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Near miss at work. What's the right thing to do?

(58 Posts)
rocketman3 Fri 26-May-17 10:41:35

My bf has a responsible job. the other day, he and his 'boss', who was ultimately responsible at the time had a 'near miss' type incident which sounds very much like it was a culmination of small errors on the part of the 'boss' and some external information sources. this could have been serious, people could have been injured/killed and there could have been environmental damage.

my bf has been asked to give a statement to his company and he is concerned about giving them fuel with which to fire the boss, should they wish to do so. I have told him he should tell the truth and left it at that. i don't think he will, i think he's trying to choose his words carefully. am sitting here watching him write his statement. is it immoral to lie to protect someone in this situation? i don't know the nuanced politics
of this place but he reckons they will use incidents like this to sack expensive people rather than make them redundant, so more will be made of it than should be. i personally think the truth should be told, always. AIBU/a square?

BewtySkoolDropowt Fri 26-May-17 10:45:29


They will get to the truth anyway, most probably, and if he is seen as trying to protect people when it's cut and dry, he may find that he is also replaceable.

Bufferingkisses Fri 26-May-17 10:50:13

If they are how he says they are he's risking his own job by not being straight. If not this time then another as they will store the knowledge.

AnthonyPandy Fri 26-May-17 10:50:55

Truth. Always. Let them do what ever they want with that information, that would not be your boyfriend's responsibility, but being honest is.

insancerre Fri 26-May-17 10:53:27

Always tell the truth
Otherwise your boyfriend is complicit it covering it up and it may come back to bite him on the bum one day

Dianneabbottsmathsteacher Fri 26-May-17 10:55:15


If another serious incident happens down the line your bf could find himself charged with a serious criminal offence.

Always the truth

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Fri 26-May-17 10:57:22

Lying could potentially risk a repeat incident. You have already said people's lives were at risk. Ask your DP is he wants that on his conscience?

If his boss fucked up, then tough, he should not be in that role!

mikeyssister Fri 26-May-17 11:01:03

Truth, how does he know the boss isn't trying to hang it on him.

TeenAndTween Fri 26-May-17 11:04:39


However wherever practical there should be checks and balances such that one person can't make a mistake that has devastating outcomes. (Depending on the area of work of course).

lougle Fri 26-May-17 11:05:55

Tell the truth, whether it's your mistake or someone else's. If you tell the truth you don't have to remember what you said.

CadnoDrwg Fri 26-May-17 11:08:48

Truth without emotive language. Just straight facts. This isn't about what they might do to his boss it's about what will happen if the truth is hidden and there's an actual incident next time that harms someone.

Aside from the moral situation that places your husband in, there's also the fact he will almost certainly be sacked if he lies about something in an official report.

CadnoDrwg Fri 26-May-17 11:09:35

Sorry BF not husband but my opinion still stands

JamPasty Fri 26-May-17 11:09:37

is it immoral to lie to protect someone in this situation

Yes, totally immoral. You don't lie to protect someone whose mistake could have cost someone their life. If he lies and boss does this again and someone dies, does your BF want that on his conscience?

FriedPisces Fri 26-May-17 11:11:16

Tell the truth. We had this policy clarified at work recently by the H&S co-ordinator and they want everything reporting correctly not to use against someone but to prevent such things occurring in the future.

YetAnotherSpartacus Fri 26-May-17 11:11:22

Truth, but maybe he could focus on structural / policy / procedure changes that may have failed and include small suggestions to prevent a recurrence? Is he likely to have to face an oral investigation? If so, definitely the truth because otherwise it will all fall apart when he is questioned.

WhatchaMaCalllit Fri 26-May-17 11:23:09

Write down the facts. Keep them a simple and unambiguous as possible. Let him say what happened. Not what he thinks his boss wants him to say happened. That will help no one in the long run.

If this near miss was as close to causing actual bodily harm, a lost time incident or a fatality in the work place, he simply must be clear, concise and accurate in his account of what happened. It could end up saving someone elses life should it happen again!

TressiliansStone Fri 26-May-17 11:24:04


In great detail. He should describe the small errors which led up to and the errors in outside information.

The future safety issue is obvious. But also, if the boss is sacked unfairly and wishes to go to an Employment Tribunal, it could be in the boss's interests if one of the official documents shows the development of the situation over time and shows if management failed to intervene where they should have.

(Obviously I don't know if that's the situation here.)

Jaxhog Fri 26-May-17 11:30:30

Truth. But facts only i.e. who did what and when. And only the facts he knows personally. No hearsay. And not his opinion on what should have happened, what could be better next time etc. That will just muddy the water.

Not telling the truth will put his own position in jeopardy.

KungFuEric Fri 26-May-17 11:37:06


Who's to say the boss isn't carefully wording his statement to pass the buck onto your husband? At least with the truth he knows his statements have integrity.

BluePeppers Fri 26-May-17 11:37:42

Truth again.
He needs to give the facts, only facts and be as neutral as possible.
He also need to be careful that if he avoids mentioning something this could be taken against him.

NinonDeLenclos Fri 26-May-17 12:01:45

Absolute truth.

If he covers up for his boss and the boss makes similar errors again in which someone gets hurt, your bf will be implicated morally.

FizzyGreenWater Fri 26-May-17 12:04:32

Absolute truth.

He's being reallly silly not to.

Sounds like this situation has an 'on site' element to it. Believe me they will go into detail in investigating, and the trouble with playing down or rewriting history with any incidents/decisions along the chain of events is that one thing leads to another, and it will likely become clear that your partner isn't telling it as it happened.

He's risking his career if he does that.

PeanutButterJellyTimeforTea Fri 26-May-17 12:10:43

Yes, the truth, but there are different ways of presenting the truth.

ComputerUserNotTrained Fri 26-May-17 12:19:48

Is your boyfriend a member of a union (I'm guessing not though)? That should be his first port of call, ideally.

scottishdiem Fri 26-May-17 12:25:36

Facts only. Preferably short bullet points so he doesnt get trapped in a narrative that can be questions.

If its serious then there will be proper investigators who are trained to really test what people are saying. Dont get caught in a lie, even a lie by omission.

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