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Her life in my hands – the Robyn Neilson story

Title translated into English

Her life in my hands – the Robyn Neilson story

Film: Duration in minutes

15 minutes

Product submission URL (http:// or https://)

Product description

Robyn Neilson is a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Safety Advocate. Robyn, a trained nurse, was the first responder to her neighbour who suffered horrific injuries after her arms caught in a post-hole digger on a remote cattle property. For two hours, Robyn gave life-saving care to keep her neighbour alive until the Royal Flying Doctor Service arrived. After the incident, Robyn was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Now Robyn visits Queensland workplaces as a Safety Advocate to promote the importance of preparing for the worst by having emergency plans and first aid equipment in place. Robyn also shares how exposure to traumatic workplace incidents can psychologically affect workers, first responders, and their families, and the importance of accessing resources if you need support. ‘Her life in my hands – the Robyn Neilson story’ is a poignant reminder of the importance of preparing for a workplace emergency. The film explores the impact a traumatic event can have on workers and first responders. It also highlights the need for workplaces to always use well-designed, guarded and properly maintained equipment and have first aid equipment available. "Before people can prepare for the unexpected, they have to see safety as a very serious issue. Everybody can save a life and preparedness is absolutely vital." Robyn Neilson

Aims and objectives

The agriculture industry is a priority industry for Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) due to the high number of fatalities and serious injuries when compared to other Queensland industries. The agriculture industry employs around three per cent of Queensland’s workers and accounts for more than 30 per cent of workplace deaths. WHSQ conducts ongoing targeted compliance, advisory and awareness activities including developing personal story films to authentically engage with industry and the community. Personal story films combine a powerful and memorable narrative with information and guidance for industry to reduce risk and improve safety outcomes. The aim of Robyn’s film is to raise awareness of the importance of being prepared for workplace emergencies and the psychological impacts that can occur after a traumatic event. All WHSQ personal story films, as well as the Safety Advocate campaign, aim to provide industry and the community with actionable guidance to reduce the risk of death and injuries. Robyn’s film launched in October 2021 on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Robyn’s film has been watched more than 14,000 times. There was strong media coverage of Robyn’s film, including multiple print articles as well as a televised interview on ABC’s Landline program and an ABC Tropical North radio interview. (The ABC is Australia’s national broadcaster.) As a Safety Advocate, Robyn has spoken at 15 events, sharing her story with 1305 people. Post-event surveys confirm the impact of Robyn’s talks, with 100 per cent of survey respondents agreeing (88 per cent strongly agreeing and 12 per cent somewhat agreeing) that Robyn appeared to influence the audience – encouraging them to think about the importance of safety in the workplace. WHSQ, along with the Electrical Safety Office (ESO), Workers’ Compensation Regulatory Services (WCRS) and Industrial Relations form the Office of Industrial Relations within the Queensland Government. WHSQ’s purpose is to improve work health and safety and reduce the risk of work-related fatalities, injuries and diseases. WHSQ works with industry and assists businesses to create a safe and healthy culture in Queensland places of work. ESO’s purpose is to improve electrical safety and reduce the risk of death and injury from electric shock, fire and explosion. ESO works with Queensland's electrical industry to help keep all Queenslanders safe around electricity, at work, at home and in the community. WCRS’s purpose is to maintain a fair and efficient workers’ compensation scheme that balances the needs of workers and employers. WCRS works with insurers, employers, workers and health professionals to make sure all workers who’ve experienced a work-related injury are supported throughout their rehabilitation journey and can safely return to work. Industrial Relations’ purpose is to support improved productivity and fairness in Queensland workplaces.

Target audience

Young workers, Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Supervisors and managers, OSH specialists


Safety Advocate campaign



Contact details Editor / Production company

Office of Industrial Relations
1 William Street, au-4000 Brisbane
+617 34069746