GRADUATE: Kris Cameron is graduating from CQUniversity with a Masters in Advanced Safety Science Practice.
GRADUATE: Kris Cameron is graduating from CQUniversity with a Masters in Advanced Safety Science Practice. Michelle Gately

Workplace accident prompts safety career change

HAVING her hand crushed at work opened up a whole new career path for Kris Cameron.

Today she will graduate from CQUniversity with a Masters in Advanced Safety Science Practice after being spurned into study by her own traumatic workplace injury.

She is among 120 graduates.

Ms Cameron was working as a rigger, scaffolder and crane operator in Gladstone when her hand was crushed between two planks.

Although her hands healed after some weeks, Ms Cameron said she didn't feel confident returning to the labour-intensive role given the weakness in her injured hand.

The accident made Ms Cameron reconsider her career path and fast-tracked a return to study she had been contemplating but wasn't planning to follow through with for some time.

Kris Cameron at her workplace - Triple A Safety, Risk & Compliance. Ms Cameron is graduating from CQUniversity with a Masters in Advance Safety Science Practice.
Kris Cameron at her workplace - Triple A Safety, Risk & Compliance. Contributed

With five children at home, Ms Cameron set about earning her bachelor degree while working full-time at Capricornia Correctional Centre.

"It was like my own achievement,” she said.

Not satisfied with this, Ms Cameron took it one step higher and returned to the textbooks again for her masters, which included research into workplace bullying.

Ms Cameron said the degrees were a natural progression into researching and analysing workplace injuries and accidents given her own experience in high-risk industries.

"I love helping people,” she said.

Her research and qualifications allow her to deal with anything from a cut finger to a workplace death.

Ms Cameron now puts her theoretical knowledge to use in her role with Triple A Safety, Risk and Compliance, which sees her working with businesses across Australia to build foundational safety systems.

In this role she helps workplaces of all sizes put systems in place which, if done properly, will prevent injuries and accidents.

"It's not just safety tacked on the side,” Ms Cameron.