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Impacts of Fall on Family Member

Safety is and always will be a problem until we all make it personal to us which my dad (Jason Anker) always tries to drill into everyone he meets when delivering his presentation. We need to start working as safe as we can, not because we are told to but because we choose to. Those precious ‘5 seconds’ my dad always talks about during his presentations are vital and can be the difference between having an accident and going home safe, it is all that was between my dad and his life in a wheelchair.

So many times, I have sat and listened to my dad’s talk and the discussions during when guys share the reasons they take shortcuts or don’t do things safely e.g. pressure to get the job done on time, money pressure to complete the job, pressure from home, but the only thing that should matter is you going home to your loved ones. Not one excuse or reason is enough for anyone to risk their safety.

I have now been working alongside my dad for 7 years and I have not looked back once. I first came to work for P2BS to help dad out with his workload, but I soon understood what this was all about and the passion to stop this happening to others just came naturally.

The thing I enjoy the most is seeing my dad Jason, and some of our other speakers including Matt Hazelton out there sharing their stories which are so very personal and emotional but their drive to do it which I find so inspiring. I love seeing them grow in confidence and the feedback we receive from the clients themselves but also the workers who have sat in and have made changes in their behavior to help them work more safely directly after seeing the live presentations.

I was 3 years old when my dad has his accident and I am now 30 years old and that choice he made that day because he didn’t dare speak up is still affecting me and my family today.

Growing up it was not something that was ever really spoken about and that did make things difficult as it was always there.

When I was in secondary school becoming a teenager having new friends, social life, etc dad’s anxiety worsened and we would argue a lot which in the end resulted in me moving in with my mum
even though I didn’t want to. I had lived with dad my whole life, but it was just too difficult to live with him.

Things did start to get better when dad started to deal with things, and we got our relationship back on track.

It’s been 5 years now since I got married and it was an amazing day, but it still had its moments. To us walking me down the aisle was fine, we were happy (even though he did keep running over my dress), but we understood why it was sad for everyone else. In the evening we had Scottish Caleigh dancing but because of dad’s wheelchair and the high tempo dancing it was he had to sit at the side and watch all our family and friends do that and that did upset me as he wasn’t part of that moment.

When I do go on-site with my dad and share my story as soon as I mention my daughter’s name, I usually end up crying. Once she was born it suddenly made us realize that it had gone full circle and now she is being affected by something her grandad did all those years ago and she will miss out on certain things as we did as kids. The ripple effect is spoken of a lot when we speak about accidents, but we never knew that this would still be going on 27 years later after my dad’s accident.

You would think with time it would get easier, but it just continues. Just those normal moments, it is not always the big ones, a good example is when Elle runs to her grandad for a hug and he cannot pick her up. My dad missed out on so much with me and my brother growing up due to his disability and now he is having to relive that all over again as a grandad which is difficult sometimes for us all.

Looking back now dad’s problem was not the wheelchair but how he dealt with it.

I am lucky that my dad has found such resilience and enjoys the good that he has in his life rather than focusing on what he cannot do or has not got which is utterly inspiring to me.

I have so much admiration for my dad and how strong he is but I still want to make it my mission alongside him to make people fully understand the implications a wrong decision can have and make sure it won’t happen to anyone else.

In 2018 Jason woods invited Dad out to speak at the IPAF Middle East Convention in Dubai. He had also arranged an itinerary for Dad while he was out there, including meetings with both the Dubai and Abu Dhabi H&S organizations, presenting on a live construction site and the highlight of his visit was to one of the Al Naboodah work camps, to watch a live worker engagement theatre workshop. My Dad was also excited to present to the management teams of the prestigious Expo 2020 project and on top of a fantastic week, Dad was awarded an award at the IPAF event for his contribution to safe working at height. Dad made a return visit to the UAE in 2019 presenting at the HSE Series Middle East event in Abu Dhabi where he also did a presentation in a hangar for Etihad.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit we had our usual busy diary which was fully booked for the majority of 2020 with some initial dates in for 2021 and this all changed drastically.

During the first few months of lockdown, we were unable to do anything, but we began to work on our idea of the virtual subscription model. Even though the rules were in place it was still a big concern for us that construction, rail, housing works were all still going ahead, but health, Safety, and Well-being were probably not being made a top priority with a lot of companies reducing their safety teams within the businesses.

This ‘Virtually Speaking’ platform allows P2BS the opportunity to speak around the world with its global reach with the idea of holding live site visits when restrictions have been lifted. Virtual presentations will never be as impactful as a LIVE room presentation, fact. However, there are benefits to the Virtual talks that start to balance out the flexibility to show repeat recorded broadcasts at convenient times, the ability to capture different shift patterns. We have also noticed that we seem to get more questions at the end of sessions and maybe this is that people feel more confident to type in a question that raising a hand with other people sat next to them.

There is also one other major benefit and that is the environment. The virtual talks reduce the need to travel to an event, accommodation, refreshments, the actual time lost on production can be minimalized.

We offer a full service of Live/Virtual and live site visits where we can follow all the social distancing requirements for full workforce engagement.

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