Alumnus turns tragedy into inspiring message

By Costa Maragos Posted: May 6, 2015 2:30 p.m.

U of R Alumnus Duane Janiskevich tells his story to audiences across Saskatchewan.
U of R Alumnus Duane Janiskevich tells his story to audiences across Saskatchewan. Photo Courtesy of Duane Janiskevich.

A University of Regina Alumnus has turned a tragedy into an inspiring message and he’s telling his story on campus.

He’s been invited by the U of R’s Occupational Health and Safety Committee, May 7.

The presentation – ‘Stop Cutting Corners’ – coincides with North American Occupational Safety and Health Week.

Janiskevich recalls the moment his life changed. It was in 2008 when he was renovating his house using a table saw.

“I was pushing a piece of hardwood flooring through the table saw and then I was done my cut. I back out of the cut and it was so instantaneous. BANG! The wood flew back at me and hit my hand. I knew I was hurt really bad. And I just thought in my head ‘I want a do-over.’ And then I looked down and my hand was in pieces and it was too late,” he said.

The accident resulted in the amputation of his three fingers and thumb, all on his dominant hand. Janiskevich is regularly invited by organizations to share his story with hopes that others won’t repeat his mistake.

“When I have the opportunity to share my story and help people in a positive way, it really feels as if I did get a "do-over", says Janiskevich. ‘Stop Cutting Corners - Safety is in Your Hands' is a strong reminder of the part we all have in safety. We all have the ability to stop what we're doing when we find ourselves taking risky short cuts and to remove ourselves from danger. It's human nature to look for the most efficient way to do things but that efficiency should not put us in danger.”

Janiskevich is giving two presentations on campus. Faculty and staff are encouraged to register here.

Event:    ‘Stop Cutting Corners’
Date:      May 7, 2015
Times:     9 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.
Location: Ed 193 – U of R

Duane Janiskevich graduated from the U of R (BEd ’93) with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Science. He lives in Regina.