Jason Anker was only 24 when he survived. He fell 10 feet from a ladder and sustained a spinal injury that left him paralyzed. Until that day, the father of a young family was an avid football player, he went to the pub with his friends and enjoyed the little pleasures in life. But the cost of the accident causing him massive spinal injury was harsh both financially and emotionally. The relationship to his family and friends changed, he descended into alcohol and drug abuse and struggled to get compensation.
Over the past 19 years Jason has come to terms with the frustrations of his new reality as a paraplegic. During all these years he has been plagued with guilt and regret of not speaking up against a situation he knew to be risky and which would ultimately change his life completely.
"The main reason I didn't speak up was that I didn't think it would happen to me. That voice has gone off in your head, which it does every time there is a dodgy situation or something's unsafe ... you override it with one excuse ... you say 'Ah! But its not going to happen to me' and that's how you manage your risk on a daily basis,” describes Jason on his carelessness.
Jason now shares his knowledge to warn others of the devastating consequences of not speaking out when you know something is unsafe. He talks to both small independent businesses and Blue Chip companies like Heathrow, Kings Cross and many of the UK's major power stations.
Jason will deliver his motivational talk “My life after a fall from height” to heads of HSE on 17-18 May 2012 in Rome at Fleming Europe's 6th Annual HSE Excellence Europe event. His speech, will be part of a wide palette of presentations, discussions and case studies about future safety culture and alternatives to behavioral safety, as well as the cause of human error and zero incident levels.
A zero incident level is what did not happen to Jason. Not realizing the weight of the consequences following stepping up that unsecure ladder caused a needless accident evoked by incautiousness of both employer and Jason.
It is true that employers brief workers on what to do, what not to do, what to wear, what not to wear, where to go and where not to go. But the explanation of why it is necessary to heed these rules is often not included. Jason is the reason why. 'If by telling my story I can influence somebody not to take that shortcut, take that chance then I will continue to share my experiences,' justifies Jason and invites HSE leaders to Rome to listen to his frankly speech “My life after a fall from height”.