| Article appears in June 2019 Issue

PARALYMPIAN SHARES STORY OF WORKPLACE INJURY

10-05-2019
Kahi Puru (third from left), with Real Pet Food Company employees

Paralympic powerlifter Kahi Puru made a huge impact on employees at the Real Pet Food Company in Ingleburn, south-western Sydney, when he visited them to share the story of his workplace injury.

Puru was 29 when his left leg had to be amputated after being crushed by a forklift at work. He is now a member of the icare Paralympic Speakers Program, and visits workplaces around NSW to help support a culture of safety at work and reduce workplace injuries.

“I’ve experienced first-hand the devastating effect of a workplace injury and the ramifications it has on your loved ones and your workplace,” he says. “By sharing my experience, I can make people more safety-aware. Being able to prevent one workplace injury is worth its weight in gold.

“I wanted to reinforce with the guys at Real Pet Food that life is precious, and they should never be afraid to speak up about unsafe situations in the workplace.”

Sue Wood, the company’s General Manager, Logistics, Manufacturing and Distribution, says she would encourage other employers to invite Puru into their workplaces.

“Kahi is amazing man and he fully engaged with our team at Ingleburn,” she says. “We were overwhelmed and humbled by Kahi’s life story and I’d like to thank him from the bottom of my heart for sharing his story with my team and making the issue of workplace safety ‘real’.”

While vehicle accidents can result in death or permanent incapacity, the most common cause of injury for manufacturing workers is body stressing, which includes muscle strains and back injuries caused by manual tasks like heavy lifting and repetitive movements.

icare NSW provides workers compensation insurance to more than 326,000 public and private sector employers in NSW and their 3.6 million employees. icare’s General Manager Workers Compensation Jason McLaughlin says the speakers program is a great way to spread the message of workplace health and safety.

“With almost 11,000 manufacturing workers injured at work in the past 12 months, education, training and tools are crucial in building a safer work environment,” he says. “Stories like Kahi’s bring home the ‘why?’ around injury prevention.

“Through the Paralympian Speakers Program and our Protect Together injury prevention program, we’re working with employers to develop practical improvements and build a culture focused on strong safety behaviours.”

Employers can book a speaker for their next safety event by visiting the icare website

RELATED NEWS

  1.  
    Doctors, no fans of sedentary lifestyles, rarely encourage anyone,especially those with back pain,to spend all day sitting. A standing desk can help avert aching muscles if you use it correctly, get off your feet and move at regular intervals. 
    Swanson School of Engineering at the University of...
  2. The anticipated return of the Workplace Health & Safety Show 2022, will see industry trailblazers and game-changing newcomers unite to present a series of live, interactive two-way learning experiences. These will cover all the latest trends, technologies and issues faced by Australian...
  3.  
    A laboratory-validated air filtration system can help help industry fulfil product purity and OH&S obligations to protect plant workers on-site and customers downstream by helping to neutralise the spread of viral and other airborne health hazards within process, packing, office, logistics,...