OSH Matters

Growing interest in Occupational Safety and Health

Risk Reduction Regime analysis on OSH issues in Disney’s production of Zootopia.



Disney: Image 1

Zootopia was the movie chosen, that is children animated and a film that is primarily based in the place of same name where predators and preys all live together. The analysis is done on a compilation of everyday risks and hazards that exist and apply within the constructs and job scope of a police officer, of which the movie is based on. Judy Hopps (the main character) defied the odds for this achievement by making it through police training and became the first rabbit officer. On the first day on the job she was however given parking ticket duties (meter maid) . The opportunity to finally pursue a case to find a missing otter came after she chased and caught a thief. Judy, though faced with many obstacles was able to solve the case and find the missing animals.  There were also hazards present to the public, but the majority of the risks and hazards found throughout the movie whether to employees or to the public were not fatal but were of a serious nature. Within all of the hazards found, most had some form of safety measure or protection present but were either insufficient or unsuitable, whereas some of the risks and hazards had none at all. The analysis of the movie looks beyond the cute, humor and life lessons and highlights where there are OSH issues. Enjoy this journey with Risk Reduction Regime as we take the reader of this blog through the movie Zootopia highlighting the safety issues found.

Identified were five of the hazards in the film.

Chemical Hazards


Disney: Gif 1: Chemical

There were two chemical hazards in the film that were outstanding. The first chemical hazard  was the laboratory scene where Doug (the big sheep) was mixing the chemicals but there were no labels on the containers. The second hazard was where the propane gas tanks were not secured properly on the train which led to an explosion when the train collided. Those two scenes showed where there were chemical hazards that possess risks to the individual and general public.    

Biological Hazards


Disney: Gif 3: Biological


Disney: Gif 2: Biological

Biological hazards are the “processes of organic origin or those conveyed by biological vectors, including exposure to pathogenic micro-organisms, toxins and bio active substances, which may cause the loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation” (Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management n.d.)  In the movie Zootopia, the eminent hazard was in the scene where Nick (the fox) slide down the roof a house melting a popsicle and then allowing the melted fluid to drain using the gutters to fill into jars at the bottom. The melted popsicle was then made into smaller popsicles and sold to unsuspecting customers. The roof and gutter could have contained pathogens that when made into smaller popsicles would cause injury/damage to life. Another biological factor the showcased in the movie was in the ice cream shop and the elephant attendant was not using gloves and serving the ice cream to the customers. Not using protective gloves while handling food would mean that he would be passing on germs and other bacteria to the food that is served to the customers.

Physical Hazards:


Disney: Image 2: Physical

Physical hazards “are factors within the environment that can harm the body without necessarily touching it.” (circle_chart.pdf n.d.) There were many physical factors that were present in the movie that were present that could cause harm. At the start of the movie, Judy (the police rabbit) was waving to her parents in a moving train. This is a physical hazard because she should be seated and buckled before the train started its journey. When she arrived at Zootopia there were many safety issues with workers not using the handles while riding the escalator and there were animals that eyes were focused in their cellphones, unaware of their surroundings. This led to one worker being crushed by another coming down the chute because he was looking at his phone and did not move while the other came down. At the police station Officer Clawhauser (the cheetah at front desk) was eating at his work station. There were no lunchroom facilities present and he was eating at his workstation. While Judy was on duty as a parking meter maid there were many physical hazards prominent. There was a construction site and the workers had no safety boots and there was no caution tape around an area that had wet concrete. There were instances where Judy would drive without seat belt. One day on duty she visited a place for a lead on a case and there was a yak that had surrounded by candles. The candles had no coverings and that can cause a fire hazard. Another incident on the job was watching Nick and his accomplish drive off but the accomplish was very short and had no cushion support to see the road, having to strain to see the road from the steering wheel. At the assistant mayor’s office there was a heater close to her work space and heaters can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. There was also clutter in her office, it was not properly organized. At Judy’s apartment there were also a lot of physical hazards. The floor was rotting and this can be a trip hazard. She had noisy neighbors and this was a form of noise hazard.


Disney: Gif 4:Physical


Disney: Gif 5: Physical

Psychological Hazards:


Disney: Image 3: Psychological

Zootopia had many psychological hazards. Judy was always told that she can never be a rabbit officer and she should give up her dreams by her parents. She was also verbally abused by Nick (the fox) with him telling her that she is a dumb rabbit. Nick himself was also verbally abused as a young fox and the police chief always verbally abuse Judy. The verbal abuse she got from her boss led to a lot of emotional stress. Emotional stress can cause harm.

Ergonomic Hazards:  


Disney: Gif 6: Ergonomic

“Ergonomic hazards refer to workplace conditions that pose the risk of injury to the musculoskeletal system of the worker.” (The University Of Chicago Environmental Health and Safety n.d.) Zootopia had two scenes that were conspicuous with poor ergonomics. The chairs at the police station did not have proper back support for the larger animals and there was no chair present for the piano player in the start of the skit. The lack of the proper tools for the animals to function in their space of work could lead to poor musculoskeletal function.

Zootopia was the choice of movie to showcase the safety issues that can be present in an animated production. This analysis looked at an animated, Disney children movie at a different angle. Highlighting the OSH issues that were present, even when the film was a fantasy and not human characters. There are so much more to cute animals when there are so many safety violations lurking in Zootopia.


n.d. circle_chart.pdf. Accessed October 01, 2016.https://www.osha.gov/dte/grant_materials/fy10/sh-20839-10/circle_chart.pdf

definition, UNISDR, ed. n.d. Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management. Accessed October 01, 2016. http://www.odpm.gov.tt/node/28

n.d. The University Of Chicago Environmental Health and Safety. Accessed October 01, 2016. http://safety.uchicago.edu/tools/faqs/ergonomics.shtml#heading1


3 thoughts on “Risk Reduction Regime analysis on OSH issues in Disney’s production of Zootopia.

  1. It is wonderful that as adults Disney fans can still be found watching cartoons. Guess we all are kids at heart. Zootopia was one of the best movies out for this year. It was enjoyed both by children and children in adult bodies. To use a movie like this in an analysis is both creative and ingenious. This blog was a jewel to read. Salute!
    The first hazard, chemical, was skillfully recognized. The movie promotes the beauty of being a scientist, probably inspiring the viewers to pursue such a career. Conversely, using protective equipment could have been promoted also. Guess with this recommendation, in Zootopia 2 we can look forward to seeing the use of personal protective equipment by the scientist.
    Examining the biological hazard, food preparation and handling is of grave concern. Implementing simple measures is all it takes to reduce biological hazards. Even in this present day, one can find numerous establishments that do not adhere to basic health and safety policy in reducing biological hazards.
    ¡Qué susto! What evidence you have produced of the numerous physical hazards. It makes one wonder; did you even watch the movie the traditional way? These physical hazards are worth noting. While Judy experienced several psychological hazards, in this movie they were welcomed. The movie truly highlighted that dreams to come true. There will be individuals in life, including parents, who would not share in one’s dreams and aspirations. However, whatever psychological abuse attained along the journey, never give up on the dream! Lastly, in the Kingdom of Zootopia, it would be difficult to provide ergonomic accommodation for each animal.

    This blog showed the creativity of applying learnt knowledge to environments not thought of. It was a joy to read and look forward to more of your contribution to health and safety.


  2. This is surely a unique way to have a risk assessment done! Props to the researchers!

    This analysis had great examples of psychological hazards and even though this analysis was done on a movie, take it from us that that psychological hazards due to verbal abuse is a real thing in the work place today. Bullying in the workplace is also something that exists in the work place whereby departments with more organizational power come together to form a large clique in the work place and verbally abuse other departments and or workers for errors or inaccurate reports.

    Psychological hazards do not only lead to emotional stress in and out of work but it also diminishes one’s motivation on the job which can lead to other problems such as high absenteeism in the work place.


  3. Kudos on such innovation in carrying out a risk assessment. Using a film really did engage me and helped visualise the work conducted. Although it was all fictional, I can see how it can be translated into a real world scenario. I think a couple more physical hazards could have been pointed out in terms of animals using elevators and stairs without taking proper precautions. It was easy to slip and fall without using railings or having proper footwear. Also, I think that psychological hazards could have been expanded some more, taking into consideration the clashes and conflicts in the workplace and the pressure some employees feel as a result of that. Proper stress management strategies should be implemented to prevent and control the effects one way suffer from these actions.


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