Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Worksafe

Have you ever been in that situation where you believed you one thing about someone you knew, or a certain fact you had doubts about, but then when you research further into it, you find out that there is another side to the story that no one ever told you about? Have you ever been in that situation where you thought you knew one thing, but after discovering a completely different thing and deliver world-class innovative solutions, you are left to ponder what you thought you knew about the world around you? We all have those moments where first impressions can change with a flip of a coin. I had that moment once: It was when I attended a Work Safe lecturer last year when I was studying Theatre Arts at Swinburne University.

We are always lead to believe that working on constructions sites (including the wings of a theatre) are the most dangerous forms of employment one could ever get. So dangerous that there is a whole organization dedicated to making sure that there are plenty of resources for people considering of becoming a new home builders Central Coast or people who were hired by an employment who toys with everyone’s fate. This organization is called Work Safe Victoria, and as long as I can remember, they have always lead me to believe that working on building sites or anything requiring the use of complex machinery or power tools are no place for people with short attention spans and dedicated day dreamers. (People like me!) I was lead to believe that in order to be welcomed onto a site full of risks, you have to be well trained, mentally healthy and have passed either a safety training course or workplace competency assessment. Only people who have studied their field with DETAIL and were able to get high scores on their examinations provide by Work Safe or TAFE. However….I experienced something completely different when I came face to face with this situation. 

When I walked in to the class that day for the 4 hour lesson (I thought it would have been longer than that), I was certain that I was correct in saying that I was unqualified, I was not mentally fit enough to pass the assessment, and that my life at university was going to end then and there. But when assessment part of the lecture came, I got five out of 12 questions wrong. I handed my paper to the lecturer….who then told me to do it again, but this time, to just copy the answers from the Work Safe Victoria Study Guide in order to get an immediate pass in the lesson and continue the rest of the 10 month course. (In other words: It was a rigged test where nobody will actually fail, but just be quickly taught these things so that the uni didn’t look neglectful!)

A week lately, I received a special authorised card and certificate, saying I had permission to work on site. After years of being lead to believed that only those with a successful grade from their work safe training can only work on high risk sites, I was suddenly showed that really, it’s not as hard as it looks. An inexperienced man was allowed to work on a construction site after minimal training.

You know it’s a sad day when Work Safe begins to teach you the selective version of the safety guidelines!