For many years in the construction industry there has been a code of silence. No one wants to speak up about WHS, to dob in a mate. While this may have been the way things were done in the past it’s no longer acceptable and here’s why.
WHS Legal Obligation
You have a legal obligation to speak up if you see something that is unsafe in your workplace. You can’t walk past and keep your mouth shut.
There have been several legal cases where workers who didn’t speak up were fined along with the employer because they were not fulfilling their WHS obligation. In these cases someone was seriously injured or killed by something that could have been prevented if the other worker had have spoken up.
Right thing to do
You just have to ask yourself a simple question if you are still not convinced. What would you say to your mate’s wife/partner/kids/parents if you saw them doing something unsafe and didn’t say anything and they were hurt or killed. I know myself that I would struggle to live with something like that on my conscience.
I can tell you from experience that anyone who has been in this sort of situation where someone was hurt or killed are never the same. There is a lasting impact on everyone involved.
Jason’s story, takes a confronting, very honest look into the heartache of losing a son and a mate to a preventable workplace incident. Jason Garrels was just 20 years old when he died at a construction site in Clermont in 2012. He had only been working there for nine days.
Jason’s family and friends have shared their experiences to raise awareness about the importance of workplace safety and the need for effective communication between sub-contractors on construction sites, and appropriate supervision and supportive mentoring of young workers.
This story is a powerful example of everyone keeping their mouths shut even though they knew things weren’t right onsite. Everyone should watch this video. Put yourself in that situation and then remember that next time you walk past a mate doing something dangerous.