Taking chances with your physical safety, especially when operating dangerous equipment on the job, is a risk Billy Parker warns others never to take. It’s a lesson he’s learned from experience after a life-threatening accident made him a bilateral amputee in 2007. Working as a welder fabricator for over 21 years, Billy made the mistake of trying to clean a drywall shredder and not using the safety procedure known as a lockout tagout. Tragically he lost both arms above the elbow, but the preventable accident has given him the opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of workplace safety. Billy’s inspiring story was shared in a video segment on Good Morning America.
Over the years Billy had to adjust and learn how to do everything differently using prosthetics from driving to cooking. “Besides the positivity and determination I’ve had, the two teams that stand behind me are Hanger Clinic and One Call,” he shared. “They are there to back me every step of the way.”
When his brother asked him to come speak to his employees about workplace safety, it marked a turning point for Billy who instantly became an in-demand speaker. Since 2017 he has traveled to speak to organizations and give presentations at conferences urging workers to take their company’s procedures seriously.
“If you see somebody doing something unsafe or about to do something unsafe, please speak up because you really could be saving somebody’s limbs or life,” Billy said in the interview.
He even made the promise to himself that after he mastered using his prosthetics that he would start making videos to show other amputees how he does day-to-day activities. His positive attitude and can-do spirit have significantly impacted and encouraged many along the way.
“As long as you have the will, you have the way to do it,” Billy emphasized as a word of encouragement.
You can view Billy’s YouTube channel, 2hook BillyP, to see how he accomplishes everyday tasks.