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At times safety promotion got attention through poetry. The following three poems appeared in the October 1917 issue of Safety Engineering, Volume 34, Number 4.

For Safer Buildings
by Frank Adams, from page 308 of Vol 34, No 4

It’s easy to make excuses
It’s easy to shift the blame–
To make others bear your rightful share
Of public scorn and shame.


Number the wanton losses
Of helpless victims slain;
Number the dead where the night fire spread,
Doomed by the lust-mad flame.


Wherever the smoking ashes
Of a fire-trap ruin lies,
Is stamped the deed of grasping greed–
A needless sacrifice.


Needless, I say, for Science
Has shown us many a way
To safeguard from fire–from the flame fiend’s ire–
The buildings of today.


It’s easy to make excuses,
It’s easy to shift the blame,
But it’s hard to show that you didn’t know
Your buildings would feed the flame.

Watch Your Step
Author unknown from Page 34, Vol. 34, No. 4
Originally from National Builder.

When you’re working at the grindstone
and your friends all chew the rag,
don’t turn your head to listen,
or your fingers you may snag.


Also, when striking chisels,
don’t turn your head around,
or it’s apt to be your finger,
and not the tool, you’ll pound.


And when you’re walking ‘round the plant,
don’t close your eyes and dream.
You might bump into something hard;
a rafter or a beam.


In fact, what e’er you’re doing,
if your eyes are in their place,
your’re more apt to keep your fingers,
and the beauty of your face.

The Undertaker’s Friend
Author unknown from Page 304, Vol 34, No. 4.
Originally from The Conveyor.

He rides upon the steamship;
He glides upon the rail;
He follows us upon each trip;
He’s always on our trail.


Some folks have named him Accident;
By some he’s called Mistake;
He’s always there on mischief bent,
Nor fails his toll to take.


He hides around in empty guns,
And makes them to explode;
He’s always where swift autos run,
He lurks along the road.


He cares not how your friends may feel–
No! They may weep who laughed;
He rides upon each turning wheel–
Clings to each whirling shaft.


He grabs your coat or loose necktie–
Sometimes a thread will do;
And ere a cat could wink its eye
Twill be all off with you.


He sent Titanic’s victims down,
Beneath the icy waves;
He turned the Eastland upside down,
And filled a thousand graves.


He lights the fire with kerosene,
And blows out all the plumbing;
He smokes around the gasoline–
Keeps coffin factories humming.


You’ve heard of him time and again–
His name I’m sure you’ll guess;
He is the undertaker’s friend–

Photo credit: Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

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