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How to Safely Survive Valentines Day

“Love is like fire, whether it will warm our heart or burn your house down, you never know.”

Happy Valentines Day - Here's some tips on how to survive

You may be aware, that Valentines Day is without a doubt, one of the most dangerous holidays of the year.

Some common risks involved with Valentines Day include – chocolate allergies, emotional trauma, fire hazards from unattended candles, not to mention lacerations, pricks and burns from an array of potential safety hazards.

5 Safety survival tips for Valentines Day

1. Purchase good quality gifts

The only thing more dangerous than not purchasing a Valentines Day gift for your loved one is purchasing something that is an inferior brand or product. This would be like purchasing second grade PPE for your employees – it’s just not on!

2. Remember the Repercussions and Risks of Romance

Never leave candles unattended – in the heat of passion naked flames may cause other things to heat up and ruin your romantic interlude.   Make sure you have a working smoke alarm installed

  • Place candles on a stable surface, away from flammable objects (such as curtains, magazines, furniture).
  • Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare.
  • Always pur scented candles and teal lights in heat resistant holders.  Did you know the metal bases maya reach temperatures over 3 times the boiling point of water.

Also, if cooking a romantic meal, take care around the stove – ensuring to not leave saucepan handles overhanging the benchtop, turn the heat down if you leave the room and beware of loose fitting clothing.

Often, its the easy, mundane tasks that have the biggest risk factor and repercussions, simply because as we do not pay attention to what we are doing and keep our mind on the job.

3. Be aware of allergies

For severe allergy sufferers, Valentines Day can cause alarm bells to ring. It can be potentially life threatening.   Innocuous little treats can turn nasty and lead to serious anaphylaxis reactions.   Ensure you are aware of your potential loved ones allergies on this day to impress, as cupids arrow may not hit the spot if you aren’t aware of these potential risks..

Meals Out –   Always ensure you enquire as to what is in the foods you order if you have an allergic reaction to anything.    This applies to takeaway meals also.

Condoms – can pose a risk to those who are allergic to latex and also with milk allergies.

Chocolates    including nut and milk risks

Flowers  –     some people can be allergic to pollen found in trees, grasses and weeds, as well as flowers.   Pollen can trigger an asthma attacked as well as an allergic reaction.

Last year the Anaphylaxis Association ran a campaign and you can read more here.

Allergies, like accidents can sneak up on you unawares, especially if you aren’t staying focused on the task at hand and paying attention to what you are doing.

4. Be careful of rose stems

The traditional flower of love, and like love can catch you unawares with their spiky thorns.   Leaving you with lacerations, pricks and bleeding.  Keep your mind on the job and be aware of what is going on around you when you are carrying long stem roses.

5. Bring Protection

Should all seem to be going according to plan and as designed, you just never know when disaster may strike.  So ensure you have protection for any situation.    As unfortunate as it may seem, there is always the chance that the most well laid plans can end in injury.

Even with job assessments, take 5 and all the precautions under the sun have been taken, you just never can tell when something will go wrong – so be prepared.

So, all in all, Valentines Day may be a disastrously dangerous day if you are not safety conscious with either the Fire Brigade, Ambulance or mother in law turning up unannounced.




  • You have been given a gift as a Life Saver

    I sat through your presentation yesterday with mixed emotions those of sadness, sorrow, anger… where you can directly and indirectly impact and change the lives of many… you have been given a great gift of a Life Saver to many but at a tremendous personal sacrifice. I have asked myself what could I do for Hawk, my families, peers, colleagues and friends and came up with — Think and act safely in everything I do and ask / tell others to do the same to protect them from harm. 97.8% of our delegates said Hawk’s presentation was excellent / good.

    Rick Alcock, National Manager, Construction Oil & Gas L&H Group
  • Inspired by his words

    Yesterday both myself & Ashlea Wright were invited to attend the Shell Global Safety day at the Pinkenba terminal on behalf of G4S Secure Solutions. As part of the presentation, we were privileged to listen to Hawk Vagg and his story relating to the accident in 1998. Hawk’s powerful and heart wrenching description of the events, & the people affected by that day in 1998, left both myself & Ashlea moved & inspired by his words. Hawk’s message has had a huge impact on my approach to everyday moments in life & highlighted the need to be vigilant & remain safe wherever we are in life, be it at work or home. In conjunction with Shell’s presentation, it was an uplifting & educational approach to what remains a common goal amongst us all – a safe workplace/environment. On behalf of G4S, I would like to thank Shell for extending the invitation. I wish Hawk Vagg continued success with his presentations around the country and personally thank Hawk for raising my safety awareness to a higher level of appreciation. Good Luck Hawk. Thank you all.

    John Broughton Branch Manager QLD G4S Secure Solutions
  • The boys comment about things you made them aware of in your presentation

    Hello Hawk, better late than never, I would like to thank you for the day you spent here on site. As recently as a week ago, some of the boys comment about things you made them aware of in your presentation. The feedback has been very good and attitude to safety awareness have changed for the better. Your posters are a very good reminder for the workers, not just the workers that were there on the day, other workers have commented on them as well. I believe the effects of your visit will assist in keeping the safety awareness on the right track for some time.

    Russelll Mallett, Safety Officer Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal Pty Ltd
  • It made a real impact on everyone

    Hi Hawk, I hope you are well. The guys are still talking about your presentation, it made a real impact on everyone. We are making a poster and just wanted to check with you if it was ok to use your “mantra” — “She’ll be right mate, But… what if I am wrong”

    Greg McCluand, Plant Manager, Iplex Pipelines Australia Pty Ltd
  • Choices and consequences

    Hawk shared his story with the Moorvale team and left everyone with a powerful message to stop and think about the choices you make and the consequences they could have on you and the people around you.

    Nicole Challen from Leighton Contractors Moorvale Mine
  • A very relevant and worthwhile experience

    I just wanted to let you know that we had great feedback for Hawk ranging from our Sub-Contractors, Business HSEQ Director and Regional Director. Thank you for assisting with the organisation of what was a very relevant and worthwhile experience.

    Laura Greene Laing O’Rourke OHS – Port Botany
  • I could see it made an impact on the lads

    I just wanted to say that I thought your speech / presentation was brilliant, it was a very hard hitting speech that I could see it made an impact on the lads. I thought it was well delivered and your detailed description of the accident really hit home. I was especially moved by the aftermath of your accident and the way it’s affected you and your life.

    Neil O’Donnell, H&S Advisor Port Botany Laing O’Rourke
  • I took away some personal reflections and timely reminders

    I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and thanks for your heart-felt and very personal presentations here for us at Toowoomba Regional Council. I have received very positive feedback from attendees at both sessions you delivered last Wednesday. Overall, I took away some personal reflections and ‘timely reminders’ to remember about some of the decisions we make in life, especially around keeping safe both personally and for those around us.

    Andy Van der Syde – Toowoomba Regional Council, Senior Organisational Development Officer
  • You are an inspiration

    Hi Hawk! Thanks so much for speaking with us today at Pacific Seeds. It made a huge impact and I’ve already had many staff members tell me how beneficial the talk was and that it really made them think. We’ve even got a worker who has now decided to call the professionals at home to do a job that her and her husband had planned to do this weekend. You are an inspiration and I look forward to seeing you in the near future for phase 2.

    Michelle Lennox, Occupational Health & Safety Office of the Toowoomba Branch of Pacific Seeds
  • Accolades and praise for Hawk Vagg’s safety presentation

    In short — bloody awesome Hawk was fantastic. He was extremely professional but also down to earth and realistic. They presented and pitched the session at exactly the right level for the audience. I am sure Hawk was able to “turn on a few lights” as I like to say. I know that some of the audience, particularly the younger workers, found it confronting initially but with Hawk’s style and honesty everyone left the room with a stronger resolve to take the actions they need to in their work fronts.

    Mike Tierney, CMC
  • Your message was very clear

    Hi Hawk, I would like to thank you for coming to our project recently to deliver your powerful safety message from your own personal experience to our BSO project employees, the message of complacency, not looking after yourself and your workmates was very clear with the outcome if you carry out an unsafe act it will change your family, friends and your life forever. The days you were here on site changed the way people looked at the safety of themselves and others and has continued since you left, your name and circumstance is often raised out in the field by the employees, at prestart and induction to site. Thanks once again and will see you again on another job.

    Regards Russell Barham | Lead EHS Specialist. Broadmeadow Sustaining Operations Project Site Address: Gate 18, Red Hill Road, PMB Moranbah QLD 474
  • I enjoyed your talk

    I enjoyed your talk and will stop and think about what you said next when going to cut corners.

    Nathan Otago

    Hi mate! or should I say LEGEND! I had a bad day yesterday dealing with stuff, Thought I had it bad! I was speechless listening to your journey! Mate you will forever be in my thoughts.

    Masey Jase
  • You could have heard a pin drop,

    Hi Hawk, I would like to thank you on behalf of Bechtel Equipment Services Gladstone for coming to our yard recently. Your presentation sent a powerful safety message to our employees from your own personal experiences. You could have heard a pin drop, the employees were so intentive. You really brought home the message of safety. We are looking forward to your next presentation.

    Bechtel Equipment Services Gladstone
  • Mate you are an insperation keep it up.,

    Hi Hawk. I felt compeled to contact you after hearing you speak to us at Commodore mine Millmerran on the 29/05/13. Mate keep telling your story if it saves one person suffering what you have gone through it will be a good outcome. Made me stop and think, Hawk i have done the same thing that you did and got away with it pure luck on my part. Mate you are an insperation keep it up.

    Regards Les Goodall