Mackay mum shares heartbreak of losing husband in crash

14th March 2018 6:30 AM
Dawn and Trevor Deakin. Dawn and Trevor Deakin. Dawn Deakin

DAWN Deakin knows all too well the devastating cost of driver fatigue.

Her beloved husband Trevor died while asleep at the wheel in 2004 as he was returning home from the mines.

The family was preparing to head to Townsville for an Easter getaway and Dawn said it had been surreal packing for a holiday one moment and having police knock on her door the next.

Trevor had just finished a seven-day shift when he rolled his car into a tree two hours into the drive home. He died at the crash site.

"Your life falls apart around you and you have to let people know he isn't coming home," Dawn said.

Nearly 14 years on, she has not forgotten the emotional turmoil of the loss and will next week speak at the 2018 Resource Industry Safety Conference with a warning to other drivers to take a break if they're tired.

"The decision to drive while tired falls on your shoulders, you need to ask yourself 'am I all right to drive?', do you need a power nap?" Dawn said.

"Everyone is different when it come to what you can handle on the roads and it is an individual choice of when to drive.

"Be aware of the signs that let you know you're tired, the yawns, the nodding, forgetting what town you have just driven through.

"You teach your kids to do exactly what you are doing so we need to break bad driving habits and plan out the drive.

"I was 'lucky' that it was a single car accident (that there was) no one else in the car, if you can call it lucky.

"If there had been someone else involved it would have been a hell of a lot worse for everyone."

CQUniversity deputy Dean of Research at the School of Human Health and Social Sciences Professor Sally Ferguson will continue conference discussion around driver fatigue.

She will explain how the body clock helps keep us synchronised to the world around us, and what happens when we work against our clocks. Prof Ferguson will pose questions about the relationship between sleep, wake and work patterns, particularly for those working shift work.

She has explored methods used across a wide range of industries to identify risks associated with fatigue and the ways in which these risks can be managed.

Safety conference helps businesses maintain high safety standards

THE Resource Industry Network Safety Conference will provide industry safety information and hear from inspirational speakers and experts.

It can be a challenge for businesses to maintain high safety standards while competing in a tight economy.

The conference will be held in the MECC and discuss a number of key safety topics, including:

Strategies to effectively manage fatigue risk

Suicide Prevention

Creating a mentally health work culture

Getting the best safety performance out of your team

Senior leaders will give their views on the importance of safety leadership and provide ideas to challenge current work patterns.

Networking Drinks will be held at the Breakwater Bar & Restaurant, 5pm to 7pm on Thursday, March 22 with guest Speaker and sporting professional Joe Williams.

Mr Williams forged a successful professional sporting career but has battled with suicidal ideation and Bi-Polar Disorder.

Graeme Cowan went through a five year episode of depression but emerged with a view about how to build resilience, mood, and performance. Mr Cowan will outline three things a leader needs to do to increase their team's resilience, mood and performance. He will also show how to help those who may be struggling.

Deb Rae will present showcase opportunities to work better together to reduce the number of attempts and deaths by suicide in the region. She will present a regional plan with evidence based strategies to reduce the number of suicides in our region.

CQUniversity deputy Dean of Research at the School of Human Health and Social Sciences, Professor Sally Ferguson will present an overview of the impacts of fatigue for employees and businesses and will discuss key controls that can be implemented to manage risk of incident and accidents.