Paralympian Cameron Leslie has lent his prosthetic legs to a health and safety campaign to New Zealand seafood company Sanford with an important message of identifying workplace risks.
The videos watch Leslie, who was born with a quadruple limb deficiency and walks on prosthetics with adapted arm mobility, as he heads out to work on his farm. He then talks to camera about how despite his sporting success—a triple gold medallist in Para swimming, Wheel Blacks player and coach—having prosthetic limbs is a hassle.
It then cuts to shots of Sanford, where its 1700 staff are working with machinery, sharp knives and wet surfaces, and Leslie talks about the importance of working in a safe environment.
“The difference with me is, I can put my legs back on. You can’t.”
The idea for the campaign came from Paralympics New Zealand and was executed within their teams with creative support as well as filming and editing from Sci Films’ Damian Christie.
Sanford also created three supporting posters with Insight Creative.
Sanford and Paralympics New Zealand signed a partnership in 2015 with Sanford keen to back Para athletes as they take on the world by incorporating seafood into a high-performance diet. The partnership has recently been renewed to 2020.
Now, Sanford CEO Volker Kuntzsch says the film is a great outcome from the long-standing partnership. He says the Sanford people behind it are all able-bodied and it realised early on that it had all sorts of unconscious ideas about how a disabled person should be presented.
“Cameron challenged us continually and I must thank him, because we now think very differently,” he says.
“I was excited to see the reaction from the Sanford team when we released the film. Not only did they pay very close attention to the health and safety messages being delivered, they all love Cameron.”
Leslie says as a farmer, he has an understanding of workplace risks as well as the dull nature of some health and with safety campaigns. With that, he says he wanted to help create something entertaining and that captured attention.
"I really enjoyed working closely with Sanford as we threw around ideas for creation of the video. They realised straight away that a campaign like this can not only help their workers be safe, but also challenge community perceptions and show disability in a really positive way.”
Chief executive of Paralympics New Zealand Fiona Allan adds Para athletes are powerful role models and it’s great to see Leslie being profiled in this way.
"[Paralympics New Zealand] promotes the need for a more diverse and inclusive society and I was proud to be at the launch and witness the positive reaction from the Sanford team.”