Rhett's story is not all about safety. It also shows the ability in all of us to rise and beat all odds, despite what life may give us.
It wasn’t a big dramatic fall that broke his neck – just a tumble from two unsecured planks resting on deck framing, only 2.2 metres from the ground. As Rhett lay on the ground, summoning energy to call for help, he felt a tingling sensation go through his body and realised he was paralysed. Prior to this accident, Rhett was a policeman, antiques dealer, runner, karate enthusiast, and refurbisher of houses – and, for six years until July 30 2004, he worked as a hammer-hand on residential building sites. Then one day he went to work, and never came home.
In his talk with your team, Rhett will reflect in graphic detail his own compelling story, and give inspiration and actionable tools for change. As keynote speaker, Rhett will draw on his experiences, describing in detail what it means to be permanently injured. What it means to his family and friends. What it has cost him emotionally, physically, financially and personally, and the power in all of us for change. He clearly demonstrates the consequences of poor health and safety practice in the workplace. He shares his story and describes his ongoing rehabilitation to motivate and inspire change. Increasing awareness among staff, managers teams and industry groups and to prevent others becoming a statistic like him.
Born and raised in Whangarei, Rhett left school in 1968 after 6th form. He worked locally for a while, before joining the Forestry Service in 1970 where he working as a hunter on animal control in the Kaimai Ranges and on Raoul Island. In 1973, he joined the NZ Police and served 20 years, before being invalided out with an injury sustained while arresting a violent offender..