If you’re not being heard, you have choices. More people want to listen than you think.

hand ear listening

It can be hard to listen and pay attention when there’s so much noise with all these distractions: phones, emails, operational and warning sounds, screens, passengers, coworkers... It’s difficult enough to get the job done. 

It’s tempting and sometimes necessary to just focus on the task we’re working on, closing our mind and our ears to everything else. 

At times, we do need to stop and listen. Times when, if we don’t listen to someone, we don’t find out what we need to know for the safety of ourselves and others. We won’t understand what the issue is and how we can help or prevent an incident.

Processes, procedures and policies are only useful when we put them into practice. People make workplaces safe through listening and understanding. When we use our eyes and ears to spot something that’s wrong, we need to use our voices to be heard.

Sometimes, using our voice to raise a safety concern doesn’t seem to make a difference. Is anyone listening? Don’t they want to hear? Maybe they think they are listening, but they’re not getting the point. They’re not listening carefully enough to understand what you’re leaving out and not saying.

Whoever you’re speaking to may not be ready to listen right now. Maybe they’re only focused on what they want to in that moment, or they’re too worried about another issue to hear about anything else. We’re all human. 

Their biases might mean they won’t ever properly listen to you. Your relationship with someone, previous experiences, or their conscious and unconscious perceptions of you can all influence this.
If you feel that no one is really listening to you, remember you have many options. 

There are people who want to listen. This might be your line manager, your supervisor, a site manager, or internal reporting channels that will help your concerns reach the health and safety professionals wherever you work.

You can turn to union representatives, or open up to colleagues in listening roles, such as workplace and wellbeing champions.

CIRAS confidential safety hotline provides extra listening alongside all these. We protect your identity and make sure your concern reaches the right people, who want to listen. 

Perhaps your role at work means you can listen to coworkers with concerns and really hear them. We can all find safety in listening.

Raise a concern

Find out more

Meet our frontline: the CIRAS reporting analysts

Listening to everyone: every voice matters

Listening well can improve outcomes in times of change

Listening inclusively: check your own bias