If you think safety is no joke, apparently you're not the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) of Ontario, Canada.
To drive home the importance of workplace safety for young workers, the WSIB has created an animated website hosted by "Scott," a slacker with a severed hand, and featuring an abusive boss, a worker with a metal bar through his head, and a blood-lapping, urinating dog.
Add to that a couple of gratuitous bonks on the head, a blood-splattering amputation, some dialog laced with deleted expletives, and you get a government website that is -- even by our standards -- truly strange.
Now, don't get us wrong, we do get it -- the website is outrageous enough that young people will want to take a look and even refer it to their friends. An additional attraction is that by successfully completing a simple workplace safety quiz, you are entered into a drawing for prizes such as cell phones, MP3 players, Xbox 360 consoles, and scholarships.
Created by cartoonist J.J. Sedelmaier (remember Saturday Night Live's TV Funhouse and The Ambiguously Gay Duo?), the site conveys some serious workplace safety messages ("One of your biggest rights is the ability to refuse unsafe work") and hosts a contest for student-produced safety videos, some of which are quite good. It also features sections on spotting workplace hazards, learning your workplace rights, and an animated e-course on Health & Safety 101.
But the website never strays far from its deadpan, tongue-in-cheek humor (mouse over Scott and he'll raise his stump and tell you, "Safety first -- especially when it comes to handling the salami.").
To visit Scott and the rest of the oddball characters in Prevent-itville, go to http://www.prevent-it.ca and click on Enter Now. If you don't want to submit your e-mail address and other information to enter the prize drawing, click on the Skip Intro link (you'll find the segment on Scott's workplace accident in the Eye Candy section).