Shoddy Shanghai


Safety First! Health and safety what's that? Would be the reply here in China. I know in the West, we've gone a bit crazy on the health and safety front, but some precautionary steps are always a good idea! I have frequently walked the streets agog of the accidents waiting to happen in plane site, while locals calmly walk by without a second look.

Here are just a fraction of the goose bump moments I've seen..


Now I looked closely and not a safety rope in sight.

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Putting a sign up on the 8th floor, just chilling.

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Man on a ledge.

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a rope an plank of wood…yeah that will be fine.

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let your children run freeeeee!

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I don’t think they were supposed to be doing, what they were doing!

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and this one is straight out of a cartoon.. what could go wrong!

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Most ladders are hand made from scrap wood, there obviously aren’t any long pieces of wood around.

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Just fixing the air-con (you can’t see the dripping water in the photo).

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Tripping hazzard…no one would ever notice!



This one could go one forever, my top 3:

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Oil dripping from extractor fan straight onto light.

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Smoking plug at work, better call an electrician and he’ll stick a screwdriver into it!

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I've decided to combine this blog with another one of my cultural observations: workmanship. This and safety first seem to fit nicely together (or not in China).Now I’m a fan of 'make do and mend' in this consumerist and throw away society, but I do think you should do I good job in the 1st place!

But no, not in china; build it fast quick and big and preferably from concrete. As long as it looks ok from afar it will be fine! Never look too close, as the cracks and wonky fittings can be easily seen.

Here are some of the best:

Bamboo scaffolding, can still be spotted around.

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This ones the best, I just have an image of the workman going to paint the bollards, only to discover he had no brush…never mind, just pour it on!

Tape is the savior of most Shanghai Motorbikes.


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Did they run out of money?

Just electrical cables dangling from the ceiling of the shopping Centre.

Laborer, just in his leather jacket. I think he just came from the street and wanted to help out!