Alan Newey is Australia’s first Bionic Man, a survivor of a workplace accident and the director of Chat Safety. Having lost his right dominant arm to a conveyor belt accident, and spent many years in recovery and rehabilitation, he now presents to groups on the effects of his workplace accident and the impact on him and his family.
Alan speaks from the point of view of an injured worker and gives a real insight into what happens to you during and after such a life-changing experience.
Alan is extremely confronting on the issues and effects of a workplace accident, and his presentation not only addresses the sequence of events leading up to his accident, the flow on affect, but the issues surrounding OHS today and how “OHS is not just another thing I have to do.
Alan Newey has a Diploma of Occupational Health & Safety together with a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
Points of discussion:
Message to ALL employers & employees
An outline of Alan’s story
“Excellent. Alan spoke to our staff about his injury experience which included physical, mental and emotional. He captured the audience for a whole hour and there were so many questions being asked of Alan post speaking. Staff are still taking about Alan and enjoyed his talk in the workplace. Vesna-Maria Desa City Services OH&S Advisor City of Greater Geelong
“Alan recently presented at the Moyne Shire Council Health and Wellbeing Day held for our Construction and Maintenance Staff. It is a testament to Alan’s story and his outstanding presentation skills that not one of the 60+ staff in attendance made a single peep during his presentation, despite having undertaken training sessions all day. The presentation was extremely relevant and thought provoking, and engaged these staff members completely as the message was coming from “one of them”. I would highly recommend this training to everyone. Claire Sortie – Moyne Shire Council
“Alan’s talk to our Team last week was amazing. Whilst talking for 45 minutes to all of our Operators and Operations Staff, you could hear a pin drop on the carpet, he captivated everyone with his story, what an incredible journey he has been on. The feedback I have received so far from people on the day was that he was an excellent person to come and talk as he was a real life example of the potential of what could go wrong when Safety fails in a business. Everyone found his story powerful and confronting, thank you so much for sharing him with us, we will never forget him.” Mariana Roldan, Operations Manager – Dulux
“Excellent. You put the message across of the importance of looking after your safety & the people you work with. How 1.2 seconds of inattention/complacency can affect the rest of your life plus your family and friends.” Ross O’Byrne Newmont Boddington Gold
“Alan’s story certainly brought Workplace accidents to ‘life’! Alan’s straight forward comments such as ‘I had operated this machine 5640 times and on the 5641 time, my accident happened! This certainly makes staff aware of becoming complacent when operating equipment. Feedback from staff has been positive and they are still making comments today. If Alan’s story makes a staff member stop and think about their daily tasks or saves one person from a workplace accident, then listening to Alan and his very important message is well worth taking time out from work.” Dee Welch Occupational Health & Safety Coordinator – Murrindindi Shire Council
“Alan’s presentation was exactly what we had discussed in terms of content and really hit home with our Senior Leaders. He was heartfelt and real in sharing his experience and story.” Melissa Pollock , OHSE Manager B9 – Orora Limited
“Great presentation that really hit home with our team members they have not stopped talking about it . Comments like “ OMG imagine if that happened to someone at our site “ We would all be devastated.” Brett Hyland, Manufacturing Leader – Lion King Island
‘Alan Newey is a warrior. Highly flexible, aiming to help. He talked to the team in a very natural manner and showed the link between the actions and consequences. His speech is very realistic and engaged everyone’s attention. I recommend him.’
Fabricio Cristiano, Barros Manager, Central Maintenance – BHP Billiton Yandi
‘You have no idea how good the reception was to both of your presentations. The session is everything we could have hoped for. Spot on in terms of getting our Dealers and Distributors to really think about the things that could go wrong on their site to the detriment of both staff and customers. You each gave a very powerful account of events that hit home with delegates and had them thinking in earnest about level of safety at their sites. I’d like to think that some good will come of the hardships that you suffered by delegates going back to their sites, making some changes and taking safety that bit more seriously.’
Loretta Genovesi, Dealer and Regional Business Support Specialist – BP Australia
‘The 10th Annual Quarrying Safety & Health Seminar program included a session by Alan Newey from Chat Safety. Alan’s session was heart-wrenching, and really portrayed the importance of safety in the workplace, and the impact of workplace accidents, not only on the employee, but the entire family. We would recommend Alan’s session to any organization looking to drive home this message.’
The Institute of Quarrying Australia (IQA)
‘What an amazing experience. Alan Newey worked with our production and farming teams – a pretty tough bunch by all accounts – to highlight the real impact of safety at work. It is not about doctors, money or paperwork, it is actually about people, families and overall quality of life. I encourage anyone thinking of how to hit home the safety message in the workplace to spend some time with Alan you will never look at taking that shortcut in the same way again. As for our business, if it saves one injury, then the investment is well worth it’.
Kaylene Little Head of HR, QA & Safety Tassal Group Ltd
“I would like to pass on our thanks and gratitude for arranging the safety presentations, where there as been nothing but praise, and the impact it had on our workforce who truly walked away with some key talking discussions, which made them talk about safety. The visual effect of seeing a person who has been involved in a serious workplace incident was one of the key things that our personnel took away from the safety talk, to appreciate and respect the fundamental foundations of safety. They also realized that a poor decision can change your life forever in an blink of the eye . The other effect it had was not only the impact it had on the injured person, but the impact it has on your families and loved ones. Kaefer we be considering maybe doing something similar later in the year to refresh the message.”
Dean Gilbert HSE Manager Kaefer Pty Ltd
“Alan I just wanted to say a big thanks for your excellent presentation to our two night shift crews on Thursday 14th July. The feedback from the crews was very positive. I strongly believe that hearing the safety message from people who have suffered workplace injuries has a major positive influence on safety behaviours following such presentations.”
Mike McCartney Senior HSSE Manager UGL Resources
“Thank you so much for your presentations to our employees this week. It’s rare that we ever get to hear first hand of serious workplace incidents and your open and honest description of what you went through (and still are!) certainly brought it home to all of us that incidents are not merely statistics we read from reports, but really do happen! It’s a credit to you that you can not only retell the events, but also deliver preventative measures that we can all take away and use in every aspect of the workplace, hopefully we can get you up here again in the future to present other safety presentations.”
Stephen O’Neill DC Manager – Larapinta SCA Hygiene Australasia
“After Alan’s presentation I have had many of our employees come and see me about hazardous situations that they may have previously walked by and done nothing about. Alan’s presentation has gone a long way to opening up their to the possibility of a injury or incident occurring and for this we thank Alan very much.”
Michael Smith HSE Manager – Pluto LNG Project RCRFM Services ( Karratha WA )
‘Chat Safety Safety Solutions’ Alan Newey was engaged to provide his services to speak at BP’s prestigious Accredited Contractor Awards and Presentation nights throughout Australia in 2010. His message is clear and the impact of his delivery provoked some deep thought and excellent conversation around safety in the workplace.”
Neil Hodgson, Maintenance Services Manager, BP Australia Pty Ltd
‘It was difficult not to be moved by this presentation, to admire Alan’s courage and strength. It was only made easier by knowing that sharing his story was therapeutic to Alan’s ongoing recovery.’
Donna Dwyer, Financial Services, Banyule City Council
‘It was great having Alan Newey present to our guys, I have had nothing but praise and appreciation from those that were there. It really sends the message home, and I am sure our workplaces will benefit from you having shared your experience.”
Deby Ruddell, SHE and Risk Management Consultant, Manningham City Council
“Alan Newey came and spoke to the police members at the Keilor Downs Police Station Training Day regarding work place safety. It was a personal account and reinforced the importance of safety. The presentation provided by Alan was very informative and all who attended were very impressed with the content of his talk. It created discussion between the police members who gained an insight into workplace dangers through a person who had suffered significant injuries by losing an arm.’
Sgt Darren Anderson & Sgt Colin Gilmour, Keilor Downs Police Station
“Thanks for the investigation information and for a great presentation on Friday. Everyone wanted to stop me and talk about your presentation, WOW talk about having an effect!!!! It was all positive stuff, it’s not often our lot sit quietly for anything and you could have heard a pin drop during your presentation (which was a comment made by a few people). Things that stuck in people’s minds and they mentioned were the things like how it’s your responsibility not the OHS committee, Safety starts and stops with you, about the culture – just because it’s always been done like that doesn’t mean its the right way. It was very easy for John to sum up and close as it was all things that we, as a company are trying to promote. We plan to survey our staff regarding the WorkSafe Week activities that we ran including your presentation, so once that’s done I will send you the feedback. I must have been raving about you on the weekend as a couple of friends in the same sort of position as me have asked for your details, thanks again.”
Lynne Mason, Management Systems Officer, Western Water
“Alan; I attended an Inter Council Safety Group meeting yesterday and a few of them were talking about you.They gave you great reviews that you had been out to talk to their employees of their organisation and how their employee’s feedback was positive.
Keep up the great work of taking the safety message out to the work force.”
Karen Gore, Occupational Health and Safety Officer, Melton Shire Council
Alan Newey’s website here
ALAN NEWEY UPDATE!
I’d like to send you an update on the flow-on affect with my workplace accident which started on September 30th 1999.
Over the past 2 years both I and the medical team which take excellent care of me; have been working towards future technologies in regards to a new right arm.
We have moved passed my first arm which was a mechanical silver hook for a hand, to a Mio-electric hand, and this has been replaced every 5 years due to new technologies and advancement in Science. Of course this means I have to go through a medical review process each time to see if I qualify for a new arm. Naturally this is both frustrating and exhausting.
Stage 1: In June of 2015 I went through a procedure where my stump was re-shaped and a titanium sleeve was inserted 60mm up the centre of my bone. Of course there was bleeding after this and therefore I was hooked up to a drainage machine for approximately 10 days. A burst of pain followed, but I dealt with that with the help of pain killers (which I took little of) and treatments.
Stage 2: In December of 2015 a further operation was completed where a titanium bolt was inserted into the first sleeve protruding from the stump by around 25mm. This took 6 weeks to heal and become strong enough to commence rehab. So, at this moment, I am going to the hospital every 1 or 2 weeks where we add weight onto the protruding bolt to strengthen the bone to carry a bionic arm which is inserted into the bone.
Stage 3: If all goes to plan, in the next few months there will be a third operation in which my nerves will be split to give me more of a natural movement with the new arm, and this will be controlled by my brain.
I am so excited over the breakthrough in this type of technology and therefore cannot wait to see the results.
My one regret is that my family has to go through yet another operation and recovery period. How I wish I could take back time……