Up until a few years ago, Justin was a highly skilled pipe technician and a team leader within the utilities industry. On the 28th October 2015, the decision to attend to a burst water main with a colleague proved to be one of life or death.
Whilst repairing a burst water main a miscommunication resulted in the mains water being switched on before the job had been completed,and the pressure of the water forced a torque wrench into Justin’s face at circa 80mph. Justin was knocked unconscious and was at the bottom of a hole which was rapidly filling with water.Fortunately he was wearing his hi-vis vest which meant he could be seen underwater, especially as a street light was directly above the hole. Whilst still unconscious his colleague got into the hole and dragged him out, and by chance a local resident who worked for St.Johns Ambulance was able to stabilise him until help arrived.
After undergoing numerous operations in a specialist hospital Justin lost all vision in his right eye. But, more devastating news was to follow when the Surgeon informed him that due to the severity of his head injury, it would be inevitable that he would get an infection and was likely to live for no more than 4 years. Justin chose to undergo an operation that carried a 50% risk of fatality.
During his convalescence, Justin returned to his old depot to give a talk to his former teammates, recounting the accident and talking about his road to recovery. The prospect of not returning to work was a daunting reality and doctor’s orders meant that he could not resume to his previous role. Despite 15 year’s experience on the job, Justin stressed the need to be prepared for an unexpected event and know exactly how to react to protect yourself and those around you. His talk had a huge impact on his colleagues and both Justin and the management team felt that if he could reach a larger audience, Justin could help even more industry colleagues understand the importance of workplace safety, and mental well-being.
And so, in 2019, Justin decided to start up his own public speaking business in the hopes that he could help prevent something like this happening again. Justin has gone on to win two awards for his hard-hitting presentation which were, The Construction Excellence Award and the Chairman’s Award from the Future Water Association. Justin pushes himself out of his comfort zone at every presentation with a view to getting his message out into the industry.
Young Achiever - Personal Commendation
Future Water Association
Utility Week Stars
Runner up in the
I wanted to thank you and the whole team for the successful quick delivery of some really powerful safety messages. I can honestly say in 29 years, I've never seen so many engaged and emotionally moved grown front-line men and ladies; this really did make us all think... it reinforced to me the power of the guys on the ground being involved in the delivery of our safety messages... "you could truly see the teams respecting him for what he's been through and the messages he was delivering to them, for her benefit
IMR Director and Head of Water Networks, Anglian Water
Send us a message
And our team will get back to you as soon as we can