THE confronting reality of working in the resources industry is the fundamentally dangerous nature of the environment: working with hazardous chemicals and oversized or specialist equipment is a daily requirement of many on-site positions. Companies have an ethical and legal responsibility to provide adequate training and supervision to enable workers to fulfil their job requirements – safely and accident-free. Accidents still occur, however, and can cause serious injury or even death.
James Wood established safety speakers and training consultancy business, CNB Safe in 2002, following a serious workplace accident that left him paraplegic. A relatable and respected former worker, Mr Wood now travels globally sharing his story with workplaces, to actively demonstrate the importance of making mindful and informed choices within any work environment.
“CNB Safe is a company that provides real-life safety information. We show workplaces the real results from a serious workplace injury,” Mr Wood said.
“The beauty of it is that my story ties the formal side of safety with the visual impact of what can happen, if workplace safety procedures aren’t followed.”
Mr Wood’s thought-provoking and informative safety presentations demonstrate the impact a workplace accident can have – not only for an affected individual but also for their family members, friends and workmates.
“After my accident, I was airlifted to hospital. My doctor told me I had broken my back and damaged my spinal cord,” Mr Wood said.
“I tell the details of what happened, and the bad safety choices I made while doing a simple job at work – all while sitting in front of the audience, in my wheelchair.
“Workers can relate to me and I can relate to them; I’m not simply another supervisor saying what should or shouldn’t be done. Workers are more open to, and more accepting of, the message I deliver.”
Although not a ‘safety professional’, Mr Wood said the power of his take-home message for audiences was widely acknowledged.
“It’s your choice to look after yourself. You can’t rely on your manager, supervisor or workmates to keep you safe. You’re the one that’s out there doing the job – you have to take that little bit of time; to think about what you’re doing; to think about how you’re going to do it; and to think about some of the things that might go wrong,” he said.
“My hope is to stop somebody else from going through what I had to go through.”
Mr Wood has since been joined by other safety speakers who have similarly suffered a serious injury at work, and who are willing to share their stories.
More information on CNB Safe workplace presentations can be found on the website, www.cnbsafe.com.au, by email firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone (03) 5965 2000.