Up until a few years ago, Justin was a highly skilled pipe technician and a team leader within the utilities industry. On the 28th October 2015, the decision to attend to a burst water main with a colleague proved to be one of life or death.
Whilst repairing a burst water main a miscommunication resulted in the mains water being switched on before the job had been completed,and the pressure of the water forced a torque wrench into Justin’s face at circa 80mph. Justin was knocked unconscious and was at the bottom of a hole which was rapidly filling with water.Fortunately he was wearing his hi-vis vest which meant he could be seen underwater, especially as a street light was directly above the hole.  Whilst still unconscious his colleague got into the hole and dragged him out, and by chance a local resident who worked for St.Johns Ambulance was able to stabilise him until help arrived.
After undergoing numerous operations in a specialist hospital Justin lost all vision in his right eye. But, more devastating news was to follow when the Surgeon informed him that due to the severity of his head injury, it would be inevitable that he would get an infection and was likely to live for no more than 4 years. Justin chose to undergo an operation that carried a 50% risk of fatality.
During his convalescence, Justin returned to his old depot to give a talk to his former teammates, recounting the accident and talking about his road to recovery. The prospect of not returning to work was a daunting reality and doctor's orders meant that he could not resume to his previous role. Despite 15 year's experience on the job, Justin stressed the need to be prepared for an unexpected event and know exactly how to react to protect yourself and those around you. His talk had a huge impact on his colleagues and both Justin and the management team felt that if he could reach a larger audience, Justin could help even more industry colleagues understand the importance of workplace safety, and mental well-being. 
And so, in 2019, Justin decided to start up his own public speaking business in the hopes that he could help prevent something like this happening again. Justin has gone on to win two awards for his hard-hitting presentation which were, The Construction Excellence Award and the Chairman’s Award from the Future Water Association. Justin pushes himself out of his comfort zone at every presentation with a view to getting his message out into the industry.



Throughout his recovery, Justin set himself no limits on what he could hope to achieve. His career from young barrier man to team leader over 15 years, provided no previous experience of public speaking, and Justin pushes himself far outside his comfort zone at every event. Justin now travels the country, sharing his story with industry colleagues and acting as an inspirational champion for workplace safety. He is also a safety coach, mentoring apprentices and graduate trainees. Justin delivers a very strong and emotional presentation that leaves a lasting impression.




Every individual deserves to work in a safe, secure and risk assessed environment knowing everything has be done to protect their welfare.  Whilst safety measures can be put in place it’s essential that each job is assessed and guidelines followed, as well as putting in any additional safety measures deemed appropriate. Every employee deserves to return home in good health and following guidelines and procedures will go a long way to ensuring that happens.



Mental health and wellbeing is not a subject that is commonly talked about , Justin dives into the world of mental state in the workplace and how this can play its part in an accident . After suffering with PTSD and depression Justin hits on some very important issues and how your life can change mentally after an accident



It has taken my accident to really make me realise that we make decisions before we think of the consequences. In my presentation I take the time look deeper into my actions that night and dissect and scrutinise, minute by minute, the events as they unfolded.



What I can offer

  • 45min - 1hour presentation 

  • Health and Safety events.

  • Safety Stand downs.

  • Multiple talks at various locations.

  • Site visits.

  • Working with apprentices.





Young Achiever - Personal Commendation

In 2017, Justin Manley was the receiver of the Personal Commendation Award. This award was presented to  Justin in recognition of his near fatal accident and how he picked himself up. Justin overcame so many physical and mental barriers to return to work. He now pushes his very hard hitting message in the hope, of reaching out to others to prevent workplace accidents.



Chaiman's Award

Justin Manley won the Chairman's Award in 2017. This award was chosen by the Chairman of the Future Water Association. The Chairman's Award recognises any group or individual who has shown great commitment to go above and beyond to promote a safe working environment.



Runner up in the Hero Award

This award celebrates the dedication of an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to make a real difference to customers ,colleagues ,the business or the industry. From impressive commitment of utility employees to putting others first in times of need, this award highlights incredible stories of daring, charity and compassion.



I wanted to thank you and the whole team for the successful quick delivery of some really powerful safety messages. I can honestly say in 29 years, I’ve never seen so many engaged and emotionally moved grown front-line men and ladies; this really did make us all think... it reinforced to me the power of the guys on the ground being involved in the delivery of our safety messages...“You could truly see the teams respected him for what he’s been through and the messages he was delivering to them, for their benefit”.

David Ward,

IMR Director and Head of Water Networks, Anglian Water

It was without doubt the most powerful ‘health and safety’ talk that I have ever seen, but in reality it wasn’t really about health and safety, it was about life and being appreciative of what you have – and that is the most important message there is...“You’ve shown great courage to use your experience in a way that good will come of it”.

Paul Salmon, Clancy Docwra Senior Contract Manager on the Anglian Water IMDS Contract

Staff and client endorsements

Justin’s recent presentations have generated some moving feedback from industry colleagues who were in the audience:

  • “Justin’s was the most hard-hitting safety message I’ve had.”

  • “I found Justin’s presentation very thought-provoking and can think of other times where's omething similar could have happened.”

  • “The best presentation I have had in a long time as it’s very real and close to home.”

  • “I found the presentation very informative; the speech by Justin was very powerful.”

  • “It was a very moving story and Justin’s real life experience had a massive impact on us all... it will make me think twice about the safety of my gang every time I go out to work.”

  • “Justin’s speech really hit home; I will take time to assess each and every situation and not take experience for granted.”



Great day All 4 talks were very useful, in particular the talk from Justin.Will definitely look to use and push for more vac ex on use throughout our projects in the future , iCan’t stress enough how important I think having Justin speak about his experiences with our supply chain and there operatives. Upsetting but very inspirational to listen to and will ensure I do all I can to project guys below me on site at all times.

Kristian Kerr Management Trainee Willmott Dixon

Moving away from the technology, I think the highlight of the day for us was Justin Manley’s session, his story was very personal and when someone tells the story of their accident and the aftermath that follows there in front of you the impact can be quite hard hitting.The general consensus from our group discussions were for the need to focus on getting the basics right working on behaviours, specifically those working at the coal face.

It would be very beneficial to roll out the talks with the likes of Justin to more site operatives, seeing and relating to the actual first hand effects of what an accident results in could prevent future incidents.

Ian Flood
Senior Project Surveyor QS Willmott Dixon




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