Is Taking the Risk Really Worth It? By Rod Draper

There is a particularly important point I need to make upfront on this topic: too many people get hurt every day unnecessarily due to intentional or careless risk taking.

Many people, especially, younger people, have an intention to take risks, I sure did when I was in my 20’s as did most of my friends. In those days it was mostly ‘manly’ males, but times have changed and as we break down barriers and stereotypes, young females are also increasingly risk-takers. That is evident in transport and sport accident data, including, skateboards, bicycles, cars, motorcycles and of course all battery powered wheeled things.

I speak from experience as my preferred accident-of-choice was motorcycles. Before the age of 23, I had been hospitalised 5 times and had lost 3 mates to various vehicle misadventures. Then, as now, we, as youthful enthusiasts, didn’t care much for the consequences of our actions, and certainly didn’t sit around discussing the effects of serious damage, nor contemplate the periphery effects of death and injury on our friends, and family, not to mention the social financial burden of our funerals and hospital stays etc.

It’s easy to speak with hindsight, but that is the effect of age and wisdom. One of the many reasons we don’t consider the risks is, in my opinion, that we assume, and expect the medical model to fix us. This is quite true at times, I myself would not be walking today if it were not for skilled medical practitioners and their technology. That said, I have endured a serious 25% disability since 1978 which impacted on my life in a profound way.

This brings me to the point of this passage, what I call “the medical myth”:  that we expect easy resolutions to injury, but in reality, the medical model, medics, hospitals, drugs etc cannot fix all injury, or most injury in entirety, that is, once injured, there is a residual effect/ disability for life. Whether that is just a scar, or a limp, physical and/or mental disability, chronic pain or dexterity malfunction etc. Many NEVER fully recover from an injury.

Joints, specifically shoulders, ankles, hands and backs are hard to fix and very, very painful. Even a seemingly simple topple from an electric scooter at 10KPH can result in a serous hand/wrist/shoulder injury that will take years to heal and a few months hearing these dreaded words, that no-one wants to hear or speak: “Muuuum, can you wipe my bum please!”

Back to work related injury. It’s important that I make this point: not all injury can be fixed and most take a length of time to get to stable and stationery (that is the stage when the injury will not change over time; improve or degrade, and no further medical options or treatments are available) often leaving residual chronic pain, disability and suffering. So don’t take unnecessary risks at work.

If compensation is available, think twice; no-one that I know of has ever been compensated fully for the effects of chronic injury, that is; all of my clients past and present, would rather have their lives back to pre-injury function than a payout.

To book an appointment with Rod in Australia, phone +61 0411 333617

Rod Draper

Rod has an extensive background in construction with a degree in economics. And for the last 6 years he has worked as a rehab counsellor with a Masters in Rehab counselling.

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