Nasty slice of luck was glassie's wake-up call
EXPERIENCE comes in handy, but Fabrice Jarry is walking proof that decades working in the job don't make you immune to accidents.
The Minden glazier was doing something that he'd done thousands of times in his 26 years as a tradesman when the unthinkable happened - and it could well have killed him.
A breeze whipped up suddenly on the afternoon of March 3, 2014, breaking a piece of glass that Mr Jarry was carrying and sending a sharp edge straight into his unprotected forearm.
The result looked like something out of a Jaws movie.
"It severed the main artery in my arm - there was a point where I thought I might have to shove my finger into it to stop the bleeding," he said.
"I wasn't worried at first, but it took the ambulance about 45 minutes to arrive and I did start to worry a bit towards the end.
"I remember three drips full of blood going into me on the way to the hospital."
After 230 stiches and two months recovery, Mr Jarry was miraculously ready to go back to work.
Apart from a fading scar, he suffers few ongoing problems, but his story should act as a cautionary one for anyone working as a glazier or in any other potentially dangerous industry.
Glass Skills Australia managing director Bob Carter said the Glass and Glazing Association Queensland would host an industry safety forum in Brisbane today to promote the use of the type of safety equipment that could have prevented Mr Jarry's injury.
"If you are cutting glass you should have gloves on. Gauntlets can go right up to the shoulder and there are special coats and aprons," he said.
"We've heard about a young bloke who had his arm severed by a piece of broken glass - the fact is you just don't know what is going to happen to a sheet of glass once it breaks."
There were 118,000 serious injuries in Australian workplaces last year, and Mr Carter said many of these injuries came down to the culture of the workplace.
About 80 per cent of accidents in the workplace are ultimately the fault of the person injured and can be avoided. Last year 188 workers died.