BOP 1 (Post Image 1300 Wide) (1)

Getting your mind back in the game

Tools were downed and the boots left at the door as Rayonier Matariki Forests held its Health & Safety kickoff events for the New Year.

Rayonier Matariki Forests has just completed a nationwide series of Safe Start breakfasts focused around resilience and coping with adversity to support its, more than 800, staff, contractors and suppliers to get ready for a great 2024.

Wayne Dempster, Director, Health & Safety at Rayonier Matariki Forests says with 60-70 percent of accidents happening in the first four months of the year – across many industries – it highlights the need to assist people to start back at work safely.

“After having a break from work and the normal routine people return to work and don’t always have their mind on the job,” says Wayne.  “Restarting a business and getting people and equipment back working again doesn’t automatically work like a switch, on the first morning.   Forestry had a very challenging year last year and we want to make sure our people are in the best possible state when they return to work.”

This year’s Safe Start Breakfasts were themed around mind health.  Former cop, crisis negotiator, personal protection officer and security officer, Lance Burdett, who now specialises in coaching around personal resilience and reducing personal stress, spoke at the six events.

After spending 22 years training with the elite tactical units of Police, Corrections, Fire, Military, and the FBI, Burdett has a lot of knowledge and learnings to share around adapting to adversity.

His presentations, grounded in neuroscience and combining emotional intelligence with positive psychology, delivered plenty of practical coping skills.

“We have had extremely positive feedback on Lance’s talk which broke down a very complicated subject into easy to grasp language.  Lance emphasised the need to look after yourself, before worrying about global events and there are many small things that we can be doing to improve how we view the world and cope with life. 

“From sleep and nutrition tips to breathing and mindfulness exercises the very entertaining delivery was enjoyed by everyone and there were some potentially life-changing suggestions for all of us,” explained Wayne. 

Rayonier Matariki Forests has been holding Safe Start Breakfasts for the past 19 years.