Shane Webcke talks safety in Bundaberg

Shane Webcke
Shane Webcke is in Bundaberg in October to talk about safety, a subject close to his heart after losing his father to a workplace incident. Source: Facebook

Shane Webcke is in town next week to talk about safety, a subject close to his heart after losing his father to a workplace incident.

Front Row Safety will bring together a range of guest speakers on Thursday 24 October, covering key safety topics in the agricultural industry.

The State of Origin great and former Brisbane Broncos prop, who lost his dad when just a teenager as his NRL career was starting to take off, will be the keynote speaker.

He’s no stranger to safety events with the devastating incident leading to a range of requests to promote the important issue through his personal experiences.

“One of the things that anyone will tell you who has lost someone in a workplace accident … one of the things that is most trying about it … jobs are just jobs,” Shane said.

“We’re not alive to go to work. Work is what we do so we can live.

“If you get killed in a workplace accident, like my dad was, one of the things you really struggle with is it’s meaningless.”

But after being the Queensland Safety Ambassador for about five years and speaking about safety at various events for the last 20 years Shane said it had been a cathartic experience.

“I feel like my dad wasn’t killed for nothing.

“Because I can help other people, his death has meaning.”

He said the Front Row Safety event was for everyone to attend from management to staff.

“What I really talk about … if it’s going to be safe it’s up to you.

“We all need to accept for our own safety and for all the things we do we own it, it’s up to us.

Attend event for interesting perspective on safety

“For those who are keen to attend who think this is going to be another lecture, if you like, about safety, certainly from my point of view they won’t get that.

“I have no lecture in me whatsoever.

“I will offer them an interesting perspective.”

Without qualifications in the safety industry Shane said he stripped away onerous compliance details to bring his own experience to the presentation.

“I do know about the outcomes.

“I get them to think about who actually pays the price if they do get it wrong.

“That’s usually by reminding them that there are other people who care about them and love them.”

As a typical Aussie bloke with a ‘she’ll be right mate’ mentality, Shane said he could also offer management teams an insight in to how they’re workers might be thinking.

“It’s also about them understanding the type of people that Australians are.

“Which then gives them some tools, if you like, when talking to people.”

Greensill Farming Group is a major partner of the event with one of its employees, Ashley Rieck, receiving a state award for Best Individual Contribution to Work Health and Safety.

As Queensland Safety Ambassador Shane was at the ceremony and said award winners were an inspiration.

“That function is full of the real drivers of safety in this state.

“Anyone who sees the values in [safety at work] is someone who cares about their people.

“They really are the engine that drives the innovation in safety.”

He said the businesses and people in “their unrelenting search for safer ways to do things and innovative ways to protect people” benefited all workers by producing positive safety models that all companies could mirror.

“They really are quite remarkable people.”

The Front Row Safety event will be delivered in partnership with Bundaberg Regional Council, CQUniversity Bundaberg, Greensill Farming Group, Bundaberg Fruit & Vegetable Growers, Canegrowers Isis, Queensland Workplace Health and Safety and Work Cover Queensland.

Front Row Safety is a Safety Work Month Marquee Event.

The free event will begin at 9 am at the Bundaberg Multiplex Sports and Convention Centre with a light lunch and refreshments provided.

Bookings are essential.

Bundaberg Q&A with Shane Webcke

How many times have you been to Bundaberg?

Over the years, 15 or 20 quite easily

What’s your favourite thing to do in the region?

Usually I’m there for work and I’m in and out. I tell you what I do like … the Bargara beach area.

Oftentimes when I’ve been there I have stayed there.

I was involved in a big fun run there. Cane to Coral. I was ambassador for that for a couple of years.

Anything else to add about Bundaberg Region?

I’m a farmer so what I do appreciate about the area, obviously it is a very strong agricultural area. I can easily appreciate clearly what is very rich countryside around there.

Bundaberg shares in a trait or a characteristic that jut about every regional Queensland town has … we live in a wonderful nation and peppered within it are towns just like Bundaberg filled with wonderful country people who are just content on living a good life. Sense of community … it’s well and truly alive with that type of sentiment.