About Gary

Motivational Safety Impact Speaker

Suffering a fall from height accident changed Gary’s life forever. His Safety Awareness Presentation tells the story.


Gary Gallagher attended Bircham Newton Civil Engineering College, Kings Lynn in 1993, where he completed a year of scaffolder training and obtained his Part 1, Part 2 and subsequently his Advanced Scaffolder Cards.

He was nominated for five awards on completion of his training, including three sporting awards. He won two of the five, ‘Best Sportsperson’ and ‘The Gardner Merchant Award for Social Affairs’. The latter of those two awards was for his popularity amongst his fellow students. Gary was outgoing and the majority of people liked his entertaining personality.

He did impersonations of his fellow students and even some of his college instructors, which resulted in a question to each at the end of the year; which student would you say was the most popular and likeable?

Sir Michael Latham presented Gary with these awards at the end of year Graduation Ceremony and so it looked as though Gary had the security of a future in the access industry.

A story appeared in a local newspaper around the time Gary graduated having won these two awards, and given that his chosen career was within the access industry, the title of this small article was ‘Now Gary is on the Up and Up’ and it talked about his achievements and career prospects.

Starting His Career

Gary completed the year he needed to do ‘on the tools’ as a Scaffolder in order to apply for his Advanced Scaffolder Card. He did one year of ‘Contract Scaffolding’ and a further year working in the ‘Events’ division of the company he plied his trade. This meant that he was involved in film, theatre and television work, providing ‘Black Outs’, camera platforms, stages and grandstands.

He took his first step on the Health and Safety path doing the ROSPA General Certificate Course in 1995, but meanwhile he was given the opportunity to learn about pricing and estimating of scaffolding. The company he worked for were trying to give him some knowledge of each department in order to progress his skills.

The Day That Changed His Life Forever

On the 10th of July 1996 at the age of only twenty, whilst estimating a potential contract, Gary was involved in a fall from height that almost killed him and turned his life upside down.

Gary was taken onto the roof by the prospective client and took the opportunity to get an exact measurement of the building height (approximately 10m). He leaned against a wrought iron balustrade, which failed to support him and shattered. The subject and basic details of this event now make up the content of the presentation Gary delivers.