Category Archives: Health and safety

I braced myself for the impact…

Earlier this year, second year student Victoria was in a hurry to get to a lecture on time – she knew she was cutting it fine. Here she talks about why she didn’t make it to the lecture at all…

The lecture was about to start and I knew how long it would take me to bike to Ilam campus from Avonhead. I biked past Dovedale campus and then along Ilam Fields. As I got to the Ilam Road crossing I saw a car coming, which I thought would stop for the crossing. I slowed but didn’t stop and entered the crossing.

Pretty much as soon as I entered the crossing I knew the car hadn’t slowed down enough to stop. I was the only one on the crossing and I remember the car vividly, it was coming towards me and it was getting so close, freakishly close. I knew the car was going to hit me.

The impact
I don’t really remember the car hitting me, but I remember lying on my back on the ground and feeling my legs tingling and an odd sensation. I felt extremely winded and could feel pressure on my left side. Security staff told me later that I had jammed on my brakes, put my foot down and I braced myself for the impact.

I was hit on the crossing but landed a few metres away on the road. I was just taken along with the car as it was moving. I was wearing my helmet – so glad that I did. A whole chunk of it broke off. The ambulance guys told me if I hadn’t been wearing it, I would have been knocked out.

It happened so quickly – in a couple of seconds. I was lucky there wasn’t a car coming from the other direction. I just lay on the ground for a couple of minutes afterwards and closed my eyes – possibly in denial! I think I was in shock. I think the driver who hit me was in shock too.

The aftermath
Heaps of people came to help me, and the security team were really fast at calling an ambulance and getting all my stuff together.

I had bruising on my ribs from where the car hit me, and bruises and cuts from the road on my legs – I was lucky. Because I was on a bike I was elevated, if I was a pedestrian I would have been bowled over.

I sent a text to my friend afterwards and told her what had happened. As you can imagine I got a quick reply. She took me home – driving very cautiously! I never did get to the lecture.

My ribs took the longest to heal, they took most of the impact and were quite uncomfortable for a while. I think it took me a week to understand everything that had happened.

Think first
I’m definitely more cautious now and a lot more aware of what’s happening around me. I don’t take the same risks, it’s just not worth it – it’s better to be a couple of minutes late and to get there safely in one piece.

If you do take a risk you’re putting yourself and other people in a vulnerable position. You’ve got to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Imagine being the driver, they don’t want to hit a cyclist or pedestrian just as much as you don’t want to be hit.

Below: The damage to Victoria’s bike helmet.

Know your rights – UC Careers annual careers event for women

If you’re planning on entering the workplace or already in the workplace, it’s important to know your rights and what to do if something isn’t working.

Fortunately, safe workplaces is a key theme of this year’s UC Careers annual careers event for Women, Empowering Women’s Safety and Well-being in Work.

One of the panellists, Emily Flaszynski, Senior Solicitor at GCA Lawyers, will discuss a range of topics related to your right to a safe workplace, including the legal side to your employment contract, and changes to employment law that impacts on workplace wellness such as break times and flexible work. She will speak about the legal side of things and empower you with information to help you navigate things like negotiating career/life balance with your employer.

You will have the opportunity to network with other students and professionals and ask questions of the panel of speakers. This is a unique opportunity that can better prepare you for career success through real-life stories and scenarios from professional women .

We encourage you to join in the conversation before the event through the UC Careers Facebook event and Instagram using the hashtag #empoweringwomen #uccareersforwomen

Safety in the New Zealand outdoors

Mid-term break is an awesome time of year to head out into the New Zealand outdoors and experience gorgeous scenery and adventure. 

The Department of Conservation website (DoC) is one of the best places to start planning your trip with awesome ideas of where to go. Click here>

SAFETY – Make sure you spend some time planning your adventure – whether it’s a hike for the day or longer. New Zealand conditions are different from anywhere else in the world.  The weather especially can change quite suddenly, which can then change the conditions of the environment around you.

Whether you’re heading out for a day walk or a longer adventure, make sure you tell a trusted contact where you are going and when you will be back, and that they understand that if you are late they should contact New Zealand Police. Do not expect to have cellphone coverage in some rural or mountain areas.

Know before you go

Five things to do before you go>

DoC has also compiled other links and resources on safety and planning your trip, so you can have the best possible adventure out there. Click here>