Safety – “I don’t get paid enough to care about this”

Believe it or not this is the mindset of some people when it comes to workplace health and safety. They feel it’s above their pay grade to be responsible for this kind of thing.. ehhhhhhhhh.

We need to make safety real for people, and the most effective mechanism for this I believe is storytelling.

When I was at uni, I must have done a subject on workplace safety because that lecture stands out for me. The lecturer was the OH&S warden for a manufacturing company and she told us a story about someone getting their leg cut off because the $2 warning light had blown and no one had checked it. Pretty much this guy walked into a human mincer – F%$^& that is messed up. All because someone didn’t complete a 2 second safety checklist. I can’t even……

Another story I heard was at a management training course. An office manager stood on an office chair to reach a high cupboard. The chair (which had wheels) slipped from underneath her and she cracked her skull and lost some motor function in her arms.

Recently I heard a story from a friend who spoke about a man who had injured his back and he can now never pick his kids up again. He can’t play with them the way he used to. All because he rushed something at work, cutting a few corners so he could get home on time.

We keep talking about health and safety, action plans and ongoing dialogue, so why are there people who still think it’s above their pay grade to think about it or comply. It upsets me because this is about more that statistics and WorkCover premiums. It is the value you are placing on your life. If you’re not safe at work you could ruin your life and the lives of others.

It’s everyones role to make sure we all make it home at the end of the day, it’s got nothing to do with your pay, your position or your education –  it’s just part of the job!

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