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Bruce O'Grady, Maxcon Industries

Bruce O'Grady was crushed in a forklift incident and suffered four fractured vertebrae, collapsed lungs, a broken pelvis, fractured ribs, damaged spleen and liver, crushed nerves from the waist down and partial bowel removal, as well as ongoing complications.

Bruce had a positive attitude about his rehabilitation and pushed himself to ensure his rehabilitation goals were met. After completing rehabilitation, Bruce returned to work four hours a week, increasing gradually to four days a week (at time of submission).

While Bruce was injured, he completed a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to assist in the role as a trainer for Maxcon. The effect of Bruce's incident and return to work has been that people are more aware of their working environment and are more proactive about safety. Bruce often speaks candidly to current and new staff about his injuries and the importance of safety in the workplace.

Bruce's goal is to return to full time hours soon, with the approval of his treating doctor.

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On screen text

Bruce O'Grady, Maxcon Industries - Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2017

Bruce O'Grady: My name's Bruce O'Grady. I work for Maxcon Industries. Maxcon Industries do treatment plants for sewage, all to do with stainless steel, mild steel, whatever it happens to be. They do cryogenics. They've got a lot of positions, jobs they do. I presently work in the tool store, but I have worked in the yard at the same time.

On the day of my injury, I was in the yard, using a forklift, and all I know was that I woke up in hospital. What I was told was that I got crushed between the mast and the body of the forklift, and that's where I died. Basically, from the waist down was just crushed.

It's always hard. You come home in a wheelchair, and then what you used to do, you don't do anymore. You learn that things change. Even now, I still have trouble walking. I'm in constant pain down one side, but I'm up. I'm still walking.

After the rehab, I returned to work. Very important to do. It was good for me, good for my mind, good for my family.

Paul Cort: You know, straight away, when you think about an injury of that magnitude, it's all about the person that's injured, obviously, but with Bruce, it was the after effects, the morale in the workplace. I think it's essential for management to commit, because they have to put those resources in place. I mean, I know when Bruce came back to the workplace, you could see an immediate morale uplift, straight away. So, it's absolutely essential.

Bruce O'Grady: Management backed me from day one. They were fantastic. Could not complain. The people themselves have changed, I've changed, which is for good, because they now look at what they used to do as, "Hang on, I could get hurt doing this." Now, they think about what they're doing, and with the backing of work, they have meetings all the time, and expressing the fact that they can get injured, and everybody is a lot safer than what we used to be.

Everybody wants to achieve something, and if you sit around doing nothing, then you haven't achieved anything. At least if you get back to work, you know you're trying to get where you want to go.RUN TIME: 2min 18sec