COURAGEOUS: Mackay's Jordan Williams with Queensland Safety Ambassador Shane Webcke at the awards ceremony.
COURAGEOUS: Mackay's Jordan Williams with Queensland Safety Ambassador Shane Webcke at the awards ceremony.

Why Jordan’s return to work won him an award

AFTER suffering severe injuries to his eyes, spine and spinal cord, Mackay’s Jordan Williams admits he faced some dark days during his road to recovery.

In February 2018, while working as a boilermaker, Mr Williams was repairing a conveyor when he was seriously injured.

At 22, he was told he would never walk again.

“I was concerned about when I would be up and walking again,” he said.

“I was on my back for three months in bed.”

But that’s all behind him now after he took out the Injured Worker Achievement Award (Serious Injury) at Queensland’s 2019 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards in Brisbane this week.

Mr Williams credits his support network of work, friends and family with helping him defy the odds.

With the help of his employer, Melco Engineering, he is now training to become a draftsman/estimator.

Mackay's Jordan Williams at the awards ceremony.
Mackay's Jordan Williams at the awards ceremony.

Mr Williams said his employer was supportive of his return to work by offering a new career path following his injury.

His advice to others who are finding it difficult to return to work after injury is to look for other opportunities if they are unable to return to their previous role.

“An injury doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world,” he said.

“My advice would also be to accept the help people offer.”

Mr Williams said he was grateful for the award and being able to share his story of recovery.

“Everyone who entered is a winner because of what they’ve had to overcome,” he said.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace joined Queensland Safety Ambassador Shane Webcke at the Royal International Convention Centre on Wednesday to announce the 12 winners across 11 categories.

“From Jordan Williams’ courageous return to work after serious injury, to Ashley Rieck’s work health and safety initiatives in farming — these are all shining examples of what creative Queenslanders are doing around the state,” Ms Grace said.

The Mackay region took home the most gongs of any other Queensland region, with G&S Engineering taking out the Best Commitment to Work Health and Wellbeing category and Jessica McDowell, from Mackay’s Churches of Christ, winning the Injured Worker Achievement Award (return to work).