Building bridges - Jed's story
Jed Millen had been in the construction industry for close to 20 years when he fell five metres from a bridge that collapsed without warning.
An accumulation of avoidable mistakes resulted in a serious spinal injury and caused years of physical and emotional pain for him and his family and friends.
Building bridges – Jed's story is a poignant reminder of the importance of communication, coordination and leadership when it comes to safety in the workplace.
Download a copy of this film (MP4/ZIP, 33MB)
Order a free copy of Jed's DVD via email@example.com.
Your business can apply for Jed or another of Queensland's Safety Advocates to attend your event and share their story to increase awareness and influence behaviour change, free of charge.
ANDREW: The construction industry is a very dangerous industry. It has unique risks which aren't in other industries. Our workplace is changing all the time; it's extending in different directions. Something that was solid today may not be solid tomorrow. And each one of those changing environments, changes the risk.
CAROLINE: Jed was a very happy young man. Apart from the fact probably that he had a house full of women.
SAM: Very outgoing, very willing to turn his hand at anything and to help anybody out.
CARLY: Very positive. Always a very good attitude. Always having a lot of fun.
JED: Life was full of laughs and jokes and, and putting one on each other.
CAROLINE: Jed was an active young man, involved in sport, liked to play golf, certainly loved his rugby. A very hard worker.
JED: Being a rigger, I was always very active working at heights, climbing. I loved it. Big machinery. Big toys. You got to see the countryside. Everything was going Mickey Mouse.
ANDREW: He saw that he was going to be in the construction industry for the rest of his working life.
JED: Nineteen and three quarter years, in the industry. Only takes a sec and your life's changed.
GENERAL TITLE SLIDE – "Building bridges: The Jed Millen story"
JED: The day was just another normal day where we usually rocked up at night time. It's still very early in the morning. And our job was to demolish a bridge and then rebuild the bridge with new beams. There was two doggers and a crane driver and usually at the beginning of the day, you flip coins on who's going to receive and who's going to unattach. I won't say I lost when we flipped the coin but it was my job to go up top. Hooking up and the guy on the bottom would be landing it on the back of semi-trailers so that it could be taken away. And it was a simple case of getting the crane driver to try and unwedge this central piece of the bridge.The boilermakers' job was to continue on cutting the deck so it could fall to the ground. There was so much mayhem going on and chaos and confusion because the piece of steel that we were trying to cut out wasn't coming out and we had a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between contractors on how we were going to get this piece of steel out.
ANDREW: There was about six tonne of concrete and steel hung up in the air that opened up like a trapdoor which Jed slid down.
JED: There was no warning. There was no creaking, groaning, moaning. It just dropped. Yeah, you pick up a bit of speed after five metres, hitting the ground. But it takes so long to get there. And I quickly look up and it was just like a hangman's trapdoor. I've just come straight through, ahh, bounced off the ground and tried to crawl away. And I became really, really angry because I wasn't in control. Someone had taken the control away from me. One of the first perceptions of surviving the accident was I didn't say goodbye to my family this morning. And that hurt, that really hurt, because ahhh, this could've been different. Get into the hospital And of course the dreaded 'When you ring my wife, tell her I'm alright'.
SAM: And I said: "Ok, now tell me what you mean by he's alright?" "Oh, he's in an ambulance", and that's when I went into a panic mode.
CARLY: I don't know how, but he wasn't in hospital for very long. Despite the injuries, it was felt that he would be better at home.
SAM: Straight after the accident, you could see that there was clearly something wrong.
CARLY: I remember watching him walk into the house and the pain on his face had aged him 10 years, in a day.
CAROLINE: After this, the whole world for all of us came crashing down.
JED: The initial impacts of my accident, the biggest one was physical. The simplest way the doctor's explained what happened to my back and so I could show the kids, was he just got a can. Because of the fall to the left, I've bent my back and I've twisted it about 45 degrees to my left. I'm very fortunate that it's my upper back and not my lower back, because I can still walk properly. Wasn't able to do nothing to start off with.
CAROLINE: Waking up in the morning was an effort. Sam would have to help him out of his bed.
CARLY: Yeah, she became a caretaker for him. And it was very hard work.
JED: It put a lot of pressure on my wife that she had to do a lot of things. Lot of extra things that I wasn't able to do.
SAM: I haven't had to feed him but just maintaining and making sure that he's comfortable and doing that without stepping over those boundaries of making him feel like as if he's helpless.
JED: It was very frustrating. From being active to non-active is really hard. You can't even do simple things around the house. You can't make the bed. You can't mow the lawn.
CARLY: He couldn't pick up his daughter. Even when his youngest daughter was born, in December, when, and she came out premature.
CAROLINE: He would go to the hospital. And he would lie there with this tiny thing. And he said to me I just wonder what I'll be like and be able to be a proper dad for this little girl. And as a mother and a grandmother, that destroyed me. Destroyed me.
JED: So daddy just lied around all day long. Daddy didn't do a real lot, for a couple of weeks, a couple of months. And the kids were confused. What's wrong with dad?
SAM: The difficulty was, oh, you know, Dad's been in an accident, but there's, there's no bandages. Well dad, you know, you could do this yesterday, why can't you do it today? Or, you know, why are you lying down or why are you cranky?
JED: Part of the frustration was, everyone kept doing what they could do. Nothing had changed for them. Just this grumpy old many used to sit in the corner every so often and they knew when to steer clear from dad.
CARLY: You couldn't invite people over. The tension in the house was immense. It, it was overwhelming.
JED: There was probably times there my wife was happy that she was working.
SAM: There were some days that he wasn't nice to live with, but you could see that it was uncomfortable for him.
CARLY: I spent a lot more time at school than I normally would have. I wouldn't come home from school until six o'clock in the evening. And then I'd see how my dad was and how my mum was. And then… I'd nearly hide sometimes, just in the bedroom doing the homework.
CAROLINE: Sam had seen this fit, young, healthy husband turn into somebody that sometimes we didn't know. He was an alien.
CARLY: And you could just see the depression set in. I remember him just sitting in the bedroom and you couldn't talk to him at all.
CAROLINE: He lived on painkillers, he was grumpy, he could not cope with any ongoing laughter and happiness. He looked inward towards himself all the time.
JED: You spend a lot of time lying on bed sleeping, because you just couldn't do anything. That had a big emotional impact on me, because one minute you're active, full on, having a great time, playing sport and next minute it's just, it's gone, just disappeared.
CAROLINE: As much as he tried to continue with his work, his body just would not let him and he had to find an alternative way of making money.
ANDREW: Jed and his whole family have gone through a lot of pain since this incident occurred. They had their whole life mapped out and planned…
JED: For some people it's a real culture shock, one minute you're earning thousands of dollars a week, to earning nothing and one minute I've got a couple of property investments. They're all gone. So for a long time there, we were living on our bones. I ended up taking a job on that I could do physically, and that was a swim coach.
CAROLINE: And he came home after his first group certificate, and I walked into the kitchen and he had his head in his hands and he was crying, and I said: "What's wrong Jed?" And he said: "Mum I don't know whether I can go on, I cannot support my family."
JED: It gets to your ego. It gets to your manly ego, on… on performing as a man,
CAROLINE: So Jed then suffered from this male issue of that I am not capable, as the only man in the house, of supporting my family.
JED: We struggled, we really did struggle. If it wasn't for the family, my immediate family, we wouldn't be where we are today.
ANDREW: The accident could definitely have been prevented by better planning, better communication between the parties.
JED: There was no control, there was no one central figure going: this is how we're going to do it boys, stop, let's look at what we're doing.
ANDREW: When you have these multiple contractors working together, things become uncoordinated. Accidents just don't happen, they're actually caused by a series of often unrelated events, stacking up together to push people from in control to out of control. There has to be clear communications both up and down. The workers have got to be able to come back to the employer and let them know about what issues are on site.
JED: Pre-think before you do something; just don't rush in like a bull at a gate. Stand back and observe what you're doing first.
ANDREW: If you're working out there and you've got a concern, go and ask about it. Don't do it if you don't feel good about it. Find someone who is responsible for that area and talk to them about it.
CAROLINE: Follow what your Workplace Health and Safety guy says because it's your life. It's your life and it continues on to your family's life.
JED: If you don't look after yourself today, you got no hope down the road. No hope. Today, we can still drive around with the family and say I put that bridge there. I put that post there. I helped put that together. I wish I was still there today. I'm proud that I did that job.
SAM: He still has the moments where he wants to excel and be active. Unfortunately, he knows that if he does over exert there is the pain that follows afterwards.
JED: Today it's more about pain management. I know I can get away with certain things if I take pills. And there's other times where the consequences aren't worth it. For argument's sake, on Sunday we spent a whole day at a netball carnival and I had problems yesterday. And I'm a bit low at the moment. Bit down.
CAROLINE: This is never going to be over, for him, for the rest of his life.
CARLY: We'll never be the same as a family ever again.
CAROLINE: There will always have to be compromises as the children grow up. He's going to have great difficulty pushing me in my wheelchair; we'll have to get the grandchildren to do that.
SAM: We now have to live with this and move on.
CARLY: I feel very lucky to have him now as he is. Um, not the same. A little bit different. But he's still my dad.
JED: Things are a lot better now but it's taken a lot of time. Over 10 years to get back on our feet again.Yes, I'm still with the same wife, which is nice. We've been through the thick and thins of it.
SAM: Yeah, he means everything to me …
[End of transcript]
“Jed's video was received very warmly, even having staff walk up to Jed and shake his hand to thank him for coming out and sharing his story. We have a very diverse range of cultures within the sheds and it got us thinking how we can be more inclusive especially with safety initiatives.”
- Melissa Bond, Resitech
“Jed's presentation was forthright. Jed was adaptable to the audience and provided individual insights and accountability to attendees.”
- Neil Thompson, Tropical Reef Shipyard
“[After the talk, there have been] more group safety discussions. Appreciate Jed being able to visit and provide real time and real situation examples to persons in relatable content.”
- Chris Blake, Logan City Council
Jed speaking to Logan City Council
"Jed's talk encouraged some great conversations among the crowd around how their safety practices have evolved over time, what obstacles they currently face and how they can still look to improve safety on civil construction sites."
- Jasmine Collins, Civil Contractors Federation QLD Ltd
“Jed was very easy to listen to and very relatable to our team. The team have certainly benefited from the talk and the biggest take away is that safety is everyone's responsibility. Thank you Jed.”
- Rae Bell, Advanced Buildings
“Audience participation which transposed incident casualty statistics in to real people. Jed was very personable with the way he delivered the presentation. Jed covered every aspect of his own personal experience, as to what led to the incident, the immediate impact, and the long term consequences. Jed also promoted a whole new theme, which I have heard personally repeated from team members themselves, "What made today a good day!” Shifting our whole ideology and approach to safety from one of reaction and enforcement, to one of feeling great to be healthy and what do we do to stay that way!”
- Mick Sparkes, Queensland Rail
"We have seen reflection on how we do some things. People are questioning whether we could do it better so the right conversations are happening."
- Simon Faber, Charters Towers Regional Council
Jed presenting to Charters Towers Regional Council.
"Jed did a really good job at making our crews think about the impact further than just ticking and flicking a form at the beginning of the week! He was really insightful and engaging and we really enjoyed his presentation."
- Jo Bartley, Longreach Regional Council
Jed Millen presenting to Longreach Regional Council.
"Jed was a lovely personable character who interacted with the audience very well making them think about hard about safety."
- Paul Hockings, Barcoo Shire Council
Jed Millen speaking to Barcoo Shire Council.
"Our feedback forms indicated the audience thought Jed's presentation was extremely relevant and informative."
- Pat Hurley, Resources Safety and Health Queensland
"We would like to thank Jed for visiting our region to share his story at our Annual Safety Induction Days. Safety is our number one priority here at Barcaldine Regional Council and Jed did a great job at engaging our workforce through his interactive approach. His safety message was very well received by those who attended. Jed certainly made an impact on our workers."
- Wendy Trueman, Barcaldine Regional Council
Jed at Barcaldine Regional Council.
"Jed's presentation was a great reflective tool for the Store Managers present in the room and much discussion was had in the hours following was positive. Jed had the team thinking more globally regarding impacts of poor leadership which was a great outcome and hopefully that is at the front of their minds when issue arise instore. A great message delivered authentically by Jed. Thanks and well done."
- Marcus Baxter, Coles (Cairns)
"Jed was exceptional. He made safety real and delivered in a way that hit home with the team. I will be recommending Jed to visit our maintenance teams in Central Queensland."
- Mitch Lees, Aurizon
"I think I was actually too engrossed in Jed's presentation to actually even remember to take a photo, my apologies! Jed's presentation was really well received. Jed related to the guys in the work they do and told an engaging story while getting an important message across. It was great to have Jed stay for the whole toolbox and provide us with some feedback also – it was greatly appreciated! I would strongly recommend other businesses have Jed present at their workplaces – a really engaging story – thank you Jed!"
- Sarah Rafferty, wattsnext
"Jed spoke at our recent staff safety and wellness workshop and did a great job at engaging the audience. I've had nothing but positive feedback about Jed's talk, with team members commenting on how easy it was to relate to Jed and his story. Through his engaging and interactive presentation, my team felt Jed delivered strong and powerful messages and reminders about staying safe at work."
- John Langton, Brisbane City Council
Jed presenting at Brisbane City Council.
"I have received positive responses in relation to Jed's story and presentation to our organisation. Jed's interactive approach to the presentation and the use of staff highlighted the need for the staff to look after themselves and look out for their mates on the job site."
- Chris Bell, Noosa Shire Council
"Your presentation as a Safety Advocate was exceptional. It was engaging and provided invaluable personal insight into the importance of workplace health and safety and the impacts that injury can have on ourselves and our families. Your down to earth style ensured that those in attendance received the key take away message of always ensuring we and our workmates go home safely to our families each and every day, in a genuine and heartfelt manner."
- Stuart Mattner CSM, Royal Australian Air Force No 65 Squadron
"We had a fantastic event and our staff and customers got a lot out of Jed's talk. Jed was able to stay for a little while after the event to share a sandwich and chat with our team. Our event focused on “Being a Safety Champion” and the feedback we received with regard to the messaging and changing behaviour was very satisfying. Thank you for helping us organise such a great event"
- Andrew Davis, Fire and Safety Industries Pty Ltd
Jed presenting at Fire and Safety Industries Pty Ltd
"This morning was great and Jed hit all the targets that I was hoping for so very happy. He really engaged with our team and the feedback was excellent."
- Michael Rolfe, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
Jed with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Rainbow Beach team.
"Today's advocate site visit was well presented and very well received. I was that intent on listening to Jed that I totally forgot to take any photos!"
- Gary King, Stowe Australia
"Jed – thank you very much for agreeing to speak to Arup today. We greatly appreciated you taking the time out of your day. We had a great time and enjoyed listening to your message."
- Shannon Perotte, Arup
Jed presenting at Arup.
"We really appreciated having Jed. Since the session I have heard some of the managers talking to their teams about Jed and some of his take home messages. That suggests to me that it was worthwhile and hit the mark."
- Gavin Ferry, Queensland Rail
"Jed's presentation was great, really well received by the staff who attended the day. They appreciated hearing a personal story of how a workplace accident affected Jed's life"
- Peter Simpson, Regional Manager, Brisbane City Council
"I am happy to advise that we are extremely happy and grateful for having had Jed's presence at our toolbox.
Jed's presence and experience allowed for our crews to have a “real life” example on how something can change your life. Jed's examples and charisma allowed for our crews to return to work with an extra commitment to safety, and we thank Jed for that."
- Tiago Amaral, Contract and Compliance Manager, Downer UAM
Jed presenting Downer UAM.
"Jed was awesome! Just an all-round nice guy that has a very real passion for workplace safety. The team enjoyed his humour and he certainly maintained their attention. The feedback that I've received so far has been that it's a timely reminder to not become complacent, to look after each other so we get to go home each night and about how a workplace injury can impact our whole lives.
Thanks again for organising Jed's visit for Sunst8 Group, this is a great initiative, albeit devastating for the families that have lived the nightmare of losing a family member at work."
- Naomi Bishop, Safety and Training Officer, Sunst8
Jed presenting at Sunst8.
"Jed was able to put work safety into terms that everyone can understand. His story is powerful and insightful and every single one of our employees were engaged throughout the presentation. Feedback received has been positive and even days after the presentation our employees are still talking about it. Everyone has been talking about his deal with management and everyone that we start focusing on the positive not the negative in regards to safety."
- Charmaine Cameron, WHS Manager, Network Steel
Jed at Network Steel.
"The Gladstone Power Station (GPS) would like to thank Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and Jed Millen for his motivational speech to our workforce.
We had over 120 people attend the session and Jed's story was very well received by all. Jed's message “We work safe for the people we go home to at the end of each day” is a philosophy that the GPS adopted years ago and it was great to have that brought back to life and reinvigorated during his speech. Jed personally challenged me to focus on “Good Days” instead of “Days since last recordable Injury” which is one of the many lessons the team at the GPS will take away from his presentation. Jed got the whole room involved and when he told the group that he worked at the Gladstone Power Station in the early 80's his message became more personal and everyone walked away inspired!"
- Jayd McKenzie, Safety Specialist, NRG Gladstone Operating Services
"Thank you for arranging Jed's visits to our workplace this week, the participants were well and truly engaged!.
Jed raised awareness about assessing risk and the importance of communication, and being aware of the consequences of a workplace injury in terms of going home safely at the end of the day. Our workers certainly benefitted from Jed's visit."
- Martine Walklin, HSE Advisor, Aqseptence Group
Jed with Aqseptence Group.
"Jed's visit was very well received, definitely worth doing. Jed puts work safety into terms that everyone can easily understand, and he interacts well with the workers, using them as examples to help explain his story and the current Queensland work safety statistics.
I think the main message that most picked up on was that we want to stay safe for our own well-being, but just as importantly, for our families."
- Craig Zinn, Stresscrete
Jed presenting at Stresscrete.
"Jed's presentation was very well received by the team here at BTCC. Feedback from our team was all positive and they were happy to have the hands on element, with some of the staff participating in Jed's presentation. We were focusing on resilience and the presentation supported this and got our staff thinking about themselves in the workplace.
Thank you again and please pass on our gratitude to Jed for his time and a great day!"
- Tanya Lane, Occupational Health, Safety and Environment Coordinator
Jed presenting at BTCC.
"Thank you for arranging Jed's visit, our workers got a lot out of it. Jed's presentation certainly had them talking about his story afterwards in our meeting, especially his deal with our operations manager to focus on the positive safety moments – not just the negative ones."
- Jain Henricksen, A/Principal Workplace Health and Safety Advisor, Department of Housing and Public Works
Jed with Department of Housing and Public Works.
"As the Safety Officer, the presentation was fantastic and really drilled home what I am always going on about.
Jed was fantastic and very funny. I especially liked how he got staff and drilled home the statistics on going home.
Other staff advised that they really enjoyed the presentation. Thank you very much again for having Jed come and talk to our staff."
- Maria Casha, Safety and Training Officer, Gold Coast Health
Jed with Ivo Martinac, Senior Director, Asset Management Services.
"We had a good turnout for Jed's presentation.
I've received positive feedback, and certainly had people talking with each other regarding what they got from it, even days after the session.
We all shared some of the key messages from Jed's story and talk. Most importantly and what had the greatest impact was how family play a part and realise how important it is to not only ensure we say goodbye in the morning, but get back home at the end of the day!"
- Billy McNeil, HSE Advisor, Asset Engineering, APA Group
"Jed's talk really hit home to the guys about working safe so that they all are able to go home to their families safely after each work day and how a serious incident can affect one's whole life and family. His presentation was made even more personal to the workers through his effective interaction with them in ways that they related to.
Many of our team expressed they were deeply impacted by Jed's message and it renewed their own personal commitment to working safely and to look after their workmates also. I highly recommend you request Jed to talk at your workplace ."
- Jim Shorto, HSEQ Manager, NTS Group
Jed with the NTS Group.
"It was lovely to connect with Jed again after his help with our From Now On… This Is Safety Program where he featured quite prominently. He connected well with our leadership team where he focused on 'home' being the reason we are safe at work. We look forward to working with Jed in the coming year as we continue our health and safety journey."
- People and Culture Branch, Logan City Council
Jed presenting at the Logan City Council.
"Jed's presentation was powerful and insightful. I am left in no doubt that everyone in the room was impressed by Jed's honesty and what must be a difficult subject for him, but he is obviously passionate about people, safety and doing the right thing. He spoke from the heart and in a manner that everyone understood and I got great feedback from attendees. We thought we were doing an ok job but I know that everyone will pay just that little bit more attention to their safety and their workmates safety from now on. Again, thanks Jed, and all the very best with your really important work."
- Clinton Hanney, Acting Executive Director Project Support, Economic Development Queensland
"Jed detailed the events leading up to the incident that he and his crew were involved with and the resulting impact to himself, his family and the ongoing issues, post incident. He was very specific and provided high level details in relation to the incident.
During Jed's presentation, the audience was very focused and attentive. The content of the presentation was very pertinent to what all personnel working in the construction industry could be exposed to on any given day.
Upon discussions with a number of personnel after the presentation the feedback was very positive. All of the personnel spoken to could relate to the circumstances that led to the incident sustained to Jed Millen. "
- Kevin Robinson, Senior Manager, Seymour Whyte
"Jed was really well received and the audience very engaged. His presentation of numbers of people who don't go home was well done. As well as his talk, Jed drew a raffle raising money for the family of Sol Fagen. At his funeral his wife said they had a lovely weekend at the beach, perfect weather, it was really nice. Then Monday morning he said 'see you honey, I am off to work'. He did not return home. It is very sombering."
- Annette Sommerville, Prime Constructions
Jed Millen presenting at Prime Constructions.
"Pickles nationally participate in National Safe Work Month to highlight the importance of safety in the workplace and at Townsville we were fortunate enough to have Jed Millen and Sharon Grice visit the branch. Jed's safety message and story of his own personal experience in suffering a life changing workplace injury was well received by the team – Jed's key messages included presenting 'real life' Workplace Incident and Accident Statistics, maintaining a safe workplace and looking after each other, reporting and consultation, but most importantly going home to family, friends and loved ones after work each day, something that is tragically denied to many workers on a much to regular basis, but given the statistics, unfortunately isn't something that is on the mind of the everyday worker nearly as much as it should be."
- Michael Pugh, Operations Manager, Pickles
Jed Millen and Sharon Grice visit the Townsville branch.
"Jed provided an insight into his workplace incident. He spoke of his experiences and highlighted the personal impacts of that injury and the effects it can have on workmates and their families.
It was received very well by all and everyone understood clearly Jed's message that we all want to go home to our families safely at the end of the day. I believe all our people benefitted from hearing about his experience."
- David Wainwright, Group HSE Manager, Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure
Jed with the Abergeldie team.
"I wanted to thank you again for arranging Jed to come and visit us today in our warehouse! He was perfect and did such an awesome job. I really liked how he was very interactive with the guys, had good humor but really hammered home the importance of safety in the workplace"
- Brittany Metcalfe, People & Culture Coordinator, Surfstitch
Jed with the team at Surfstitch.
"I just wanted to start off by thanking Jed for involvement in our Global Safety Day.
The initiative itself was the first of it's kind here in Australia and the feedback couldn't be more positive, particularly around Jed's presentation to our QLD employees. The feedback I received regarding Jed was all positive, staff particularly liked the fact that he was down to earth and someone they could relate to.
The message he left with the staff has certainly resided with them, some of the staff spoke to me about that today during our HSEQ Committee Meeting.
Our plan is to do more of these talks going forward, the global safety day will be an annual event and we also plan to do something similar in between."
- Matt Farrington, National HSEQ Manager, JLG Industries
"On behalf of Ausmar Group we would like to thank you and Worksafe Qld for arranging for Jed Millen to speak at our Supervisor Safety Training Presentation.
Jed was awesome and his story really hit home about the dangers of complacency around safety in the workplace. I believe all our people benefitted from hearing about his experience."
- Jacqui Fir, Client Liaison Officer, Ausmar Homes
Jed talks to the workers at Ausmar in Maroochydore.
"Jed was absolutely sensational and delivered the message to work safe with true passion; all the feedback I received was positive, from the operations staff to the branch managers."
- Ben Parkes, National Health and Safety Manager, Pickles Auctions
"Jed captured the attention of our workplace audience with a powerful message - he spoke about his experience and how events aligned that day to cause this workplace incident. Our workers were like sponges listening to him – he had a great impact on them.
One of the things I personally took away was, if you are issued with PPE, ensure that it is used and worn in the correct manner. Jed explained in his story that a harness had been offered to a worker, but because it was not worn in the correct manner, terrible consequences resulted.
The opportunity to hear Jed's story was so much appreciated. I am always looking at ideas to mark Safe Work Month - I would be keen to have this opportunity again next year."
- Annette Corcoran, Farm Manager, Sugar Research Australia
Jed with the team at Sugar Research Australia.
"Jed's message resonated and was clear."
- Belinda Walker, Senior Advisor - People and Culture, Metcash Trading Limited
Jed presenting to Metcash Trading Limited.
"Jed's message was simple, practical and easily relatable. He actively engaged the workers, drawing them into his talk and engaging both the young and older members of the workforce. It generated a considerable amount of chat on site later that day."
- Timothy Staatz, A Gabrielli Constructions
Jed talking with A Babrielli Constructions staff.
"Jed's story was powerful, engaging and interactive; he spoke to the workers on a level where they could relate to him and listened attentively, as he was a 20 year veteran of the construction industry. His story showed how in a split second, anyone's life can change and have a devastating effect on their families, friends and co-workers. A demonstration that was simple, yet effective. We would like to thank Jed for his time and WHSQ for having this programme available for workplaces across QLD."
- Safety Team, Cooroy to Curra Project - Lendlease Engineering
Jed with Lendlease engineering staff.
"Jed's message was powerful; it was good that everyone could hear his story and realise these things happen to 'people'. The guys could relate to Jed's down to earth manner - everyone was interested in his story. I had someone stop me this morning and say how great it was (was the last person you would think would say anything!)."
- Nicole Biki, Safety, Training & Environmental Coordinator, Consolidated Plastics & Epoxy
"The audience were captivated by Jed's honest and frank assessment, and inspired by him bravely coming forward as an advocate of safety despite his misfortune. He gave an honest account of all things that contributed to the accident and what should have been done by him and others to prevent it from happening. He definitely made the team think that preventable accidents can occur at any time and involve anyone."
- Mike Moore, Meegan Christodoulou and Bron McVeigh, Dept of Natural Resources and Mines
"Jed's presentation yesterday was fantastic. He did a great job of getting the message across and conjured up some great safety discussion around the office this morning."
- Samantha Lawrence, HR Officer Safety & Training, AV Jennings
Jed's presentation with AV Jennings staff.
"The talk from Jed was great. We had several managers, the whole site staff, and contractors—all very interested with what Jed had to say. The senior managers are interested in using Jed on more of our sites."
- Scott Daly, Senior Safety Advisor, FKG Group
Jed shares his story at the FKG Group monthly safety BBQ.
"Jed's presentation was excellent. The way he spoke was straight to the point and you could see it was from the heart. He showed how his accident not only affected him, but others as well. I believe that all construction companies should attend this type of forum; there was something to learn for directors, project managers, supervisors and safety officers."
- Ashley Stone, OH&S, Bloomer Constructions
"Jed's presentation was an engaging and highly informative session. Each of our workers was affected by Jed's message, as they were discussing the presentation many days afterwards. Several of our employees provided wonderful feedback and asked if we could have more safety toolbox talks like Jed's."
- Phoebe Westaway, HSE Advisor – Australasia, Environment, Health & Safety Mining Division, ESCO Brisbane
Workers attend a safety advocate talk at Environment, Health and Safety Mining Division, ESCO Brisbane.
"From the moment Jed walked into the room he engaged with the members. His presentation will help those present to realise complacency and 'bending the rules' can have devastating effects on workers and businesses, and have life-long effects on families."
- Dean Crutchfield, Chief Executive Officer, Roadmarking Industry Association of Australia (RIIA)
"The overwhelming majority of the workers who attended Jed's talk agreed he made them realise that accidents can happen to experienced, everyday people. Everyone felt he effectively highlighted the consequences of sustaining a workplace injury, on both them, and their family's personal lives."
- Andrew Priem, Project Manager, WICET Stockyard, John Holland Pty Ltd
Workers attend a safety advocate talk at WICET Stockyard, John Holland Pty Ltd.
"I admire Jed for coming out to talk about his story and how his incident affected his family. It's a story that many may not get to hear nor understand."
- Jennie Trinder Senior Manager Health and Safety, Griffith University
Jed with Griffith University staff, Jennie Trinder, Amanda Burns, Janelle Crane and Lisa Costley.
I had the pleasure of having Jed and Sandra at our site for a presentation. I found the response from the site overwhelming during the following meet and greet as well as discussions onsite over the following weeks in relation to working at heights and how it can be done better. I would love to have him on my current project in Roma as there is lot of rigging work and this would be beneficial to the crews.
Amazing insite, wish Jed and his family all the best.
I just watched your video which made me very emotional. I am a Rigger and also a Safety Advisor - your video has summed up the reasons why I became a Safety Advisor. I truly believe that your life story will help change the work culture here in Australia. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Its easy to watch a film clip and get an understanding of how a injury can effect your life. Understanding and feeling the effects are totally different so thanks Jed for sharing your story.
A wonderfully frank look at the real costs/ consequences of workplace injuries. Dont take the safety of yourself and others lightly. Be in control of your health and well being, not just for you, but for your family as well !!
Hi Jed, it was great to meet and chat with you whilst you were here in Cairns for Safe Week.
Your video certainly tells the story about the importance of safety at work. We play your video as part of our induction for our construction project.
Mate, I can't find the words to tell you what your story showed me. Just thanks.
I don't know that I could have been as brave with those injuries. I'll think twice about a few things we do on site now.
I lost someone I love on a construction site. Thank you for promoting the safety message in the industry. No amount of money brings people back.
Thanks for sharing your story Jed, your honesty and outlook on life is incredible, congratulations on your role as safety advocate its great to see you spreading the workplace safety message.
I had no idea an injury at work could affect so much of your life outside of work. Thank you for sharing your story - I'm going away thinking about how to be safer at work
Your business can apply for Jed or another of Queensland's Safety Advocates to attend your event and share their story to increase awareness and influence behaviour change, free of charge.
Building bridges - Jed's story
- Download a copy of this film (MP4/ZIP, 33MB)
- Order a free copy of Jed's DVD via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safety facilitation film - based on the true story of Jed Millen
- Safety facilitation film based on the true story of Jed Millen
- Facilitator guide (PDF, 0.53 MB)
- Facilitator notes (PDF, 0.57 MB)
Consultative committee for work-related fatalities and serious incidents
If you have suffered as a result of a work-related fatality or serious injury, you can direct message a request to join a closed support group via our Support for families of workplace fatalities, illness and injuries Facebook page.