Judy Grant was struck by a car on November 30th 2010, and received multiple life threatening injuries. After 10 days in Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital and 3 months in Epworth rehabilitation she returned to work at Traffic Lights in July 2011. Judy was not 100% after the accident, and was unable to hold a Stop sign so she was assigned to working at the traffic lights. Also in July 2011 Judy was the face of Worksafe Victoria’s “Return to Work” and was featured alongside swimmer Michael Klim.
This year Judy invited to the Worksafe 2012 awards held at the Conference Centre in Melbourne. Judy thought she was just going along to a luncheon and that the media would be there to ask her a few questions on how she felt after the crash, her rehabilitation, and returning to work, but what a nice surprise that was install for her.
After a week of hot weather in Melbourne, and Halloween celebrations in true Melbourne style the day was cold wet and windy. A chauffer driven silver limo was sent to pick Judy from her house, we were then driven into the City and escorted to a restaurant where we were special guests (sitting at table 1), there was about 200 finalist and invited guests for the lunch, we enjoyed a lovely 2 course luncheon and after we were escorted to the convention centre to where the awards were held, with reserved seating in the front row near Minister Gordon Rich Phillips. It was an auditorium and there were about 600 people there.
Part way through the awards Judy was invited up onto stage and introduced as a “hero” and Hamish McLaren the MC asked her a series of questions about the accident and how she returned to work. Judy gave an inspiring uplifting talk praising the support given to her by her employer during her 8 months off and told everyone that “even if they were not 100% don’t give up hope” and talked about her now working on lights because she can’t hold a stop sign. Everyone clapped and cheered and after the awards finished we then went to post award drinks where lots of people came up to hug Judy and praise her. We then met our driver and were chauffeured home to Judy’s.
Speaking at the event, Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips said the awards recognised the significant contribution of individuals and organisations in workplace health, safety and return to work.
“Victorian workplaces are the safest they have ever been and we continue to see the rate of workplace injuries trending downwards,” he said.
“Too many Victorians are still being injured at work. The safety solutions, programs and achievements showcased today highlight what can be achieved when hazards and problems are identified, and people work together to achieve a successful and safe resolution.”
It was a wonderful inspiring event considering what can happen to people at work. It showed us that changes and initives are being made, and anyone who has been in the workforce for a number of years would be able to see significant change. I was moved by the stories of courageous people like Judy that have suffered horrific injuries but they fought back to get some normality in their lives.
I did the journey with Judy, from being at the scene, to visiting her in hospital and then rehab and ongoing once she came home.
If one of your workers is injured, it's important that you provide them with support as soon as possible and demonstrate a commitment to helping them return to work, they need to know that they are still a part of a team and worthy.
We do everything we can to make your workplace safe but we cannot predict what may happen in the outside environment. In show business Actors will say “never work with kids and animals” we could say “never work with cars and their drivers” but then we would miss out on such a wonderful job.
Stay Safe - Dreena x
Judy gets into her chauffer driven car to take her to the City and onto the Worksafe 2012 awards where she was a special guest