I Chose to look the other way – by Don Merrell

Ai Group Apprentice & Trainee Safety team, have shared this poem among our staff to urge us all to call out unsafe work practises and not turn the other way. This evocative poem highlights the regret we would face if we saw someone taking a risk, but failed to act. We extend this message to all of our apprentices and host companies and ask, if you see a risk, don’t walk away. Be confident to speak up!

I could have saved a life today but chose to look the other way,
It wasn’t that I didn’t care.

I had the time, and was there but I didn’t want to seem a fool,
and argue over safety rules.

I knew he’d done the job before.
If I called it wrong, he might get sore.
The chances didn’t seem that bad.
(I’ve done the same. He knew I had)

So, I shook my head and walked on by.
He knew the risks as well as I
He took the chance; I closed my eye and with that act
I let him die.

I could have saved a life that day but chose to look the other way.
Now every time I see his wife,
I know I should have saved his life.
I see his kids and feel so sad.
They cry at night. They’ve lost their dad.

The guilt is something I must bear
but isn’t something you need share.
If you see a risk that others take,
that puts their health or life at stake…

The question asked, or things you say.
Could help them live another day.
If YOU see a risk and walk away,
then hope YOU NEVER have to say.

I could of saved a life today.
But chose to look the other way.

Listen to the poem read by Tony Scarinci, WHA&S Advisor SA/WA at Ai Group Apprentice & Trainee Centre.