Anton uses experience to help burns victims
By CHRIS LYNCHchrisl@gladstoneobserver.com.au
WHEN Anton Guinea was burned in a worksite accident at Orica in 1994 it never dawned on him that years later he would use the experience to help others.
'I was working on a switchboard when it blew up,' he said recounting the fateful day.
Mr Guinea has gone on to use his painful experience to motivate others to spread the word about workplace safety.
AS part of his motivational speeches Mr Guinea relives his time in intensive care and a Brisbane burns unit.
He said he found it hard to cope with going back to work, and began to question his chosen pro- fession.
'I struggled mentally with being an electrician, I mean it's hard to explain what you have to deal with,' he said.
Then after a stint in Western Australia in a more senior role ,Mr Guinea returned and took up a position working on the Comalco project.
'I went out on the first day and as part of the induction they played a video with a story about a guy who got burnt like me.
'I just felt compelled to do something. It took 10 years before I was comfortable talking about it but that was the catalyst.'
From there he took some initiative, and was allowed to deliver two presentations to fellow workers aimed at promoting safe work practices.
'It was titled 'It happened to me, it could happen to you'. I got a good response to it, and from there I decided I wanted to work for myself.'
Mr Guinea has now embarked on a massive pro- ject to spread the word about workplace safety, and to raise money for other burns victims.
His aim is to address 100,000 people, compiling a list of every person who attends one of his talks.
As companies pay for the employees to undergo the training he will then donate 10 per cent to the Burns Unit of the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Research Foundation.
'To date I've spoken with 121 people and I've already handed over the first lump sum of $431.'
'On current trends it's likely the project will raise over $356,000 in much-needed research funds.'
The Observer will monitor his progress. If you or your organisation are interested in enlisting his skills phone 4979 3186 or 0418 686 522.