Sep 21, 2012
Safety procedures save lives – motivational speakerBack
Perth|Africa|Business|Health|Power|Safety|Systems|Training|Africa|Australia|South Africa|Systems|Theo Venter
At a presentation in Midrand, in July, he detailed the consequences of carrying out unsafe acts in industries and the physical, emotional and financial scars these mistakes can leave behind.
Venter recently travelled across the country on a promotional tour to share his personal experiences with various audiences. His message, called ‘Just Another Day’, was triggered by an almost fatal electrical accident six years ago, in Perth, Australia.
Venter, originally from South Africa, worked as a live linesman and was asked by his employer to repair a power pole that was damaged by lightning. He recalled the difficulty he experienced in loosening a nut on the pole and to get a better grip on the nut, he removed his gloves.
Following this, an insulator fell over and, in an attempt to catch it, Venter’s hand made contact with a 22 000 V power line.
“It felt like I was burning from the inside out and I lost consciousness. I had 17 surgeries and am one of the only people ever recorded to have been exposed to and survived a 22 000 V electrical accident while working on overhead power lines,” he said.
Venter’s hands and arms were burnt to the extent that his muscles protruded out of his arms, his hands had swelled to almost three times their normal size and doctors were adamant that he should have his arms amputated.
Venter detailed the downward spiral his life took following the incident, citing depression and suicidal thoughts as major hindrances to his recovery. Eventually, his determination returned and he slowly started to relearn how to do the everyday tasks that he was unable to do as a result of the incident.
He emphasised that systems and safety procedures were in place for a reason and that these needed to be followed, as the consequences of not following them could cause immense pain and anguish for the individuals involved and result in significant costs for companies.
Further, he urged companies and employees to speak about issues and ensure that no shortcuts were taken, even if the culture for business demands that workers produce great results quickly.
He advised workers not to take chances, no matter how experienced they were, as the aftermath of accidents could be huge.
“I will carry these scars as a constant reminder of not following procedure and I urge all companies and their employees to be compliant with risk assessments, as they can help,” he said.
Two years after the incident, Venter returned to work and was offered the position of safety coordinator at his company.
Procedures and training were changed to prevent incidents such as Venter’s.
Venter has addressed more than 80 000 workers facing health and safety challenges on a daily basis in high- and low-risk industries.
He has also had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of organisations and their board members, management and supervisors.
Venter will be back in South Africa in November and again in January 2013 before he begins a world tour in February.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
To subscribe email email@example.com or click here
To advertise email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here
Other Health and Safety News
The second sitting of the inquiry into the Department of Labour’s Grayston Drive pedestrian and cyclist bridge collapse, which was due to be held next week, has been postponed. “The postponement is owing to the fact that the expert reports had not been circulated to...
Owing to its continuous innovation in protective gear, personal protective equipment (PPE) service provide Select (PPE) was recognised with an 2015 Southern Africa Frost & Sullivan Award for Visionary Innovation Leadership last year by consulting firm Frost &...
Sole supplier of Lion detection systems Alco-Safe recently completed the testing of its Lion Detection System (DS-20), which will soon be available for commercial use. The system was tested on privately owned vehicles to resolve any issues before it is made available...
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
This Week's Magazine
Updated 5 hours ago The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
Updated 5 hours ago South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
Updated 5 hours ago Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Updated 5 hours ago Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Updated 5 hours ago Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...
Next ArticleWellness campaign promotes health