The Royal Commission investigating the Pike River Mining Disaster said the board had a culture of "production before safety........and as a result, signs of the risk of the explosion were either not noticed or not responded to."
Last Thursday night I did my grocery shopping at a local supermaket. It was closing time and I wasn't feeling 100% safe - there were three, separate, questionable-looking men who had eyed me up & down during the course of my shopping. I approached one of the managers & asked if he could spare someone to walk me to my car.
Chances are I would've been fine on my own. Chances are the guys weren't the type to harm me - but I understand it's not worth taking a chance when it doesn't look or feel right.
As an employee...
You should never find yourself in a position where your safety is put at risk.
You should never find yourself lifting something way too heavy, injuring your back for life.
You should never find yourself hanging off a building because your boss didn't want to hire a cherry picker.
You should never march into a mine where you're aware the proper safety precautions aren't taken.
Would you rather be brain damaged for the rest of your life rather than have an awkward conversation with your boss?
Would you rather leave your children fatherless/motherless than have a possibly-unpleasant talk with your manager?
Would you let your partner go through life without you all because you don't want to be "that guy" at work?
As an employer...
You should NEVER put heatlh & safety in the too-hard basket.
You should NEVER treat health & safety as an annoyingly, eye-rolling piece of bureaucracy.
You should NEVER make any of your employees feel at risk.
You may not have as many risks as a construction site or a mine, but maybe that over-loaded electrical unit should get fixed pronto. Maybe that dodgy handrail should get sorted out or those fire risks should be dealt with once and for all.
You have the potential to destroy lives. Not just the lives of your
staff directly under your management, but their families. These are the
people you are responsible for.
And if something happens, don't shrug your shoulders and say you haven't been warned.