Journalist and author Frank Gardner was shot by terrorists while reporting in Saudi Arabia in 2004. At IOSH 2019, he will speak about his experience, his return to work and his view on occupational safety and health. We asked him about his session
Why did you choose to speak at IOSH 2019?
Safety, health and wellbeing are all areas close to my heart, more so than ever after my traumatic injuries sustained in a terrorist attack while on assignment. This is a wonderful opportunity to share my story with industry professionals and offer my views on what has worked for me.
How do you feel your own personal story of survival will impact on delegates in their professional work?
I hope it will leave them informed and inspired! As someone who has spent three-quarters of their life able-bodied and then more recently finding myself dependent on a wheelchair, I have the strange perspective of seeing the issues from both sides.
Do you feel your experience highlighted gaps in health and safety management when travelling for work? If so, what gaps do you think these were?
Yes, there are a number of examples I can give. For example, in Colombia, where I have brought those gaps to people's attention.
What have been the essential characteristics that enabled you to keep going and return to work after you were attacked?
First and foremost, having a letter from BBC News assuring me my job was still there for me when I was well enough to resume it. But this only works if it’s a job you want to do and luckily this was very much the case. The sad reality, in the case of spinal cord injury, is that most people do not return to their jobs after suffering life-changing injuries.
What are the main global security challenges that are having an impact on the world of business, and the health and safety profession?
Cyber crime. Just look at the recent attack on the NHS database. War, migration and terrorism are also major factors.
Want to hear more from Frank? He will take to the stage at IOSH 2019 at ICC Birmingham from 16-17 September, along with other excellent speakers. Don’t miss out; book your pass today.