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One split second can change your life

ManjiFISTCo: Forest Industries Federation WA (FIFWA) Safety, Health and Training Officer Matt Granger (left), PF Olsen Senior Forester Anthony Wise and serious incident survivor and Paraplegic Benefit Fund Australia representative Rollo Craib.

One split second of inattention was all it took to change Rollo Craib’s life. After 15 years and 54 surgeries since his near-fatal motorbike accident, last week Rollo shared his journey with representatives of WA’s forestry industry. Source: Timberbiz

While his accident was not related to the forestry industry, it served as a timely reminder to those present of how important it is to stay alert and be aware of fatigue and distraction.

Representing the Paraplegic Benefit Fund Australia, Mr Craib was a guest speaker at the Forest Industry Safety and Training Co-operative (FISTCo) Safety Forum Series held in Albany, Donnybrook and Manjimup.

The Safety Forum is a FISTCo initiative providing opportunities for industry to gather and discuss issues related to workplace health and safety, workforce training and development.

The theme of this year’s series was the drastic consequences of inattention, a subject Mr Craib is all too familiar with.

Inattention was the cause of his crash, which happened when he was riding his motorbike and a distracted driver hit him side on with their car, causing him to lose his leg and sustain significant spinal damage.

“It all happened so fast,” he said. “It didn’t impact the other driver, but their inattention turned my life completely upside down.

“One moment in time can have lifelong consequences. It only takes a split second.”

Mr Craib’s story struck a chord with the crowd, which totalled more than 300 across the three venues.

Other guest speakers at the series included John Elston from Connect Source, a supplier of the Guardian driver safety system.

The system sends audio and seat vibration alerts to drivers when it senses fatigue or distraction.

Sobereye Distributor Allan Jones also presented at each venue, introducing the industry to the Sobereye technology, which is designed to evaluate impairment by fatigue, alcohol and drugs by measuring changes in an individual’s pupillary light reflex.

Representatives from WA Police attended the Donnybrook and Manjimup events, with Donnybrook Sergeant Matt Fogarty and Manjimup Sergeant Isaac Rinaudo giving their insights into the impacts of fatigue and distraction at a local level, and the resulting ripple effect on the community.