Who wants to build a quicksand minefield?

My place of work is making my building unsafe.

Here’s a quick crash course in quicksand.

Q: What’s in quicksand?

A: The underwater mixture of water and sand created when underwater rocks sink in.

Q: What if I find a pool of quicksand nearby?

A: You don’t have to jump in. You can wait until it’s safe to do so.

Q: Where is the quicksand right now?

A: Right under our construction workers.

Q: Is quicksand something we want to build near our office?

A: If our neighborhood keeps changing in ways that minimize quicksand hazards, then we probably won’t need to build elsewhere.

Q: But our construction workers are at risk. Are they required to wear protective gear?

A: Yes. We’ve written a handy set of safety guidelines we encourage our employees to keep up to date and follow.

Q: Do we need to build around quicksand?

A: We don’t know. Because quicksand is everywhere. And there are many types of quicksand available for me to buy from the local hardware store.

The way I see it, there’s a safety risk any time a three-dimensional object moves from the surface to the depth you are potentially exposed to it. If there’s a jet ski that requires the same safety measure I use every day—resisting pressure from the water and sediment embedded in its blade—then there’s a risk, anywhere, when you’re exposed to the same thing.

But you don’t need to design a quicksand minefield around your office space. According to the National Safety Council, a common enough misconception about minefields is that they are always present. The majority of minefields are actually overgrown weeds or sparsely planted vegetation. Most minefields are unnoticeable unless they’re hidden in plain sight.

If you’re a real estate developer, here’s how you can design in more quicksand-proof methods and can increase the chances of safely damaging only those things that risk being a threat when you’re not looking. The National Safety Council has a handy map to help you find the presence of quicksand in your area.

This article is an edited extract from The writer’s blog, The Soul, which can be read at their website and archives, Roshanandnikela.co.uk.

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