Quiet often after a holiday or a break it is difficult to get back into work and work habits. This affects us both physically and mentally, it is pretty normal!

Physically - we may be a bit out of condition due to the extra eating, drinking and relaxing rather than exercising. This may restrict our capacity to do some of our physical jobs so make sure you ease yourself into physical tasks if that is what your job entails. Plan out a daily routine which allows enough time for work, rest, exercise and play.

Mentally we are creatures of habit so we must make sure we are alert to the fact that we are back in the workplace and become vigilant of the risks of the job. This will take a little time, don't rush it and prepare yourself.

There is some thought provoking outcomes from recent research into truck crashes by the Truck Crash Research Centre based in South Australia. One of the research outcomes is that the majority of truck accidents (more than 90%) happened on the outward bound journey of the truck trip!

We need to ask ourselves why is this?

There are many reasons for this, but primarily it is a combination of being physically tired coming off the holiday break and/or mentally our headspace is not focused on the job at hand. That is we are preoccupied with either the great holiday we have just had, the rostered break, relationship issues, family issues that may have been going on in our life. Prioritising these issues and dealing with them is an important part of our life. It does take a little time to adjust back to the workplace routine.

Occupational Health & Safety provides the legislative framework that gives the employees and employers safety guidelines to adhere to.

It is part of our culture and attitude however (especially prevalent in males) to risk taking, winning and getting the job done. These are the factors that we have to address, be aware of, and talk about so that as blokes we understand why we sometimes cut corners and how that may affect safety in the workplace.

Our health and safety is ultimately our individual responsibility. Prepare yourself by being well rested and be alert when you're getting back into it.

Enjoy your work in 2014 and get the work life balance right.

Owen Catto and the Team at RMHI