There’s probably not much that could have been done differently to prevent the freak accident that injured me, but we need to have those conversations and share our experiences. You never know what will resonate with someone or be the trigger that makes them think twice or double check – that might just save a life. Trialsafe is a brilliant platform to communicate these stories.
I was getting a header ready to take out for harvest. I told the driver who was in the cab that I was going to duck around and check the back tyres as it had been sitting in the shed for a month or so. To start the engine, you had to hold the glow plug for 15 seconds, it had a dead man switch, and was only supposed to start while in neutral. In my head I had plenty of time and thought, “if the machine is going to move, it will move forward”. But instead, the header, which was in full throttle, slipped a gear into reverse which somehow overrode the hand brake, and it came straight back at me. The metal casing caught me, pushed me back and pinned me between the header and another machine. If I was a second quicker, I would have been clear.
The driver couldn’t see me but felt he had hit something so immediately drove forward, saw me on the ground and called an ambulance. I felt like I had been badly winded but there was a lot more going on internally than I realised. I had cracked a rib, a 7.9cm laceration on my liver, I’d nicked my spleen and had a large amount of fluid internally which turned toxic and led to further complications that required surgery. I was in hospital for a total of eight days.