Friday, February 23, 2024

Paralympian joins Georges River safety effort

George River Council partnered with Insurance and Care NSW (icare) for a recent Safe Work Month event, with guest speaker Paralympian Nigel Smith visiting Council’s Mortdale Depot.

As part of the monthly program to highlight the importance of work, health, and safety (WHS) at work, Council hosted more than 150 frontline workers in partnership with icare.

As part of the program, guest speakers share personal stories of their own workplace or road accidents, detailing their open, honest and raw emotions about the impact on their lives, and on their family, friends and colleagues, Council said in a statement.

Nigel Smith, a former paralympic volleyball player, spoke about how fatigue caused him to have a workplace accident. He was 25 years old when one of his legs was caught in a chain conveyer, and as a result, he lost his leg 12 months later.

Paralympian, Nigel Smith.

As an avid sports person, he found an opportunity to play volleyball, which initially, was just a chance of being around people that have had a disability. After a few years, he took it professionally and represented Australia in the 1998 Standing Volleyball World Championships in Poland and competed in the Sydney 2000 Paralympics.

“I’m passionate about WHS after what happened to me, and my goal is to avoid people going through something similar,” said Mr Smith.

“It was great to come out to Georges River Council Mortdale depot to talk about safety as a mindset, because bad things can unfortunately happen to anyone.

“If the workers can take one thing from my message today is please always remember to communicate and look after each other, check in. Watching our backs help minimise the risks we put ourselves through every day.”

Georges River Council Mayor, Sam Elmir, thanked Mr Smith and icare for partnering with Council for the important event.

“Nigel’s message of the importance of taking time to be safe at work and look out for your workmates really hit home,” the Mayor said.

“I’d also like to thank our Council staff who attended to hear Nigel speak, their learnings will positively reinforce codes of safety we already have instilled at Council.”

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