James Gorry, who was badly injured in an accident 14 years ago, was the guest speaker at an early June seminar organised for the employees of MJM Marine in Newry, Northern Ireland.
Gorry’s workplace accident resulted in his right leg being amputated, and today he uses his experience to talk about health and safety issues to businesses all over Ireland. He reminds workers that they have to take personal responsibility for their own safety and abide by their company’s health and safety policies and that although a business may have robust safety procedures, individual decisions and choices impact the safety of workers.
For example, if an operation needs protective workwear hard hats, and an employee decides not to wear theirs, they need to take responsibility if something falls on their head and causes injury.
Gavin McKevitt, a director of MJM Marine, said: “James Gorry’s story is truly shocking but very motivational. We are thankful that he took the time out to give our employees a “real-life” reminder of what can happen when safety guidelines are not implemented; and to highlight the devastating consequences which accidents can leave behind, not just to the victim but to their wider family circle.”
MJM Marine makes some of the world’s largest cruise ships. The company has a good safety record but recognises that health and safety awareness can always be improved in dangerous industries like shipbuilding. The hope is that Gorry’s talk has encouraged employees to heighten awareness of the risks associated with working on building ships.