Safety Ambassador Shane Webcke on staying safe in the workplace 2022
Listen to Queensland Safety Ambassador Shane Webcke launch Safe Work Month 2022 with the ABC breakfast radio team Craig Zonca and Loretta Ryan.
Run time: 5 minutes 56 seconds.
Download a copy of this interview (MP3, 2.78 MB)
Where did you end up going for your honeymoon, by the way? Chris.
Tasmania, mate. Tasmania. So yeah. Now is. It was a good trip. Like I said after this she still puts up with me so I'm doing alright.
Well Chris Shane Webcams in the studio. What do you say about that Shane.
Oh I think that's just spot on and some similarities. I actually got married not on Grand Final Day, but shortly after a grand final in 1996. And we also honeymoon in Tasmania, so we've got a lot in common.
That's up for a beer sometimes.
All right. Thanks for the call, Chris. What a great story to share.
Well, actually, we had a caller on before, Shane, I don't know if you heard us say that you're a cellar man at the Broncos, were you?
That is correct. I think that timing might be a little bit out. And I think Brad Thorn will be terribly disappointed to learn that he was a Solomon at the Broncos because he was not.
Oh, wasn't he. There you go. But he may well have been there. I'm not negating that. But he was not a. He is above that because he was so tall.
And because your debut was alright in 1995.
Yeah. It went to the club in 94, so just after they'd one in 93. So it's a great time at the club, but there's a lot of change in those years where we transitioned from those great sides of 90 to 93 into the modern sides, and we went on to win another four after that.
So yeah, that was pretty incredible. What do you do with all those premiership rings, by the way?
I don't know where they are.
I do. I really don't. I mean, I know that sounds ridiculous, but I know they're stored safely.
It's just taken away worth a lot of money
I don't know if I fall on hard times. Trust me often.
You definitely will find them on Facebook Marketplace.
but Shane, you're here for a very important reason as well today. And that's talking about workplace safety, because your role as an ambassador and this relates actually to your child or doesn't it? Are you happy to share the story?
Yeah, no, of course I am Well, I'm a I'm an ambassador for Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, and that's a role with the Government, which I've done, I think for the past seven or eight, eight years. And this is actually my final year and we're moving into October, which is it's the month of
so we're not where we celebrate it but where it's, an awareness thing.
So that's what happens in October. Hence while here today and talking about it. But the only reason and look, it's a job I wish I couldn't do because the only reason I can do it is because my father was killed in a workplace accident. And that was why back in 1994 and as a result of or because of and all that went with it, it's probably why I ended up having a footy career. I really just wanted to be on the farm. I never I grew up on a sheep property on the Southern Darling Downs and all I ever really wanted to do was that. And my dad was working in 1994 an off farm job because of the way things were. So we're in middle of roaring drought back then where wool growers, wool prices had collapsed. Dad had to take a job and he was killed in a terrible industrial accident. But I guess and the message that I speak about and you can come from a fairly unique place when you've had someone who has been killed at work because we understand the true ramifications of what goes on. But more importantly and the message that I always try to convey to people is that my dad would have been alive today if his attitude to safety had have been different. And so my, biggest message that I talk about, because employers are obligated by law and by and morally, all the people that I work with, they don't want to hurt people. So but they're also obligated by legislation to make sure that they have everything in place. But none of that means anything. If we, the employee, don't have an attitude that says, right, there's the tools for us to be safe, I've got to pick them up and use them. The other thing is you know, my dad's workplace may not and I'm not commenting on this, but may not have been the best workplace in the world. Right. But had my father's attitude to safety been different, he would not he would have been able to negate that risk. So my the biggest thing that I talk about and I've been banging on about the whole time that I've been doing this and I've spoken about safety for the last 20 years because it happened just before my footy career did. And when I and when footy did start to work for me, then of course the media here in Brisbane become interested in not just the fact that you're playing footy. They want to know what you are and who you are.
Well, they want to know everything about your life
basically. And so it came to light that my father had been killed in a workplace accident. And so a lot of our sponsors at the time were in big mining industries and things like that, and safety was still a big thing then. So they'd asked me to go and talk about it and I knew nothing. Losing someone in a workplace accident doesn't teach you about safety teachers. You nothing about that. But in the years since, what I have gained is perspective. Because I have spoken to so many different businesses and people about safety and I've heard so much about safety. I've sort of seen so much about safety that I've of narrowed it down that to two things. It's complacency that kills people. It is the thought that we do a dangerous job. Humans are funny. The longer we do a dangerous job, the less likely we think and nothing happens, the less likely we think that anything will ever happen.
Yeah, you have that invincibility factor.
Absolutely. And that's a human thing. And we all got that. And you really got to fight again.
You fix it later. It'll be fine. Now,
which means one thing. If you want to get home from work every day, if it means anything to you for the myriad of reasons that people will give you, it is up to you It is up to you. Yes. Your boss, as I said before, he's obligated by law or he or she is obligated by law and morally, if you like, to provide you that safe working platform. But unless you pick up the tools, unless you have an attitude that says, you know what, I'm looking out for everything today, particularly when you work on dangerous jobs, that is your only real protection.
Yeah. So basically, if you think there's something wrong, report it and do something about it straight away.