A construction worker has recently been fired after refusing to apologise for his response to a HR memo that was distributed just hours after a colleague committed suicide.
The “insensitive” memo from human resources stated that, “the site will remain open and employees will be expected to work.”
“Personal leave will not be be granted without a doctor’s certificate.”
To this, the forty nine year old worker called HR a “f*cking dog” after sending this out to employees mere hours after a worker had committed suicide on site.
Ben Martin, who works as a subcontractor for Inpex, posted his feelings on the page FIFO Construction Workers 3/1 Forum. Stating he had no regrets about doing this, the comments were removed and Mr Martin fired from his job.
Refusing to apologise for the comments he made, Mr Martin also claimed he was singled out for “having the courage to question the memo”.
He described to NT News: “I think I was targeted for posting about contractors’ lack of sensitivity regarding the fact workers have taken their own lives on the project.”
“It was not a nice thing (for me) to write…”
“But, (the) memo didn’t show any sensitivity to anyone, especially considering the timing.”
Stating he regretted losing his job, the worker defended that he did not regret making a stand.
The main issues found with the HR letter was that it was released just hours after the worker had committed suicide. And, it offered none of those who had known, and worked with him, any form of grief counselling.
This wasn’t the first suicide to take place on the Australian site though either. Instead, ABC news reported that this was the 14th worker to commit suicide on the oil and gas export and production site. It was also found that back in 2015, 629 Fifo workers were surveyed. From this, it was found that 28% of which had clear indications of depression!
Suicide has been a prominent topic recently though in construction with campaigns such as Time to Talk and Mental Health awareness week. But, is enough being done?
Last year, reports recorded that a teenage apprentice aged just eighteen years old had committed suicide due to work. There, he was locked in a cage by his colleagues and set on fire. In the eyes of those involved though, they claimed this was just “banter”. Take a look at the full report here.
So what do you think of this? Do you think mental health needs to be discussed more on site? Let us know in the comments below.