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The impacts of workplace injury on families (Riana Crehan)

Riana Crehan, motorsport presenter for the Supercars shares her personal story about her father suffering a workplace injury and the impact on families.

(upbeat music) - Good morning, everyone, and thank you for tuning into the Work Well series. My name is Riana Crehan, and it really is a delight to be able to chat with you today and speak about a topic that's really important to me. My background is in TV presenting, and I've had an incredibly fortunate career and been able to do so many exciting things over the years that have really taken me in all different places and all different walks of life.

Currently, I work full-time as part of the Supercars coverage on Foxtel and KO and Channel 7, and this month we really are in the biggest month of our year. The Gold Coast 500 is coming up this weekend down on the Gold Coast on the streets of Surfers Paradise. Formally, people might recognize the name, the Indy, IndyCar Racing, so Supercars will be hitting the track on the Gold Coast very shortly, and we've just come off the back of the Bathurst 1000, which is, of course, our biggest week of the year. Over five million people watch our television coverage globally.

Now, last year I was crazy enough to go on Channel 7's hit reality TV show SAS Australia, and I was incredibly humbled to be one of the three finishes of the selection course and receive that pass that the DS give out. It was a really proud moment for me as it's only a very small group of just three women who have completed the SAS selection course in Australian history on that TV show.

Now, whether it's been through my television work on Superbikes, working with the guys on Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson, James May, Supercars, SAS, or in my past life where I worked as an emergency room nurse, my life has always had a really different view towards safety, in particular safety in the workplace, and as we chat further today, I will share with you a personal experience on why workplace safety is so important to me. Now, the story that I'll share with you is not just an afterthought, it's not just something I thought, oh, this fits in with this topic. This is a story about my dad and about my family and an accident that he had at work, which impacted heavily on him and our entire family.

Now, I'd love to share a little bit of background about me before we get into it and the current role that I do at the moment.

I work in probably one of the most dangerous environments in sport in Australia.

For the past 17 years, I've worked as a reporter for the Supercars Championship, and for those that don't follow car racing, Supercars Championship really is the top tier motorsport category in Australia. We travel all around the country and have traveled internationally, and it's been the traditional Holden versus Ford racing car series.

My role is mostly working in the pit lane. Now, the pit lane is where they service the cars. Cars come in for tires and fuel, and if there's been damage or the likes like that. Now, this area is probably the area I would say is potentially the most dangerous, aside from those drivers that are inside the cars themselves.

However, there are so many measures that are now in place for us in pit lane to ensure that we are in the safest environment as we possibly can. And that's something that gives me great confidence when I go to work, and something I'm really proud that our organisation has continued to work on over the years.

Now, I've had some experience working internationally in motorsport events, and I can certainly say that we are very lucky in Australia to have such high standards in health and safety and ensuring that that is very much a priority for all of the people going to a motorsport event, regardless of whether they're fans or working in the event.

Now, anyone who has been to a motorsport event will no doubt have read the back of their ticket, and in that fine print it will say, "Motor sport is inherently dangerous."

We are exposed to incredibly loud noises, high speeds, various types of equipment, chemicals, trip hazards, weather, and that's all in a normal day's work for us. We have a very tight-knit group of members who work more like a family, I would say, as opposed to colleagues, and we face these elements every day we go to work, but ensure that we are always looking after one another.

Now, often the first thing that people will notice when they come to the racetrack and they stand near the garages or towards Pit Lane is just how loud it is there. The car engines, the rattle guns to change the tyres, the machinery to fix things are constantly being used, and it is noisy all day long. Now, I wear, and we are encouraged to wear, industrial-grade noise-cancelling custom ear moulds all day long, and that's not only so that we can, of course, get the direction from the producers and the directors that are telling us where to go and what's coming up next, but it is to block out as much noise as we possibly can and doing that safely. Given we're in this really loud environment for up to 10 hours a day over the course of four or five days, a race meeting isn't just race day, Sunday.

Now, it's not just noise that is, of course, impactful on our hearing or on our own hearing. It's the danger that the noise comes with and ensures that we are keeping ourselves out of harm's way.

Noise is, of course, a sense that we rely on so regularly for keeping ourselves out of a dangerous environment.

And working in such a noisy environment, it is imperative that we are alert to all of the things that are happening around us. We need to maintain awareness of people and what they're doing, the movement of cars, equipment, other people, and just ensuring that we are standing and walking correctly to ensure that we are always out of immediate harm. Now, I mentioned that I'd worked in a couple of motorsport events internationally, and they really opened my eyes when I got to travel overseas and see how things are done differently in different countries. For example, in Australia, the pit lane is capped at 40 kilometres an hour because have a limiter on their cars to ensure that they don't go over and above that speed. And that is, of course, to keep everyone in the lane safe. Now, when you look at motorsport categories around the world, they don't necessarily have this pit lane speed limiter. They're not capped in their speed that they travel down pit lane. And time and time again, unfortunately, there are injuries to mechanics, to people who work in the media, to reporters. And so we are very much lucky in Australia that we have these safety measures in place. I'll also tell a quick story about a time where we took the supercars on a demonstration event to Kuala Lumpur a couple of years ago, and it was an incredible event that we were very lucky to be part of. But it really opened my eyes just how different things are done in different countries. And I did look across at one point when I was standing and working in a pit lane to see people were smoking in pit lane. Now, I don't think you have to be a genius to realise that smoking, fuel, fast cars, engine backfires, all that sort of stuff, exhaust flames, really do not go well together. So it just, I think, once again, just sends that message home, just how lucky we are here in Australia and how far we've come in terms of ensuring that our people and our fan base are as safe as they possibly can be.

Now, one of the most common questions I get as a pit lane reporter is why do we wear race suits in pit lane? And it's not because we want people to think that we are racing car drivers, and it's not because we think we are racing car drivers. It's, of course, to keep us safe from fires.

Now, these fireproof suits are constructed of three layers of a specific material that are all to FIA standards. And this, of course, is to assist in protecting us as much as we possibly can. As I said before, the combination of fuel, exhaust, brake temperatures are the perfect mix and the perfect hazard for fires, and we as pit reporters are right in the thick of it as we're trying to tell the story and trying to relay the messages to the commentary team and to our production.

Now, if anyone was watching the Australian Grand Prix earlier this year, where the Formula One cars, where all the supercars were racing there, you would have seen the unfortunate fires of Nick Percad and James Courtney. Both cars were completely engulfed in flames and only metres from mechanics, reporters and camera crew.

Now, similarly, just a few years ago in Townsville, there was a fire, once again, in pit lane.

And it was because there was some fuel spilt, and that, of course, ignited this entire flame in pit lane. And as you can see from the photo that you're probably looking at on your screens now, I was only a couple of metres away from this huge fire. It was a really scary moment, but it was during this moment that you come to realise just how lucky we are to be given the protection that we're given.

Now, what comes from fires in our sport is a real sense of community and how we are very much all in this together.

In the second fire in pit lane, you can see that there was teams from all... Sorry, mechanics from all different teams, rivals on track, but very much working together to get the person out of the car safely in these particular circumstances.

And, of course, each time there is a fire, this is an opportunity for a thorough investigation and to consistently be reviewing our protocols and reviewing exactly what is happening within the lane, within the cars and within our environment to ensure that the standards for safety for us in the lane, for the drivers in the car, are as high as they possibly can be. And we've come such a long way in this area if you look back to some supercar racing, maybe 15, 20 years ago, just how far we've come in order to keep everybody safe.

Now, in late 2021, I had the wonderful opportunity to take part in Channel 7's reality TV show, SAS Australia.

Now, for anyone who is not familiar with this show, they basically grab a bunch of celebrities, TV personalities, athletes, and four highly skilled and also very entertaining former soldiers, put them through a program based off an actual SAS selection course.

It's probably the most brutal, confronting, realistic reality programs there is on Australian television.

Now, the thing that really stuck with me most is that when I watched this on TV, the previous series, it did not look easy. And when I did the TV show in person, it was absolutely 100 times harder than I could ever have expected.

Now, as contestants before we are accepted onto this show, we were given an immense amount of training. The day before filming commenced, we had an intense training day, which I suppose you could call a ropes course and an induction of sorts to various different types of things that we may face on the course. We had to demonstrate that we knew how to correctly fit a harness and take it off appropriately. We also had to use various different carabiners and we were tested on how we could attach these carabiners to our harnesses. We also had to ascend and descend a two-storey building. And if you've seen the show, you'll understand why that was important. And they also gave us plenty of tips and tricks on the best way to climb, the best way to hold, the best way to carry certain things so that we could prevent injuries to ourselves as best we possibly can. And we weren't really going into this situation completely flying blind.

We were presented with a myriad of tasks on the show. So we really needed to have a snapshot and various different tasks in order to be able to conduct these on the TV show.

Now, however, after telling you my previous story about how I've spent a lot of my career avoiding a fire safely and doing everything we possibly can to ensure that we are safe in the lane, nothing really prepared me for the challenge of day one, where they literally lit us on fire.

And I have these photos to prove it. Now, it's not a metaphor. This was actual fire. Now, I know that television is very much smoke and mirrors, but we were on fire. However, what was the most important thing about this was the meticulous preparation that went through before this happened. We were using the correct equipment and we were wearing the correct clothing and we were covered in a goo, if as such, to ensure that we were as safe as possible in this situation.

Now, with the magic of television, a lot of it is very much smoke and mirrors. And what you don't see are the protocols and the safety measures that go on behind the scenes and things that are to the finest, finest detail.

So that when you're watching it on your couches at home, it looks incredibly dangerous and it looks incredibly scary and it looks like something could go wrong at every second. However, the beauty of television is what you don't see behind that fourth wall. And I suppose I can let you in on a couple of little secrets today.

Now, on site throughout the entire selection course and for this day in particular, we had trained medical experts, we had special effects and special fire experts who were on scene. Of course, we had fire brigades as well standing by. The directing staff who were all qualified former SAS soldiers are all very much versed in what to do in this situation. And everybody was performing a specific role to ensure that nothing could go wrong.

However, we want you to think that sitting on your couches, things could go wrong at any second.

Now, from my experience with SAS and my experience with these professionals, a word that probably may surprise some people, particularly if you've watched this show, is care and the process and the care that we were given throughout this show.

And it is really how I felt throughout the entirety of dealing with the television show, even including pre and post show.

Now, the DS, they look very scary and they appear very scary. And I tell you, in the moment, they are very scary. However, they are underlying, they are completely and utterly wanting to care for us in every way possible.

Now, after I agreed to similarly go on this show, there was a huge various amount of steps that we needed to follow to ensure that we were going to be taken care of. Now, pre filming the show, we would put through a series of interviews. We had psychological testing and we also had to clear a physical test as well before getting accepted onto the show. And we worked incredibly in depth with the production team to ensure that we were both very much had an understanding of what was about to happen.

Now, that included an online workshop. We had various Zoom interviews who were all done and conducted with former medical combat soldiers who also had served in the special forces.

And all of this really was built around ensuring that we were mentally ready to take part in this selection course.

We were also required to submit a physical test and that was a test in strength, in cardio and of course, water safety to show that we had not only taken on board what we were required to do, but we were going to be safe when we were on the show. And then finally, before the show commenced, we had our final checks with the doctors, both medically and psychologically, to ensure that we were absolutely ready to take on these tasks.

Now, we were put in a bit of a lockdown situation, so they want to hide you away from the media, they want to take your phones and your computers away from you in the last five days before filming commences. And that's really where they knuckled down and ensured that we were both mentally prepared and physically prepared for what lay ahead. I think it made us more scared as well, though.

Now, immediately post the show filming, we were also required to be medically and psychologically cleared by both the combat doctors and the production team as well. And then the six month following the shows filming had ceased, we were also received medical care and psychological care from the doctors on the show.

So throughout this entire process, despite how it looks on television, we felt very much cared for. We felt supported, we felt safe and we felt that if at any time we had questions or concerns that we were going to be listened to.

Now, despite what I have said previously and everything that I've just run through and just how meticulous the care was, I want to say on the record that performing these tasks, despite all of those safety measures I've spoken about, were incredibly difficult and incredibly terrifying. And the SAS guys continually say and are quoted as saying, the only easy day was yesterday. So we had our workout out for us. It was 14 days of intense physical and mental exhaustion and an experience that my mind and my body certainly won't ever forget. I don't want to think that it was all watered down from the things that I've just spoken about. But I also want to reiterate that despite this extreme environment, that safety and care was of utmost priority.

Now, just to quickly touch on a little bit of my career before things went crazy with the television world, I actually worked as an emergency room nurse for many years.

And it was something I'd always wanted to do. We have medical runs through our family. My mum is and has been a nurse for 35 years and my brother is a paramedic. And he also has two PhD qualifications because he's very much the smarty pants of our family.

Now, I worked as a nurse for a period of time in both palliative care and in the emergency room. And it's a career that's certainly not for the faint-hearted. And I know that anyone who is listening on who has experience in the medical field would absolutely agree with that. However, it's a career that holds safety of patients and staff in the highest regard.

Now, often the demands of patient care can lead to making those compromises on your own personal health and safety. I saw it. My mum has seen it. My brother has seen it. I'm sure that anyone who has worked in the medical field will absolutely agree with this.

However, in conversations with my mum and my brother, the only way to really ensure longevity, as I said, my mum's been a nurse for 35 years, is to look after your own mental and physical health and wellbeing.

Being an advocate for yourself and, of course, for your peers and using the measures that are now in place, that certainly weren't in place when my mum started her career all those years ago. Ensuring that you do take your breaks when you need to, even though that patient care is in the front of your mind, you need to look after yourself. Take those breaks. Use the appropriate equipment that has now been implemented, wearing the correct shoes, wearing the appropriate uniforms and following all of the protocols. And above all else, asking for help. I think so often we forget to ask for help in these situations. And it is so important that we really rely on everything that's been put in place and been implemented in this current day and age and we use them appropriately.

Now, this part of what I want to speak to you today is, of course, one of the most important parts of what I'm going to discuss. However, it is still, this is about me, it's about my family and it's about my dad. And so it is very much a sensitive topic to speak on. And I don't think I've ever spoken about this to anyone really, aside from those within my inner circle.

But when we were in conversations with Queensland WorkSafe,

I feel like this is such an important story and this is unfortunately such a common story among so many people that I really wanted to share my story today.

And I hope that by sharing my story, it's heard and it's reiterated. And the importance of taking care of yourself and others in the workplace is really what's a takeaway from today.

No one should ever feel worried about going to work. No one should ever feel concerned or too afraid to ask for help or to bring up something that might be sensitive in the workplace. We should all feel safe when we go into our working environment, when we leave our home and say goodbye to our family. And we should feel safe when we're at work and be able to return home and be happy in the work environment that we're in.

And I know that the emphasis that WorkSafe Queensland is putting on this message over time, it really will get through. And I really hope that people won't have the stories like my story.

Now, in 2001, my dad suffered a workplace injury that really changed his and our lives forever. He was working for a power company in Western Australia, and that's where I originally am from. And his job was to cut trees down from where they were too close to power lines.

Now, the cherry picker that he was working in failed to comply with the safety requirements and they did not have the non-slip mat that was supposed to be in the cherry picker fitted.

Now, when my dad stepped out of the cherry picker one day, he slipped and fell and suffered a significant knee injury in the process.

Now, following this, he did all of the correct things. He went straight to hospital for treatment. It was all reported.

But unfortunately, the incident that probably seemed simple from the surface turned into an ongoing nightmare for my dad and for our family. Dad was only 39 years of age at the time. And unfortunately, he was the youngest that the surgeon had to perform a full and total knee replacement on at this time. His knee ulcerated after the injury. And this is was really the start of what was unfortunately an ongoing battle for many years to come. A workers compensation claim was lodged with the company he was working for. But unfortunately, that company did everything they possibly could to fight dad and pass the blame back on to him.

Dad was a devoted worker. He was a hard worker. And so to have this type of response was completely debilitating to our family.

Now, the case went to court and over the course of seven very long years, the company that dad loved working through, they put him through absolute hell. Our family was watched by insurance companies. We had people sitting in cars out the front of our house recording his every move. And it really felt at times like we were one of those TV shows, a current affair episodes that you see where people, you know, abusing the system. But this was absolutely our reality. And dad was absolutely the one that was suffering.

He not only suffered physically with numerous complications, unfortunately, from his injury and was subsequently required to have many more surgeries, but his mental health took a rapid decline.

For him and for many other men, work is very much their identity, a real sense of duty to the family to provide for the family.

Even though mum was working as a nurse, dad really was the main income earner at home. And the loss of that really put financial stress on our family. But it also impacted him mentally with that inability to contribute to the family finances and take care of us like, you know, he'd always wanted to do and always had done.

He was subsequently diagnosed with depression and this unfortunately spiraled in the years to follow.

He relied heavily on pain medication daily and suffered many complications in the years following with both of his legs.

And he subsequently had to have to follow two further major knee surgeries in the years after.

It really wasn't just the financial stress and the physical pain, but it was the constant questioning and the doubt that the company that dad was working for that was just relentless on on him and on our family.

Often because of the workers compensation claim, he was sent to multiple different doctors, multiple different surgeons who were seeking an independent opinion about his injury and the course that it required.

And of course, they all came back with the same answer. They all knew exactly what was going on, but it was almost like the company was trying to find a doctor who may have a slightly different view than what they would have liked.

Now, it's like he had this injury through no fault of his own, but then he was having that injury question time and time again.

And it just it's so frustrating and it was so frustrating at the time. And I mean, shouldn't the advocacy of safety of employees what we should be encouraging not sort of being looked down on because unfortunately this was the case.

Now, the other aspect of this while obviously trying to keep our life on track was just how much it impacted his ability to be employed.

Dad was an outdoors kind of person. He left school when he was just 14 years of age and always worked outside and in a physical capacity. He worked as a farmer. He worked in construction. He worked in a cement mill. He worked as a tree lopper. So he was unable to do this type of physical work anymore. And that was another challenge that he had to face and really impacted him mentally.

Not only was, of course, his skill set limited, but he sort of had like a black cloud over his name because of the workplace accident and because of having that compensation claim.

It was almost like he was being punished for being the victim because of, I suppose, a stigma at the time that was attached to having a workplace injury.

Really, it should be the complete opposite. You should be advocating for workplace safety. We should be encouraging people to advocate for workplace safety and looking after yourself and others in the workplace.

And obviously, we as a family saw firsthand just how much this was debilitating for him.

Now, in the end, and it was many, many years later, Dad did receive a pay out after fighting a very long battle.

The pay out, the number doesn't matter because it was insignificant to what damage had already been done to him and to our family in so many different areas. And at the time, I mean, he was just 46 years of age. He was essentially told he was never able to reenter the workforce in the same capacity and that he would have lifelong complications because of this injury.

And that really unfortunately set him on a path that was really hard to come back from.

Now, I think it's fair to say that I believe work safety requires constant reevaluation and discussion. There is absolutely never a bad time for it to be on the agenda.

I think it's important to advocate for yourself and for your peers and we need to let go of that be a hero mentality. I mean, I had firsthand the privilege of watching real life heroes, real life special forces soldiers in my experience on the TV show. And they had the ability to put down their egos. They had the ability to prioritize safety and protocols. And I know that if they can do it, workplaces can do it also.

I really think it's too often that people believe it's just easier to push through, not take that break, push through a long shift, not have lunch, don't skip on your meal break because we're all just too busy in life. We're always too busy. I don't I've never met anyone that's not too busy.

And the accepted mentality sort of has become just to push through and be a hero when it really should be to take care and take the time that you need.

There is absolutely enough information on the importance of looking after ourselves and that mentality just shouldn't exist anymore. And I know we can take steps forward in this space in order to maximize our potential. We need to be looking after our well-being and put it on the agenda to even for myself. I know personally I have to adopt this in all areas of my work when I'm working 10 to 12 hour days at Supercars events with all of those elements that I described to you earlier.

It's imperative that I look after myself hydrating with the appropriate drinks and electrolytes and eating foods with the correct nutritional values. Trying to survive on a day like that with chips and lollies and junk food just has potentially dangerous impacts on us when we're not alert and not working to our best potential. And it's imperative to have a long term career and following these strategies.

Now from today I really hope you've heard my passion plea from the other side of the workplace and the supportive family at home that just wants their loved ones to be home healthy and safe and feeling secure in their job and trusting in their employer.

I hope in any way that this conversation and this topic leads to outcomes that help our workers and we can reflect on taking care of one another in our workplace from here on out wherever that may be.

Now that really concludes the formalities of what I wanted to share with you today. But I know that there is the ability for everyone to ask questions or if you have any questions or comments, I think there is a checkbox that you're able to put those questions into and I'll do my best to answer them as best I possibly can.

So I think the top question is what advice do you have for young people getting started in a trade to encourage them to speak up when or if they see something is unsafe. I really think that we've come a long way in this area. I think maybe 10 or 15 years ago you probably would have been afraid to ask questions. But I think that it is just so important to trust your gut and you always know that in your gut if something is appearing to be unsafe or not the way it should be and really seek out advice from your peers or from your mentors within that workplace. Do as much research as you possibly can. I know that in particular Queensland WorkSafe have got so much information out there to sort of back up what maybe you might be instinctively feeling that isn't quite correct and you've just really got to back yourself. I think that is so important in all areas of life and not asking that question unfortunately could maybe be what you regret later on in life. So I think you always just have to trust your gut back yourself and seek out seek out advice from those mentors around you.

Next question. How do you mentally how do you mentally prepare for a race. Now I think you're alluding to working in supercars. I think in that question now I suppose my work my workplace is has a myriad of different things that we have to deal with. Of course as I spoke to you before all the different elements that we are that we're faced with weather you know dangerous hazards trips all that sort of stuff. But then we also on live television for you know 10 12 hours a day. So there's sort of two aspects of my job that I really have to look out for and mentally it's about being as best prepared as I possibly can. So from the side of the television point of view I do a lot of research in the weeks leading up to an event and ensure that I have all the knowledge that I require for that for that race upcoming. And then on the other side of it it's making sure that I'm arriving to a race meeting you know not tired not to run down. I'm prepared with the meals that I require throughout the weekend and just ensuring that I'm in the best possible place when a race weekend commences because it is often three or four days. Of incredibly long days and we don't really get a lot of chance to sort of take a breath throughout the weekend. So it's arriving as best prepared as I possibly can.

Now what do we get in your experience as a nurse. What types of work related injuries did you see. Unfortunately you see a vast majority of different injuries and I think that you know that's where. I've unfortunately seen with my mom with my brother with myself these things can happen you know in the blink of an eye. And that's where you know we really have to be on top of our surroundings what we're doing and what ensuring that we're really following those protocols. You know you see things you know from like needle pricks to slipping on you know hazards on the ground to not using the appropriate equipment when you're lifting a patient. You know gone are the days where you as a nurse or as a carer had to physically use your own body to lift a patient or move a patient. There are now so many different things that are in place with hoists and and slip mats and all that sort of stuff where we no longer have. I say we are nursing and nursing and doctors and medical staff no longer have to use their own body to do these different maneuvers within the caring facility. So I think that like my mom for example when she first started nursing thirty five forty years ago unfortunately a lot of that generation of nurses have got bad backs and arthritis and all things like that. Unfortunately because they didn't have access to those things back all those years ago but now we are very fortunate in the environment that we're in now in two thousand twenty three where we have all of these things that have been implemented to ensure that we can avoid these injuries as much as possible.

Now next question. There is a lot of emotional abuse and verbal abuse sigma stereotyping in various workplaces.

What's your advice on managing these unhealthy workplaces specifically given that these are factors which are difficult to address at a workplace.

Yeah really really tricky. I know in different experiences for myself where there's a workplace bullying and that can come in a variety of different ways. I know that family members have been in an environment at their workplace where they've been bullied from someone who's allegedly senior in the role to someone who's quite junior in the role. And I really think that it needs to come down to once again like backing yourself trusting your instinct and seeking out people who who you can confide in workplaces like any other place. It's like a playground for kids. It's like you know a community for adults. We're not always going to get along perfectly with every single person that we that we work with. I mean that's just impossible to to think that we are all going to work completely harmoniously without having various disagreements. And I really think that it's about ensuring that you've got a good group around you that you can trust and you can can can can seek out advice in situations like this. Of course you know going tit for tatters is never going to eventuate in in a great outcome. So it's really about ensuring that you follow the protocols write things down send emails as opposed to you know doing these over say over a phone call so that you really got all the information that you need and you can collate that data that you need in case you know these things are ongoing.

Next question you talked about how your dad was affected after his accident. How did it affect you and your other family members. Yeah great question. So when dad had his accident as I said he was only 39. So I was quite myself and my brother and sister were all quite young. So I suppose at the time I certainly have a different a different view of how that all happened now that I'm much older and I have my own family and my own child.

At the time I think I was you know I was just maybe the end of primary school beginning of high school. So I suppose you're not exposed as much to all of the finer details that were that was happening with mum and dad. But we certainly knew you know that there was a lot of stress a lot of pressure. Dad over the years I suppose you could see that he slowly lost his sense of self which was really really difficult to witness over over a period of time. But I suppose it's more now as an adult looking back just how much that one day set our entire family on a on a part on a different path.

Dad had many complications and not just the physical ones of as I touched on you know the mental ones were really difficult for all of us to deal with.

And and I suppose you know you sort of look back and like these like so many things like this it's you know one second that that send you on a path completely different to what you had expected and. You know if it wasn't for that simple thing things could have been so so different and I'm sure that there's many families and many people out there who can relate to something like that where you know something so that seems so simple completely trained you know change how they saw the next few years and. I suppose that's where the frustration like lay for our family and and now thinking back you know and it obviously that day but then the subsequent treatment of us as a family from from that workplace was was really really disappointing to say the least. Next question is I can relate to your story there is a stigma associated with receiving workers compensation how do you think we shift that stigma yeah great question and exactly right there certainly is that stigma I suppose I you know I can only speak from from experience with dad was you know any time that he went to you know a job interview or something like that and you've got to sort of submit all your information and you know what why is there a person who's going to be able to you know in a period of seven eight ten years where you haven't worked and it's all because of you know this and you know just getting that kind of shrug off you know this this guy's had a workers can claim that you know it was quite heavy and went to court and all that sort of stuff and and I suppose a lot of workplaces may think that that has got a you know. An alert next to it but I mean I suppose all we can really do is is encourage people to follow the correct protocols and and encourage that advocate you know advocacy for for workplace safety and not feeling nervous about reporting an incident because you know that may.

Put a black mark against your name for the future and I think that you know that's something that has to happen step by step and in small ways in workplaces and it's not not going to change overnight and obviously there'll be certain workplaces who do this wonderfully and other workplaces who you know unfortunately take take longer or don't do it as well but we can only advocate for ourselves and our and our peers that we work you know immediately we've and and I think that that's that has it all comes down to us at the end of the day. We go to work we choose what we were to work we choose to follow the protocols and not to follow the protocols and if we do see something that is a potential hazard we either have to make the choice to report that or not report that so you know at the end of the day it does fall on on our shoulders to ensure that you know the the greater the greater good will be there in the in the future.

What are some measures you feel employers could take to ensure a safer and healthier workplace for employees and I suppose this is just you know for all industries it's it's all regardless of where you're working whether you're a nurse or whether you're working in television it's you know it's really advocating to follow those procedures and protocols and having that constant reevaluation and having those you know constant you know roundtable meetings where.

Save in for example when we have the fires in in pit lane or when we have an incident in super cars it is straight away having that review going through a thorough investigation okay where can we improve what haven't we done so well what does the future look like what protocols do we need to change what rules do we need to amend to ensure that we're not this doesn't happen again and you know just regardless of whether that is supercars television or whether that is you know working in the local deli making a sandwich I mean these are the things that need that need to be done.

They all are the same they all have the same emphasis on on following these protocols and reevaluating the protocols and making sure that we are consistently keeping up with things that are changing and how things are moving and how we as as human society are changing as well as what things are now available to us in the workplace whether that be improvements in technology whether that be better ways to now lift a person in a hospital situation because hoists are now improved so you know if we just stayed the same we would we'd be better you know where we were 20 years ago and still lifting up patience with it you know with our poor backs and our poor hands as opposed to how we can do it safely now.

Now this is the final question so thank you everyone for sending through the questions do you remember having any close calls in what role and what did you learn from it.

Yeah I think well I suppose I can speak from this from a couple of different ways you know in particular with in supercars which is the thing that I've worked in most recently you know for example with that fire a few years ago in Townsville I showed you that photo I think I can probably go back to that photo and I was I don't know if you say fortunately or unfortunately right if that photo there right there where that fire happened and that was a wake up call that really was and you know you learn from these situations as to what what I could have done as a pit reporter better in that situation you know don't ensuring that I can see where the fire marshals are ensuring that I know where they are. The fire extinguishers are ensuring that you know we don't run into a garage you know you run away from it because if we run into the garage and then you know the flames are in the garage you're trapped in that garage and I suppose an incident like this is as much as it is you know scary at the time it really gives you a wake up call of being of me being aware of my surroundings and okay what happened what do I do in this situation if we ever saw this again and how can I ensure that me personally is safe in this environment.

And that's you know that's sort of the takeaway point after after these. Incidences as much as we don't want to see them ever in our sport we certainly do not want to see anyone injured but they do bring up questions and they bring up. You know things that we can do differently in the future and hopefully we all learn from these and we ensure that you know in the future we are we are always moving forward in safety. I think that's it for the questions I really appreciate you tuning in and listening to what I had to say today I really hope that some of the messages. You know they may relate to you and that may have may change the way you go about things in your workplace or you know just give you. You know just a sense of that yeah you're not alone if you've been in this situation before and there are there are people. Who unfortunately have experienced this situation but I think what the takeaway message is that we are always moving forward and we're always learning and we're always advocating to improve for the future so thank you thank you very much and hope you go on to enjoy the rest of your Monday.