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Candace Carnahan

Workplace Safety Advocate; Culture Change Agent; Inspirational Speaker

Bio

Speaker Candace Carnahan believes sharing stories saves lives. Lauded as one of the “faces of the future” by Maclean’s magazine, Carnahan relates her unique life lessons to the challenges, obstacles, and goals of the organizations she works with to inspire audiences to put caring into action. She helps people understand that they can and should take the lead with their own well-being, and challenges people to think about safety as an opportunity, not an obligation. With irrepressible energy, her transformational talks leave audiences motivated and poised for change. +

Carnahan’s path as a speaker resulted from a devastating workplace incident in which she lost her leg at the age of 21. It was an incident that could have taken her life, and it was completely preventable. Since that day more than 20 years ago, Carnahan has continually challenged herself, both personally and professionally. Outside of her work she has taken the road less-travelled — literally — including trekking the 500-mile Camino de Santiago.

With nothing more than a microphone and a breadth of stories, Carnahan captivates. She is just as at home on conference stages as she is on offshore rigs, or production facilities — anywhere employees are making decisions about their safety. More than half a million people worldwide have already experienced Carnahan’s keynotes and sessions, and she is constantly finding ways to connect and provoke real change in attitudes. Her mantra “See Something. Say Something” ends each of her talks, leaving her audiences ready to ignite the “courage to care”, to act, and to be safe.

Bringing a unique approach to companies tackling their biggest challenges around safety, Carnahan changes the way people and companies think. She has shared her message with companies across the world, including Weyerhaeuser, ExxonMobil, and BASF. --

Topics & Categories
  • Change | Change Mgmt.
  • Inspiring Stories
  • Motivational
  • Resiliency
  • Virtual Presentations
  • Women of Influence
  • Workplace Safety

VIRTUAL / KEYNOTES:

The First Step +

Candace has learned what she believes to a crucial life lesson the hard way: ‘The first step in not getting hurt is knowing that you can be.’ She believes that avoiding needless injuries through day to day life and activities can be achieved just by simply realizing that the potential for injury exists.

Candace challenges the “invincibility factor” which, for her, is the most troubling hazard facing working youth – the belief that injuries won’t happen to them. In her one hour presentation, Candace speaks about her typical life as a university student, working summers to pay for school in the fall, and how one step in the wrong direction changed the course of her life forever.

Candace’s energy and enthusiasm is contagious, and through her many stories, she sends a message that reaches far beyond that of workplace health and safety. Candace encourages her audience to use their education, knowledge, experience, and awareness to expand on the importance of safety within their day to day lives. Candace inspires her audiences to ‘stand up for safety’ (both figuratively and literally) and to ‘say something’ when they ‘see something.’ --

It Could Happen to You +

Candace believes that “The first step in NOT getting injured is knowing that you CAN be.”

Her unimaginable experience dispels the myth that we are invincible; what you don’t know, in fact, can hurt you – lessons Candace learned the hard way.

Candace shares her very personal account about the day that changed her life forever, after suffering the loss of her lower left leg to an unguarded conveyor belt system.

With her ever present sense of humour and passion for her message she emphasizes that when an injury happens, there is rarely only one cause or contributing factor – emphasizing the countless opportunities to intervene in the name of safety.

In guiding audiences through her fateful day, she recounts her thoughts or ‘distractions’ and talks about her then subconscious belief that nothing “bad” could ever happen to her.

Candace’s presentation focuses on identifying the many contributing factors (insufficient training, unguarded machinery, unsafe culture, etc.…) that led to her injury, while assuming  responsibility for her own role in the incident.

Candace encourages people to take a leading role in their own health and safety! Encouraging them to embrace, and even celebrate, their right to an injury-free and healthy environment.

Combating complacency, and encouraging people to “focus on focus!” are key components to Candace’s message. Her story is a reminder that safety isn’t 9-5 – rather, it’s a state of mind, an attitude that we must carry with us throughout our day to day lives. --

See Something, Say Something! +

We all know the right things to do to keep safe, so why aren’t we doing them?

Candace has developed a plethora of mantras throughout her 17 years in the safety industry – but none are as powerful, effective, or as energizing as her call to action for her audience to ‘SEE SOMETHING. SAY SOMETHING!’

By referencing the many contributing factors that led to her workplace incident, she ignites a desire in her audience to answer this call.

Candace uses her own experiences, and encourages her audience to join her by ‘logging into life’ and actively seek out situations where speaking up changes a life for the better.

Perhaps this is reminding someone to buckle up, or simply asking someone how they are doing.

Candace believes that it’s the little things done on a day to day basis that facilitate huge changes. By reminding people that until we achieve ZERO injuries, we can each do ‘one thing safer’ – a challenge accepted by audiences around the world.

It takes ‘Courage to care!’ Speaking up isn’t easy, and peer pressure isn’t something we leave behind when we finish high school – it’s a reality in our workplaces and can cause us to remain silent when our voices need to be heard. Candace encourages her audience to tap in to their “courage to care,” and to act on it, with the realization that each and every day, we all have the capacity to change a life – or maybe even save one. --

Candace Carnahan is represented by K&M Productions. To inquire about Candace Carnahan's speaking schedule, fees & booking safety speaker Candace Carnahan contact us.

What Clients are Saying

Candace delivers a message with such positive passion and enthusiasm that we could not help but be both affected and motivated. Candace was a definite factor in the success of the conference, and for that we are grateful.

–Hydro One

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Candace delivers a message with such positive passion and enthusiasm that we could not help but be both affected and motivated. Candace was a definite factor in the success of the conference, and for that we are grateful.

–Hydro One

We appreciate Candace contributing to BASF Petrochemical’s Day Away for Safety. Candace’s testimonial was touching and engaging for everyone in the organization. Her story was a reminder that accidents affect the entire community and not just the people at the plant.

–Leslie A. Thomson, Senior Communications Specialist, Petrochemicals, BASF

Candace has a compelling safety message that has resonated very well with many of our summer students. OPG has worked with Candace through "Passport to Safety" for the past 4 years. OPG requires all students to complete the Passport to Safety quiz, and we offer this training to friends and family members of OPG employees. This is an important vehicle to teach basic safety awareness to as many young people as possible, whether they work for OPG or not.

–Ontario Power Generation

Candace spoke at our manufacturing facility to 600 + employees and had a tremendous & immediate impact on each and every person. She clearly passes on the message we want to improve safety in our plants in a way that very few can.

–Scott Gray, Site HS&E Leader, Procter & Gamble, Brockville

Many speakers can educate audiences through a deep understanding of workplace health and safety, but few can strike the same emotional chord through retellings of personal tragedy and triumph as Candace can. Simply put, she is in a class of her own.

–Gerard Adams, WorkSafeNB President & CEO

Candace Carnahan has the ability to convey a serious message about workplace safety through storytelling that is light-hearted and poignant.  In sharing her experiences at Hydro Ottawa, she skilfully communicated the important role that each of us plays in ensuring that our workplaces and communities stay safe.  She is extremely passionate about ensuring that we each speak up and take action to prevent workplace incidents.

–Bruce Lang, Manager, Safety and OHSE Management System, Hydro Ottawa

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