Whistleblowing dilemma

A few months ago, I discovered a serious health and safety issue at work. I reported it to my manager then, but the situation remained unchanged. I am now contemplating making an anonymous tip-off to the safety regulators. I will never forgive myself if someone got hurt.

The problem is, if I did make that report, everyone at work will know it was me. I will probably lose my job, and I may even get death threats. I know it is not legal or right, but it happened to a colleague a few years ago.

My work is important to me. I have lots of friends at work. If I lose all that, I won’t know what to do with myself. And because of the conservative nature of the industry, I will probably be able to find work again.

I can’t stop thinking about this. But I also can’t work it out in my head. The fear and stress are overwhelming.

Insights

When we keep difficult things in our heads, it can spiral out of control and become magnified.

We don’t have to handle every situation on our own. There is support around us we may not be aware of.

Risks can be imagined. But the fear and stress from them are real.

We can force vague foreboding into the light by identifying the realistic impact and how likely they are likely to occur.

Ultimately, we are the only person who lives with our decisions.

Outcome

The client clarified what was truly important to them. They outlined the real and imagined risks.

They eventually decided to report their employer to the regulators.

They identified possible sources of support; including industry-specific counselling services.


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