. Sure, electronics spewing sparks when the ship's hit is dramatic, but why does the ship have such dangerous electronics in the first place?
  • The SCP Foundation plays with this. At the top of every article is an explanation on how to keep the various dangerous objects locked away, and how to handle the things safely, with all safety precautions that MUST be taken when testing the objects... for the scientists. The class-D's get no such comforts, doing jobs that have extremely high fatality rates, being just the test subjects to see what SCPs do (and all of them are terminated after a month if they somehow survive). Also, it is very clear that the Foundation is above many regulations of any country, OSHA, EPA, or otherwise, just to keep the horrors they deal with contained.
    • Many of the organizations that create SCPs don't make these things safe for anyone that goes near the objects. Dr. Wondertainment's toy robot's (Robo-Dude) only safety feature is the long winded warning it gives to anyone who tries to use it. The toy's features include "Fire Drill", "Ultra Plasma Rifle", and "Atomic Grenade." The Factory is even worse, proudly producing products that seem designed to kill anyone who even touches their products, such as a bouncy ball that increases in power each time it bounces (only stopping when it lands in water or leaves Earth orbit), destroying any building it is in.
    • Having said that, we get this little gem from Agent Lombardi:
    Agent Lombardi: Who here is willin' to die rather than give up on the mission? One, two, three, four… Okay, you five fail. Counter to what some dingbats will tell you, the latter is actually the preferred option.
  • It's explicitly mentioned in In Golden Waters that a lot of the seasteads were built with little in the way of safety measures and oversight. Inevitably, this gets a lot of people killed both during construction (mention of dead construction workers is frequent) and after it (when things inevitably start breaking down).
  • Defied in Ruby Quest. That giant room with the deadly spinning fans? They have guardrails. Pretty tall guardrails, coming up to an average human's chest. They're explicitly stated to be at least regulation height, if not higher. Thus, that patient "Stitches" still ended up getting killed by the fans was very suspicious to the staff (also because Stitches was "very familiar with the area" even when he was "still blind", mind you), which in turn tips them off to the fact that Ruby was a murderous psycho.
    • Played straight with most of the automatic doors, especially the "Z-hatch", which close with enough force to decapitate.
  • The Rifftrax for The Avengers mentions this trope by name by pointing out how lousy Loki's makeshift headquarters is.
    "Darn supervillains and their disregard for OSHA!"
  • This typically tends to bug the Yogscast when they play Minecraft together:
    • Ridgedog's efforts to build a working nuclear reactor with a third of the needed materials work... but it isn't wise to stand right next to.
    • In Moonquest, featuring Lewis Brindley, Simon Lane and Duncan Jones, the trio managed to (deep breath) use a pool of lava as a light source on the moon and nearly burn to death (the episode in which this happened was even named "Health and Safety Nightmare"), fall into the smelter a few times which resulted in at least one death, put electric fences right next to the front door and get themselves killed again (also supercharging creepers, which did damage to the base) and finally put down a working rocket with fuel loaded in their factory which subsequently destroys it and the surrounding area.
    • Played with in Sjin's Farm, in which Sjin and Lewis Brindley have a giant chasm next to their plot of land, which is covered in barley and thus obscured from view. During the time when it is left as is, Sjin falls in at least twice, losing their horse at one point when he forgets to rescue it. They eventually cover it up with dirt, solving the problemnote .
    • In Cornerstone, numerous problems arise from the island being in the middle of the air. Town members keep falling off the edge, though gliders mean that these falls are mostly a minor inconvenience. The exit to the "Mile High Club" room (that Hat Films built) is a drop straight down onto land, meaning that the oblivious Sips falls to his death. Furthermore, expanding the island proves troublesome when Hat Films forget to lay torches down, causing mobs to spawn and rush the players.
  • Radham Academy in Twig has a very simple policy in case of escaped experiments in the Bowels: Seal off the area with giant stone blocks, send in Gorger, wait a few days, then cleanse it with fire and chemical weapons before letting Gorger out. Some scientists not getting out in time is considered regrettable but a necessary sacrifice. This reportedly happens every few weeks or so.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Several of the exhibits in 'Untamed and Uncut' do not have the proper fencing to keep the guests and the animals separated. For example, the Windear exhibit is only blocked off by bars.
  • In Film Theory, MatPat not only concludes that Willy Wonka's factory from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was an unsafe, unsanitary death trap that would face serious OSHA penalties, but theorizes Willy Wonka knew this, and given that the movie takes place about the same time OSHA was first implemented, the whole Golden Ticket contest was likely a scheme he could use to pawn off his factory onto some unsuspecting rube, where the poor sucker would be on the hook for potentially millions of dollars a day until all the issues are fixed when the laws would come into effect.
  • The Honest Trailers for Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory includes a song to the tune “Pure Imagination” sung by Michael Bolton titled, “The 'This Factory is a Lawsuit Waiting to Happen' Song.” (It is quoted fully on the Quotes page.)

    Western Animation 
  • Referenced in an episode of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, when a tough monster suggests scaring some humans in what Ickis refers to as a "Fire and Clang Factory".
  • Played for Laughs in American Dad!, where in one episode Stan comments that an old walkway might be unsafe before he promptly falls through it, and the dozen or so after that one-by-one. Meanwhile Steve takes the perfectly safe elevator to the bottom, reading a newspaper to Stan as Stan continues to fall through walkway after walkway.
  • Batman: The Animated Series had most of its fights in places like this, and the animated version of Two-Face can trace his origin to such an encounter (also, in the 1989 Batman movie, the origin of The Joker hinges on such a place).
    • Gotham's power plant, for instance, seems to be composed of ledges over a Bottomless Pit with a control center at the top.
    • Even The Creeper got his origin this way. Ironically it was the same place where the Joker had fallen to the vat of chemical waste, yet they never bothered to change the places of the vats or at least make the rails higher.
    • A hospital in "Feat of Clay" has a room full of contagious diseases kept in glass vials and jars on shelves with no restraints that anyone could just trip into and knock over. It isn't even locked. Nothing actually happens (Bats uses it for an interrogation), but it is still unforgivably dangerous.
      • Actually, it turns out that Batman just says that to get the crook to talk. The chemicals are actually harmless; the one Bats used specifically turned out to be ordinary sea water.
  • In the original series of Ben 10, the episode ''Secret of the Omnitrix' opens in a factory that perfectly fits this trope.
  • In Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, Dr. Donovan repeatedly tries to rush experimental technology into stores without extensive product testing. This always comes back to bite him in the ass.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door had a lot of places like this, but perhaps the worst was the condemned amusement park that appeared in "Operation I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S", the Rainbow Monkeys Let's Learn About the Lavatory Park; a theme park about toilet training. The adult Numbuh Three commented in the interview that she had no idea why anyone thought it would be a good idea in the first place, and that when she eventually became CEO of the Rainbow Monkey company, she ordered it torn down simply to do away with the smell. In any case, the place was a deathtrap, as evidenced from the battle at the conclusion of the episode where Numbuh One finally defeated the Delightful Chidren from Down the Lane, seemingly for good.
  • In Darkwing Duck the Liquidator has almost the same origin as The Joker. He was originally Bud Flud the owner of a bottled water company. He capitalized on a heat wave by poisoning his competitors' water supplies until he was interrupted by Darkwing. During the scuffle he tripped and fell into one of the already contaminated vats. He went nuts after his transformation into a powerful water elemental and blamed Darkwing for "throwing" him into the vat.
  • The Fairly OddParents! lampshades this in a short where Timmy wishes for him and his grandfather to live in an old-timey cartoon. His grandfather points out all the improbable dangers as well as the improbable escapes.
  • Lampshaded in the Family Guy Star Wars parody Blue Harvest. One scene has a pair of Death Star crewmen complaining about the lack of guardrails and their attempts to get some installed.
  • A Futurama episode shows the Professor making government-mandated safety upgrades to the spaceship "(the crew) has been suing (him) about". Among them: taping up the crack in the dark matter reactor, and putting the lion in a cage. Leela might also be considered non-OSHA, what with the whole not having any depth perception and all. Plus the current crew is at least the second (the other having been eaten by space wasps), and it's implied there have been more.
    • Fry initially has trouble with the doors and the tube-based public transport system after first entering the year 3000.
  • The record factory from the "A Star Is Lost" episode of Inspector Gadget is one of these. The conveyor belt that carries Gadget, Penny, and Rick Rocker is an especially notable example; there's absolutely no reason for the conveyor to begin at any point before the actual record press (To say nothing of the humongous size of the press itself).
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Cloudsdale is a city in the sky made entirely of clouds that can only be walked on by pegasi (and ponies who've been enchanted with the ability). It has been established that some ponies have an inability to fly at early ages (e.g. Fluttershy and Scootaloo, but the latter at least lives on the ground), meaning any filly who happens to walk off the edge or into a gap (of which there are many) can easily fall to their death. Hell, this damn near happened to Fluttershy, who was saved by a timely pack of butterflies. This also happened to Rarity and three Wonderbolts whom Rainbow Dash saved mere inches from hitting the ground.
      • Which this could be somewhat explained by the fact that most pegasi seem to be overconfident, and lack of flight at a young age seems is either a rare condition or a normal, temporary side effect of puberty, as ponies younger than Scootaloo are shown in the second episode flying, and Pound Cake can fly before speaking.
      • The Cloudsdale Weather Factory is a terrible example of industrial safety. Highlights include a room full of lightning stored on high shelves in fragile jars with no safety rails, a fan powerful enough to suck up all loose objects in a room full of loose objects, and critical water pipes that a single pony can easily kick out. Rainbow Dash did enter the factory with the specific intention of industrial sabotage, but the damage got way out of hoof, and could have happened pretty easily by accident.
    • Canterlot is even worse, with the ENTIRE city being constructed on the side of a SHEER CLIFF (which includes, among other things, a giant castle) where a well-placed earthquake or mudslide could wipe it off the map. It's only held off from falling into the valley below by a few support beams and prayers to Celestia. Canterlot also has dragonsneeze trees that dragons are highly allergic to. One must wonder how Spike, who grew up with Twilight in Canterlot, was able to survive without getting a severe reaction.
    • Ponyville itself appears to also be this in the Mare-Do-Well episode. Balconies that cannot take the strain of three elderly ponies standing on them, a long and VERY steep road that ends in a ramp, a construction site where a single crane error almost got the entire construction crew killed. It appears that Rainbow Dash's heroics might be the only thing keeping the town's populace alive.
      • Sugarcube Corner can be this as well, as demonstrated in "The Show Stoppers". In an attempt to get their cutie marks, the Cutie Mark Crusaders try to make their own taffy by using a large machine, unsupervised. Scootaloo's tail gets stuck in the machine and her friends also get caught trying to pull her out. The machine pulls them around until they come out stuck together.
    • Discussed in Stranger Than Fan Fiction, when Quibble Pants almost dies from a collapsing Rope Bridge during a Daring Do Adventu-cation and he accuses the people running it of being incompetent hacks who are trying to sell a bootleg version of the real thing with no adherence to safety standards. Unbeknownst to him, he's not actually in a replication of a Daring Do adventure; he's in the real thing.
  • Although it predates the OSHA, the Popeye cartoon Lost and Foundry fits this trope perfectly.
  • Referenced in a Robot Chicken episode, where a Cobra operative remarks that the Cobra workplace is completely OSHA compliant... The camera pans over to show a splattered henchman stuck to the ceiling.
    "It's been thirty-three days since our last on site accident. The uh, Weather Dominator exploded. We lost about 133 guys. You can still kinda see what's left of Scott Anderson up there. We should really clean that up, we've been chucking a softball at it, so it's up there pretty good."
  • Notably averted in Shaun the Sheep: the sheep all wear yellow safety vests, hard hats, and, when applicable, welding masks when using dangerous equipment. Sheep in proper safety gear are funnier than sheep that are not.
  • The Simpsons: The Springfield Nuclear Power Plant is a safety nightmare. There are repeated scenes of Burns doing things to try and circumvent getting shut down, from running for governor to bribing officials.
    • If only it stopped at Mr. Burns. His employees seem to be the most incompetent gaggle of nitwits ever created. They hired Homer Simpson for crying out loud, and have not fired him after numerous accidents that came within a hair's breadth of looking like the sordid offspring of a threeway with Chernobyl, Three-Mile Island and the Love Canal... Then there's Lenny, who refitted the soda machines in Sector 7G to dispense beer if one asked for club soda. The only sane employee they ever had (Frank Grimes) killed himself after Homer showed him up during a kids' nuclear plant design contest. Homer was once able to cause a nuclear meltdown in a test environment containing no nuclear materials. The worst part is, Homer is the one in charge of the safety (which he got after Homer, ironically, led a public safety campaign against the nuclear plant. Prior to that, Homer was just a waste handler).
    • To see how good Homer is at his job, three times he temporarily leaves his spot at the reactor control station. He is replaced by 1) a chicken, 2) a brick hanging from a lever, and 3) a "drinking bird" plastic toy that presses the "y" button on the keyboard for every question asked.
    • Mr. Burns' Yes-Man Waylon Smithers seems somewhat competent (at least compared to most of the plant's employees) but even he isn't perfect. He once admitted that one of his 2,800 duties is lying to Congress.
    • And the icing on the cake? It's been like that for so long, that bringing it up to code would cost MILLIONS.
      • In various episodes, we see clips of plant workers doing everything from playing chess in the reactor core, to holding cockfights in the lunch room, to engaging in "Nap Time" in the middle of the day. One episode started with everyone at the plant (Burns and Smithers included) sleeping on the job. They also scream and panic whenever there's an emergency, remove emergency procedure posters to make get-well-soon cards, have sword fights with nuclear rods, and engage in log-rolling contests using drums of nuclear waste.
      • One time, Mr. Burns actually decided to go through with a safety procedure, specifically a fire drill. However, all the employees utterly paniced, waiting for thier coffee to finish, running in place, and beating each other with the fire extinguishers. Homer Simpson of all people was the first and only employee who actually managed to get out of the plant (though the "only" part is because Homer blocked the entrance with a bench upon escaping).
      • And perhaps worst of all, the employees at the nuclear plant are required to visit 3 separate rooms to get coffee, cream and sugar.
    • The nuclear power plant does, however, get regular visits from safety inspectors who do point out the dangers and flaws of the plant. They are diligent enough to demand Burns fix the plant's hazards and don't take cheap bribes from him.
    • Also played for laughs when Skinner and Bart were fighting over a large boiling vat of Peanut Shrimp (Bart is allergic to shrimp, Skinner is allergic to peanuts), and the ramp they're on is easily cut with the wooden sticks they were fighting with.
    • Itchy and Scratchy Land had rides where people would come within inches of being gouged by spikes and have the ride hit a buzz saw. This was before the robots revolted. Particularly bad is the part where a ride has spikes on top extend over the front seats. Apparently tall people sitting in front never occurred to them.
    • Also mentioned but not seen is the Krustyland House of Knives; Krusty swears that the tourists were decapitated BEFORE they entered it.
  • Tombstone's origin story in Spider-Man: The Animated Series also involves falling from a narrow catwalk into a vat of green acid, during his attempt to frame Roby. (Let's face it, a lot of villains tend to get their start in places like this.)
  • Played with in Superman: The Animated Series. A concert held by a shock jock had the police arrive to shut it down, due to safety concerns of having tons of both people and electrical equipment outside during a thunder storm. Things did indeed go wrong.
  • This trope is the raison d'etre of many Thunderbirds episodes, like the Fireflash in the pilot episode, an atomic-powered aeroplane which would have killed all of its passengers by radiation poisoning if it didn't land within 2 hours, and the Crablogger, an atomic-powered logging machine which was going to blow up if not shut down properly.
  • ThunderCats (1985). The home of the mighty mystical gyroscope — that's keeping New Thundera in one friggin' piece — LIVES this trope.
  • In Total Drama, Camp Wawanakwa suffers from this plus No EPA Compliance after Chris McLean rents the island out to a "nice, family oriented" bio-hazardous waste disposal company in the interim between Island and Revenge of the Island, causing the flora and fauna of the island to mutate. However, Chris is busted by the Canadian government for his illegal activities at the end of Revenge of the Island.
    • The first season had numerous references to interns being injured or killed in various accidents, presumably due to a lack of safety precautions. Particularly noteworthy is the incident when an intern dies whilst testing part of the final challenge. Chris reacts by saying to himself, "That seems safe enough."
  • In the Transformers Animated episode "Autoboot Camp", they have simulated weapons that can be turned deadly with the flip of a switch. While there might be a legitimate reason to have some live ammo in a simulation training, there are none for having the things to be turned lethal at the flip of a switch (either through debris, cyber-fauna, or actual sabotage).

Alternative Title(s): Smoke And Fire Factory, No Health And Safety Compliance, Steam And Flame Factory