His presentation was direct and safety message compelling...
Winner of “Significant Individual Contribution to Health and Safety in the Construction Industry 2012”, at the national site safe construction industry awards 31st October 2012.
His presentation was direct and safety message compelling...
Firstly I wish to thank you for your time and efforts to present to our Manukau based team recently. We value safety as our number one priority on the Project and your words and experiences have enforced this very important message to the team...
We were fortunate enough to have Rhett come and speak to our project team. Health and Safety is our number one priority on site and sometimes it takes a hard hitting story to make people stop and think. As soon as Rhett began talking he had the attention of everyone in the room. His talk was captivating and inspirational and he has a way of ensuring he gets the important messages across. The feedback afterwards was so positive and the team and senior managers were thankful to have been able to have the opportunity to listen to him speak. It was evident that the message was thought provoking and had resonated with the team which is exactly the outcome we were hoping for. I would highly recommend Rhett to anyone else who is wanting to hit home the importance of Health and Safety in the workplace and would not hesitate to have him back in the future.
Rhett joined us in Wellington for our annual contractors conference as a guest speaker on Health and Safety. This is a topic that is very relevant within the agricultural industry, particularly where contractors are working on their own or other’s farms in a relatively unregulated environment. For a topic that often sends people to sleep, Rhett captivated the audience to the point where you could hear a pin drop in the room, for the entirety of his talk. He was incredibly candid in his story, which really hit home and got the message across that we wanted to deliver. His impact has resonated with our audience and our feedback about Rhett has all been very positive. We would not hesitate to have Rhett back or to recommend him to speak at a corporate event.
The audience was totally captivated and we got some great footage...
Rhett Brown spoke to 285 staff and contractors working in the Canterbury rebuild in early June 2017. Rhett told a story that really needed to be heard and his approach was hard hitting and real. From the very start you could have heard a pin drop.
It was compelling, raw and often very sad. Rhett was able to take us all back to a time or place where it could have been anyone of us. Words and statements like "culture of stupidity" and "I didn’t want, ask or need this" will remain in our memory for a long time.
I have spoken to many contractors and staff since Rhett spoke and I have heard feedback like "a bloody good wakeup call" or "I remember a time when I was doing something equally as dangerous."
But for me, the take home was how we all must never take anything for granted. The importance of looking after our staff, mates and family.
Rhett is an outstanding spokesman with a real passion. He speaks from the heart and ensures his message is heard.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Rhett and hope his message is heard by more.
Thank you for speaking with absolute honestly, professionalism and clarity regarding your life changing workplace accident.
The effect on the staff was immediate & profound with absolute silence throughout the room from start to finish as you relayed the events & consequences of your life story.
I am in no doubt whatsoever your story (& more importantly its delivery) will greatly contribute in maintaining our focus on safety in the workplace.
Thanks again Rhett & I will have no hesitation in recommending you to others who wish to highlight that health & safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility.
Toolbox Talk with Rhett Brown...
Thank you for coming to our project and sharing your inspirational story to all of our different work groups.
Your story was very well received by all of our 1000 strong workforce and very pertinent to the work that is being completed at the Waterview project. The message of workers having a voice, speaking up about safety, following the systems and processes, and more specifically ensuring working at height controls are implemented was very powerful.
The impact that the talk had on our workers was evident by the attention of the groups during and the number of workers that approached you directly after your talks so you can be humbled to know that you have had an impact on the safety of NZ largest and most ambituses roading infrastructure project.
We chose Rhett as we had heard great 'word of mouth' feedback regarding his presentation from colleagues within the Health and Safety community...
Very powerful and certainly made me think...
The feedback from the team here at Ballance was positive and as a result the team who attended the workshop have shared Rhett’s story to other workmates as well as friends and family outside of the workplace...
Thanks for the moving and thought provoking address on 25th February 2009.We were impressed by the frankness with which you laid open your life and emotions which surrounded a personal disaster we are sure many people could not have coped with.
We were impressed with your willingness to use your experience and personal misfortune to support others suffering major trauma and to also highlight the need for safety in the construction industry.
Thanks for sharing your experience in such an inspirational way.
Rhett was a speaker at a recent Air New Zealand wellbeing seminar,he had a huge impact as he openly and honestly shared how his accident occurred and the total impact on his life. our empoyees were visibly moved by this and these are some of their comments.
Very thought provoking. Inspirational speaker - I have a new appreciation of life so thank you. Very sobering and informative.
Excellent lesson for us to learn from the speaker Rhett Brown. Very powerful sharing. The best yet.
We applaud him telling his story in an effort to improve safety in New Zealand...
Paul Hyde-Smith is also following up with G D Yearbury regarding this endorsement he emailed through:
Paul, I would like to thankyou for an insightful semminar, well presented and to the point. I would also like to sign up for your $115 course.I would also like you to thank Rhett Brown for me. His misfortune has been a godsend for New Zealanders nation wide.His courage and fortitude is a tribute to him. I was so deeply moved by his story, deeply enough to say, don't resent your wife, for your ongoing care quite rightly rests with ACC, as I am sure you have paid your dues over the years, and their care may well not have occurred had your wife been beside you.
As a Father I am aware of your love for a son and know that he will return to you. He just has to do a little growing up. Best wishes G D Yearbury.
Paul, I would ask that site safe and acc get together and utilise Rhetts story in a national campaign, TV and every secondary school in New Zealand. to hilite the plight of the "devil may care and she'll be right" attitude of a large percentage of New Zealanders. Rhetts accident and new life is saving and will save many lives. A hard hitting campaign will I am sure, shock us all out of our complacency at work and at home. I look forward to meeting Rhett in person one day and thanking him personally.
Rhett was able to tell his story to over 800 people from the construction industry in total. Without exception while Rhett is speaking you can hear a pin drop...
On behalf of the Association of Walls and Ceiling Industries (AWCI) I would like to sincerely thank you for your time and effort you put into your presentation at our annual conference in Tauranga last weekend.
As always your presentation was compelling, thought provoking and inspirational. The calibre of your presentation is professional, direct and clearly demonstrates the dire consequences from hazards commonly faced in the industry. We greatly appreciated you sharing your story and very personal insights in the hope that it will prevent a similar accident.
The feedback I received from conference delegates over the weekend was that they were not only in awe of your experience and achievements but gained great value from relating it to their own lives and businesses.
Personally, and as an Association, we thank you very much for making the effort to come to the conference and your contribution towards improving health and safety standards within the industry we all feel very passionate about.
We wish you and your carers well and look forward to seeing you at the next industry event.
As a motivational speech to our field teams and a keynote speech to launch our March 4 Saftey programme for 2011, I don't think we coulf have picked a more appropriate presenter and topic...
Thank you very much for presenting at the AWCI ANZ 65th Annual Conference. Your presentation was one if the best that I have ever had the good fortune to listen to.
...I think that can be counted as a triumph to have their thinking and planning affected by your words.
While all of us are aware of industrial safety, to have you with the courage to stand in front of us and give your story of life after a major accident is very sobering and thought provoking...
I would recommend those wanting to improve the health and Safety culture within their business, with increase ownership and awareness, to invite you to tell your story.
It’s Monday morning, you’re at work, doing a job at height, you get distracted by something, your mind is thinking about the great weekend you just had, but you just need to get that last plank … and then … you realize you are falling … Rhett Brown was doing a similar thing when he took his tumble - on a Monday morning, he was standing on two unsecured planks resting on deck framing, only 2.2 metres from the ground. What Rhett Brown realized at that moment was how unimportant it was to get to that plank, in the situation that he was in. If Rhett and other people on site had adhered to a better level of safety (the root cause of this accident) then he wouldn’t be falling and pretty soon landing on his head. If Rhett had been standing on proper scaffolding with correct edge protection, the distracting bit of building paper had been fixed down, well would this happened? Rhett does not believe so.
Rhett Brown worked as a hammer hand in the residential construction industry, had been building for 20 years. Rhett’s fall that day made him a tetraplegic for life and now Rhett is speaking out in a style that is making builders who are in the boots he used to be - stand up and listen. Rhett’s style is “straight to the point with a firm message, very honest and concerned about people, you have to feel for the guy he lost every thing but still continues to share his experience to prevent it happening to someone else” Allan Kendrick, Projects Safety Officer, Hawkins Construction.
And that is exactly what Rhett Brown has decided to do with his life from now on – prevent it happening to someone else. “We will never know how many accidents may be prevented from his talks. If he is able to prevent even one accident that could have put another person through what he has experienced then his talk is invaluable” Paul Feltham, Construction Manager, Brookfield Multiplex Constructions (NZ) Limited.The reason why Rhett is so effective is because he was one of them, and he discusses the simple facts that led to his accident: “talking to them rather than down at them, his lack of ‘Why me’ attitude made a lasting impact” Bruce Hodge, Health and Safety Officer, Hawkins Construction Ltd. Rhett highlights the importance of life and the small things we so easily take for granted.Rhett wants to talk to more people and he especially wants to help those in residential construction industry because that is the industry that let him down. He understands the unique pressures on the self-employed and small business owners and their workers in this industry. He knows that mostly residential construction workers are just trying to get on with it, and are working for clients who don’t care, or don’t know, to look for health and safety on site. But someone should be there to help them, to help themselves. There are great resources on offer for free, to help the residential construction industry and their businesses. A few simple systems that when implemented maintain a high level of hazard reporting, plant and equipment, and communication on site.
That is what safety is about, not heaps of paperwork and a pain in the arse – but having standards on site and systems there that work. Employers should expect employees to feel comfortable reporting something if it isn’t right ‘rather than just getting in it’. Once the basics are understood one realizes that it isn’t hard or expensive – it is actually just good business advice. Rhett’s talks made that safety statement clear and also made people remember why it’s even more important than just good business. Safety wasn’t there for Rhett, will it be there for you or your loved ones?
It takes a lot to silence a room full of staunch scaffolders, but when former construction worker Rhett Brown wheeled himself to the front of the room and began talking about the innocuous little fall that destroyed life as he had previously known it, you could have heard a scaffold pin drop.
When I heard Rhett speak at a Safe Scaffolding Project Information day organised by the Department of Labour, I was impressed by his candour, his lack of self pity and his ability to involve his audience.. It isn't easy to convince construction workes about the benefits of health and safety, but Rhett talks their language and it would be a hard man indeed who could hear his story without thinking: "That could have been me."
The initiative of having our Site Manager, (with the support of the Project Manager and Health Safety & Environmental Manager), carry out site wide toolbox talks has proved to be a great success over several months at The Deloitte Centre.By taking this one step further and having outside BMPX speakers with the likes of representatives from The Department of Labour, Site Safe and Rhett Brown make this forum even more powerful. To this end I would like to acknowledge that Rhett’s speech at the site was extremely powerful and delivered well from a person that the site workforce could relate to. From the verbal feedback that I received from some of the guys they found Rhett’s presentation to have really hit home. Seeing the result of an accident, seeing how easily the simple things in life we all take for granted can be taken away as a result of not working safely has real impact when the workers can relate to the guy telling his storey.I sincerely personally thank Rhett for choosing to tell others his storey and believe that we will never know how many accidents may be prevented from his talks. If he is able to prevent even one accident that could have put another person through what he has experienced then his talk is invaluable.
I want to take the opportunity to thank you for participating in Site Safe’s “MythBusting” Safety Conference.
Based on my observations during your presentation, I believe you made a huge impact on the attitudes and beliefs of the attendees. The feedback I have received from people I’ve talked with indicates that your discussion is the one that attendees will remember the most from the day.
I particularly appreciate the way in which have organised your discussion to cover the accident itself and the impact it has had on you and those around you as well as the state of the safety culture in the construction industry. I feel that the advice you offered to anyone who may be working unsafely will surely be remembered and acted upon the next time they encounter an unsafe situation at work.
Your presentation skills are very good and Site Safe found everything about your personal appearance and service to be extremely professional. Thank you again for your assistance and we look forward to future opportunities.
Rhett Brown spoke at the launch of the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum on July 15, 2010, which was attending by the Prime Minister John Key, the Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson and about 90 leaders of large New Zealand companies...
The Eastern Branch of the Auckland Registered Master Builders were recommended Rhett Brown a guest speaker for our general meeting for our branch members on 21st October 2010. I had heard through two other industry people who had been to a presentation that Rhett had given & were very impressed with the way he delivered his message...
I have recently had the pleasure of having Rheet Brown address both our own and other subcontractors' staff on a large construction site in Auckland.
Recently, I attended a Site Safe Conference and heard Rhett Brown tell his story about the consequences of an accident caused by him falling from a height less than 3 metres. It was the most compelling, honest and thought provoking presentation that I have ever heard. Rhett’s courage and determination dominated his story but the lasting impression he had on me was how his story was such a valuable tool that could help prevent further accidents.
Immediately following the conference our team organised a gathering for all our employees for them to hear first hand the potential dangers and consequences of working at height. We decided that this was also an opportunity that we needed to share with our customers, contractors, suppliers and industry representatives. To hear Rhett speak again was just as impressionable as it was the first time I heard him.
The attentive response and feedback from our staff made the event well worthwhile. Many were in awe at the impact of his fall and how it affected his life. Rhett’s presentation was professional, articulate, realistic and humbling. I would not hesitate to use him again or recommend him to anyone else.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your commitment to the Department of Labours Northern Region Construction Teams Scaffolding Project which was conducted throughout the 2007/08 financial year.
As you are aware as part of the project we conducted 3 education seminars which 147 people attended from various industry groups. The Department of Labour along with yourself, Wally Noble, Accident Compensation Corporation, Sitesafe, Tai Poutini and SARNZ co presented at these seminars.
I was very impressed with your public address especially considering you shared your personal accident and subsequent ongoing health issues in such a public forum. I believe having you speak certainly raised the awareness of health and safety and how imperative it is that we all make a commitment to this issue.
We conducted evaluations from each session. I received a number of comments from the attendees thanking you for your presentation, so much so that many of the major companies in attendance would like to utilize your services in promoting health and safety within the workplace.
On behalf of the Northern Region Construction team thank you Rhett. I would certainly look to use your services in the future and would not hesitate recommending you to companies who which to promote health and safety.
...until you hear a first-hand account on how it's impacted on him personally, physically and emotionally, you don’t really get it.
The aim of the safety day was to get the staff into the right head space after the holidays.your graphic and candid presentation provided a powerful example of the kind of incidents and culture we all want removed from the industry.our entire staff, workers and management were touched and motivated by your words.you bought home the fundamental safety message to us all, and inspired us to conquer adversity in our lives.
I was on the organising committee and wanted an impact speaker that could demonstrate the consequences of getting it wrong and how those consequences are so far reaching that they touch the very nerve of what is important to us. Rhett Brown delivered this and more in a story that was so compelling that there was a deafening silence afterwards that demonstrated the impact it had on people.
I am spreading the good word on your presentation, to companies within our industry and other industries as you have a story and message that must be heard...
Rhett Brown was the guest speaker at our Z's Safety Day conference this year. From his wheelchair, Rhett tells the story of the instant that changed his life.
Your presentation was exactly what we were looking for...
Recently Kauri and Maungaturoto included Rhett Brown's safety message into the Health and Safety Site training days.
Following a fall from 2.2 meters on a residential building site, Rhett presents a no details spared account of his rehabilitation from his injury and life as a tetraplegic.
On both occasions Rhett spoke for thiry minutes in front of a crowd of at least one hundred staff, With no fancy technology or gimmicksm, Rhett holds his audience and delivers a powerful message.
The feedback from eth staff following Rhett's presentation confirmed that his openness and frankness hits home, that by working in unsafe conditions and a seconds inattention or unsafe behaviour can have tragic and life changing consequences.
Rhett set the scene during the Health and Safety day to generate effective group participation.
Rhett addressed out Anchor Franchisee Conference in August 2011. I have heard many speakers but have never seen a room so fixed on every word. Rhett's' personal account has made such an impact on our business. The level of focus and engagement from our Franchisess has taken a huge step up in the last 7 Months. Even long time 'Milkman' reference Rhett's speech in changing the way they now view their role in managing saftey for them and their staff.
Rhett, thank you for using your circumstances to positively impact the lives of others.
The atmosphere created in the room was gripping and had my guys full attention.
Eden Park I thought I would just drop you this short note to thank you for organizing this event on our Eden Park Site on Tue morning. Could you please pass on my thanks to Rhett Brown for an extremely powerful presentation, in the language that the chaps out on site really related to. I have heard numerous comments around the site since then of how he really made guys sit up and think. We take SAFETY very seriously here and Alex does an excellent job in his daily encouraging and insisting on Safe Work Practices by the work force, but I believe Tuesdays presentation had more impact than any Tool Box Talk or Safety Meeting that we have had to date on this site.
My thanks once again to you all and keep up the good work.
I attended the evening session at Waipuna Lodge. I must say that I found Rhett’s talk to be excellent even though I have heard him before.From the feedback that I have from the sites his talk had a great effect on a lot of the site workers, It really makes a difference when you are face to face with somebody that has experienced such a tragic accident working at only a little over 2 metres, it has made a lot of the workers realise what would happen if they fell on our present contracts which could be up to 20 metres or more. I strongly believe that seeing and hearing from the victim is far better than just being told.Well done.
Fletchers construction of domestic dwelling firms. your talk on 23rd february was real, very graphic, and the discussion generated on our sites among the younger builders is proof of it's effectivness.
I also need to thank you for your immense courage in overcoming a life changing injury to become a face for saftey. it is true that usually only terrible, visible consequences drive a change in peoples behaviour, and as an ambassador for safety, you are uniquely qualified to talk of those consequences. your experiances were shared without self pity which had a humbling and tremendous impact on us all.
You were very honest and open with your whole experience, which our staff really appreciated...
I highly recommend any business wanting to increase the focus and awareness on safety to invite Rhett to tell his story...
With his visit Rhett not only brought home to our staff the reasons why we was a company put so much emphasis on saftey but also earned the admiration and respect of all present...
Thanks so much for sharing your story with our teams and being so accommodating with our production schedules.
In our effort to improve safety here at Humes we have indulged in many and varied initiatives to encourage entice and cajole employees to be vigilant about their safety and that of their work mates. I can proudly say we have experienced significant improvement over the past few years. However in terms of potency none of the past activities have seemed to strike a core to our people like your talk did yesterday.
Your candid, honest and graphic portrayal of your life since your accident touched the hearts and minds of many of our staff and our General Manager. The feedback about your presentation from the shop floor to the GM has been nothing but positive, affirming and acknowledging and powerful message that they and us as employers should have safety as a focus and about the far reaching consequences of a workplace accident.
I have no hesitation in recommending you, and have in fact done so today with my colleagues at Fletchers. Your message is concise, the presentation well constructed and delivered with integrity and meaning so that it strikes at the core of typical male attitudes towards safety and challenges their current thinking patterns and hopefully changes their behaviour for the better.
Thanks again for sharing you story.
Just a note of thanks for in allowing us to share Rhett's story. I have been asking the guys for there response and there is much the same answer with everyone I have spoken to: Very good speaker, extremely emotional , very strong, I don't no what I would do if that were me, Straight to the point with a firm message, Very honest and concerned about people, You have to feel for the guy he lost every thing but still continues to share his experience to prevent it happening to someone else, Scary, very powerful message. just some of the comments I have heard when talking to the guys.
Good morning all, to whom it may concern.
Just a short testimonial for Rhett Brown. My heart felt thanks to both Site Safe and ACC in arranging to have Rhett visit our site the Britomart precinct. The feedback I've had from both the Hawkins staff and our subcontractors has been nothing but positive. Rhett's manner of presentation was an excellent, no holds barred, rendition of the trauma that he, and others like him, have to go through to try and reassemble their lives and make the most of the hand that's been dealt them. More importantly Rhett in his delivery, his manner of talking to the guys, rather than down at them, his lack of 'Why me' attitude made a lasting impact on all at the meeting. You can both see and sense the change in everyone on the project. And its not just those doing work at height, it's the whole project site.I for one, would like to see this type of meeting held on all our projects on a regular basis, not just from Rhett, but from others who find themselves in the same position.
Again, my thanks to Rhett, Michelle, his care giver, Site Safe and ACC.
Powerful, hard hitting, graphic and honest...
Hi Rhett, Good catching up with you yesterday at the Auckland Region ‘safety working at heights’ presentations with Site safe and ACC at the three construction sites:- Aotea Square, East Tamaki Brewery, Massey University. Your presentation was excellent and sends a message to industry of what can happen and of a positive way of moving on and improving health and safety in the workplace.
Just thought I would say that the front page article in the Rodney Times was amazing and thank you for sharing your story. I am v. concerned about the accident rate at work here in NZ and showed the article to family members who work in the building industry. Hope the message begins to get around that no-one should be injured or die at work. Many young people tell me that they are too scared to say anything about bad practices because they are afraid of losing their jobs.
Just recently my husband got everyone to walk off a job because the contracter hadnt put any barriers in place and they could have fallen off a 3 storey roof - well, good on him and maybe he was influenced by your story. Keep up the good work. Afterwards a lot of the guys thanked him but weren't confident enough to call a halt themselves.
Think it is great that you tell your story so honestly and just want to say thanks and wish you all the very best for 2009,
For about three month I have been meaning to contact you with regard to your story about Rhett Brown's unfortunate accident which appeared in The North Shore Times on 4th November last year.
I would very much like to meet Rhett because from your article he has helped me immensely. Your article is pinned up in my office. Just to put you in the picture, I had the same experience as Rhett, a fall of a few metres but was more fortunate that he. I'm sure we would have quite a lot to talk about so if I may meet him, if only to thank him for his help, it would be very much appreciated.
The impact of his own personal experience immediately touched many minds, hearts and souls of the audience as people related to the practices at the time of Rhett’s critical incident...
I would like to express my heart felt gratitude and appreciation for investing your time and effort to visit our workplace and deliver what can only be described as a “sobering” talk with our contracting staff.
“Rhett’s talk pulled no punches. It was delivered to our audience of front line workers with a honestly that left them thinking bringing about ideas for change that very afternoon. A story that every business can take lessons from no matter the industry.”