Museum morsels: A taste of history from the Coalfields Museum collection

Amazing artefact: Coalfields Museum committee member Alan Wade shows Nola Green the Golden Helmet. Photo: Supplied.

Amazing artefact: Coalfields Museum committee member Alan Wade shows Nola Green the Golden Helmet. Photo: Supplied.

Collie timber worker Siro Biachi struck gold when he was struck twice on his safety helmet within a matter of weeks in 1971.

The National Safety Council's industrial safety division honoured Biachi with a Turtle award after he was hit by a falling branch while working in the bush near Collie.

He was stunned, but survived and was able to return to work on light duties the next day.

The Turtle award was introduced in 1946 as part of the effort to promote the wearing of safety helmets, and consisted of a white helmet with a green turtle emblazoned on it.

Before Biachi could be presented with his Turtle helmet, he was struck for a second time, this time by a falling tree.

He was cutting down a tree, and stepped back to inspect progress, but was looking into the sun and failed to see the tree tumbling towards him.

He was hit on the head.

His helmet was split in half, but Biachi survived the event although he was forced to hospital this time with a fractured skull.

He was the first man known to have survived two accidents and be saved by his safety helmet.

The manager of the National Safety Council's industrial safety division presented Biachi with a golden helmet made by safety helmet manufacturer James North (Australia) Pty Ltd.

A replica of the helmet was produced, and is now on display at the Coalfields Museum, together with information about the amazing survival story.

Biachi was employed by R & N. Palmer Pty Ltd.

Coalfields Museum is located at 161 Throssell Street, Collie.

The museum is open every day during the school holidays, with children accompanied by a member or fee-paying adult admitted for free.

Coalfields Museum is open: 9am-4pm weekdays; 10am-3pm Saturdays; and 10am-2pm Sundays.