How to Thrive After a Workplace Accident!

Life was pretty crappy for a while, but now some of my work puts me in contact with survivors of workplace incidents. It is rewarding, and fulfilling, and feels like it makes a small difference in the world …  

That day 

Many years ago, one nice Tuesday morning (about 10am), an Electrician and I had been tasked with mounting a circuit breaker in a switchboard. There were about half a dozen of these to be mounted, but whilst I was measuring where the very first one would be mounted, the switchboard blew up in my face. That sucked.  

I had used a steel ruler to measure in the switchboard – not real smart – and the ruler got in behind the main switch and arced, causing a significant arc blast (explosion). 

Then, it was off to intensive care, to be stabilised, and then to the burns unit, where all the dead skin had to be removed (forcibly – debriding) and where I had to have my backside wiped (no-one does it as good as you) and be fed. I had lost the use of both of my hands and couldn’t do anything for myself. 

Abit over 4 weeks later, I was heading home, somewhat healed, still pink and weird looking, but ready to take on the world again. 

The next 10 years 

The next 10 years were tough, as I was really bitter and twisted about the incident. Although I had a somewhat changed attitude about life (and what I was going to do with it – not do anymore electrical work for that), I carried a little (or large) chap on my shoulder.  

My little family and I worked around the country for that 10 year period, and then we returned to our home town, where everyone wanted to know how I was, and how I had recovered. I had to talk about it – and that was cathartic. And, I haven’t stopped talking about the incident since … all around Australia, and the world. Here is what I share with people – particularly survivors … 

What I learnt 

Yes, I was shitty at the world … why me … but life goes on, right. 

1. My head space was better after I went back to work 

It was 7 weeks to the day, from the incident, to me returning to work – at the same place, with the same Electrician. That Tuesday, getting dressed, and going back to the place where it had all happened, was a huge day in the journey. It took courage to show up again. 

But, it also signified that I was back, I was ready to go again. I was still able to work. 

If you have been injured at work, the most empowering, powerful thing that you could do is to get back to work, as soon as possible. As hard as that is, it is worth it. 

2. Find someone who has been there 

If you do nothing else, find someone (like me) who has been injured, and reach out for emotional support. Since my accident, I have spoken to many, many injured workers, and have supported them to work through the incident, what happened, and what the future will hold for them. 

If you have been injured at work, call me, or reach out to someone, even it if is just for a quick chat, or a coffee. You will be amazed at how much value that adds to your life, and how much it helps you get over what has happened.

3. Think yourself right 

I know, because I did this – I was shitty for 10 years. Don’t do that to yourself. 

The one thing that I now know is that your mind, and your thoughts, are either your best friend, or your toughest adversary. You really, really, can think yourself into better shape. And, here is my weird comment for this blog … I think that the more positive you are, the quicker you will heal, too! 

Look, here is my truth for you, if you are willing to hear it – life can throw you a curve ball, life can suck at times, but you know what … it might have to be time to get over it and get moving again.  

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About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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