Complete Works of George Robotham

Complete Works of the late George Robotham

Georges’ Christmas Safety Message

Xmas Safety Message

First published in December 2012 by George Robotham. George passed away suddenly in September 2013 and this message is republished in his honour.

Read all of George’s articles here: Complete Works of George Robotham

Christmas is a time when many are more likely to drink and drive, it may help to reflect on my experiences in this area.

READ MORE: Georges’ Christmas Safety Message

Making Sense of Risk and Safety

Making Sense of Risk and Safety – An Interview with George Robotham by Dr Rob Long – April 2013 Dedicated to the life and work of the late George Robotham who passed away, on Sept 11th 2013. Readers of this blog would be very familiar with the work of Dr Robert Long and George Robotham. […]

Vale George Robotham

Vale George Robotham – Safety Legend! I just heard the devastating news that my friend, mentor and major contributor to this blog, Safety Legend George Robotham, has passed away after a short stay in Hospital. Regular readers of this blog will have enjoyed his articles and ebooks – writing and sharing his extensive experience and […]

How To Write a Safety Report

George’s Safety Reflections How To Write a Safety Report OHS professionals write many reports, read many reports and ask others to prepare reports for them. A major sin is long rambling reports that do not get to the point quickly and succinctly! Prepare succinct reports yourself and make it clear that your expectation is that […]

Advice to people wishing to commence a career in OHS

Advice to people wishing to commence a career in OHS Guest post by George Robotham Introduction Cannot get the job without the experience, cannot get the experience without the job. This is a common problem all new starters to the OHS industry face. You must learn how to overcome the challenges. Some advice Get yourself […]

What I admire in OHS professionals.

What I admire in OHS professionals. Guest Post by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au Over the years I have worked with many so-called OHS professionals. Some of them have been pretty ordinary operators. I do not generally refer to people who work in OHS as professionals as I believe being a professional implies application of an […]

Safety Networking

Safety Networking Some practical advice from George Robotham. Is you Safety Net working? Introduction Networking definition – “The exchange of information or services by individuals, groups or institutions. Specifically the culture of producing improved relationships in employment and business”. There was a time when the S.I.A. OHS discussion forum was the main OHS […]

Icebreakers and Games that Safety Trainers Play

Icebreakers / Games that Safety trainers play Guest Post by George Robotham Lots of interaction is the key to successful facilitation of learning and I looked at a few sources of information to try to improve my processes The big book of icebreakers Edie West Quick meeting openers Brian Miller Even more gamers […]

Starting In A New OHS Role

Quotable Quote “A health & safety problem can be described by statistics but cannot be understood by statistics. It can only be understood by knowing and feeling the pain, anguish, and depression and shattered hopes of the victim and of wives, husbands, […]

Driver Fatigue Management

Introduction Driver fatigue is a major problem in Australia with often incredible distances to be driven. It is made worse when people drive long distances during holiday periods. Drive in –drive out employment in the resources industry is a particular area of concern. People completing […]

CONFINED SPACE WORK a personal experience

What has become clear over the last few years of spitting out these blog posts is that real life personal experience stories are are a shit load more interesting and popular than boring old intellectual white papers, holier than thou opinions and theoretical drivel. George from www.ohschange.com.au  recounts a recent experience with a serious confined […]

Countering Common Law Claims

Today George looks at the huge legal monster that is Common Law (you mat like to also read his previous article Common Law Liability which covers the concept in detail). It amazes me that some Safety Professionals can quote every subclause of Statute Law but look blankly when you ask them about Common Law and […]

Free EBook – Effective Safety Management Systems

Free Ebook Effective Safety Management Systems   Last in the Series By George Robotham

Ethical Behaviour for Safety Professionals

Ethical Behaviour for Safety Professionals Guest post by George Robotham  See also: Safety Professionals Behaving Badly Introduction During my time in business I have had to face ethical issues. I have to say sometimes my behaviour has not been as squeaky clean as it could have been. Ethical behaviour Appropriate behaviour. It is […]

Zealots – A Cause For Concern?

Zealots – A Cause For Concern? Guest post by George Robotham  Introduction After many years involvement in OHS I have found I handle the technical issues fairly well but often fall down on the people issues. Over recent times I have developed the belief people in OHS roles should receive education in psychology […]

Queensland Open Cut Mines Rescue Service-A Story of Success

Queensland Open Cut Mines Rescue Service – A Story of Success A positive reflection by George Robotham My first safety job in the mining industry was at Utah Development Company, Blackwater open-cut coal mine. One of my jobs was to train the fire / rescue squad. In those days Utah was the dominant […]

Another Free Safety Ebook

Another Free Safety Ebook – “Learning How to Facilitate Learning” After swearing that his 3rd Ebook would be his last, George Robotham has just produced his 6th Safety Ebook and the 7th will be available in a couple of weeks! We have sent out 1000’s of his books already and the feedback has been brilliant […]

AS 4801 Safety Management Systems

Another Guest Post by George Robotham AS4801 Safety Management Systems   Many people will have you believe 4801 is the holy grail of safety management systems and the fact that they have a AS 4801 compliant safety management system means they are doing a good job on safety. As far as I am […]

The Use of Humour in Safety

The use of Humour in Safety Humour can be used effectively in formal and informal presentations and in general interaction in business and non-business life. Avoid humour that focuses on religion, politics, race, class, sex, age, physical appearance. To use any of these will run the risk of upsetting someone. I hear you asking […]

Are You Making A Difference As An OHS Professional?

Are You Making A Difference As An OHS Professional? George’s Response to: https://safetyrisk.net/everyday-simple-safety-leadership/  Introduction Working in OHS can be very frustrating and stressful and we tend to knock ourselves around when we are unable to drive significant improvements in safety. Sometimes the OHS people are the corporate safety conscience for organisations. In these days of […]

FREE ebook – Guidance for the beginning OHS professional


FREE 216 page ebook – “Guidance for the beginning OHS professional” – George Robotham – you can see how awesome his work is here: George’s Reflections UPDATE: Over 4000 copies already sent out and the positive feedback has been overwhelming – encouraging George to write another 5! Check out all of George’s FREE EBooks here: […]

OHS Change Management

OHS Change Management By George Robotham Introduction I have been involved in various types of OHS change. The most effective has been where I have led or been a member of OHS project teams using change management and project management methodologies to drive significant OHS change. The only thing constant in business is change. General […]

Ageing workforce

Ageing workforce Guest Post By George Robotham I am 58 and have worked in OHS for 38 years. I have had a variety of OHS roles and have a rich portfolio of OHS experience to fall back on. I am no expert and still have a lot to learn in the field, fortunately I am […]

Weasel Words in Safety

Weasel Words in Safety – Words that promise much but deliver little Guest Post by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au Those of you who read my posts will know I am a big critic of the long, ponderous written communications, that seems to infect the safety world. Given a choice many people take a least time […]

Quotable Quotes for Safety and Leadership

My favourite quote for an ice breaker or for anyone who says “it will never happen to me” is by Captain EJ Smith (Captain of the Titanic): “When any one asks me how I can best describe my experiences of nearly forty years at sea I merely say uneventful. Of course, there have been Winter […]

Where Is OHS In Australia Going Wrong?

Where Is OHS In Australia Going Wrong? Guest post by George Robotham Introduction There are many areas where OHS is going wrong in Australia. I have chosen to comment on 4 areas, Class 1 personal damage occurrence data systems, complexity, lack of focus on the people and harmonised legislation. Quotable Quotes “A health […]

Complexity and safety

Complexity and safety Popular discussion topic at the moment – guest post by George Robotham Introduction Early in my safety career it became obvious to me that safety is about the people and not about the things and artefacts. It is not about the safety management systems, safety management plans, risk assessments, audits etc. but […]

Teambuilding in OHS

Teambuilding in OHS Guest Post by George Robotham Introduction My motto is-When Initiating Change, Remember, People Support What They Create. Working in teams is an essential part of most management functions. In the OHS area OHS people may work as part of a broader H.R. team, lead at team of other OHS personnel, […]

New Free Safety EBook

“My Defining, Best and Most Challenging Events in 4 Decades in Safety” This is the 5th in the series by George Robotham, who’s work you would be very familiar with if you are a reader of this blog (Read all of his articles HERE) and you will know what an enjoyable, no punch pulled and […]

Competency of OHS Personnel

We have sent out several thousand copies of George’s EBooks and they are being picked up as essential reading for several educational and professional institutions. However, George and I are a tad concerned about the comments we are getting in the request emails. A very large proportion are requesting these books due to being “thrown […]

Psychology and safety

Psychology and safety Guest Post by George Robotham I am writing this for the purpose of promoting discussion about a topic I am not sure of. The issues are not clear in my mind but I suspect discussion will be of value to fellow safety people. Over the years I have developed a range of […]

Safe Working Procedures

Lots of discussion about these currently on OHS Forums, my thoughts are that we should only have one set of procedures that include any safety, not a work instruction and say a SWMS. Procedures MUST be written by or with the people doing the job and regularly reviewed – no better training!! I have been […]

Safety Leadership Learning

Safety Leadership Learning By George Robotham  Background A few years ago I attended a presentation on leadership by General Norman Schwarzkopf. This got me really fired up about leadership and led me to research the topic thoroughly. I am convinced leadership is the often forgotten key to excellence in most things in life, […]

Safety Communications Plan

Safety Communications Plan Short and sweet advice from George Robotham  Introduction There is not much use having great technical OHS skills if you cannot get your safety messages across effectively. Putting “Simple Communications” into Google will bring up some good advice. Much safety communications is simply too much like hard work and people […]

Safety Lessons From Animals

And now here’s something we hope you’ll really like……. Safety Lessons From Animals By George Robotham with thanks to Shaz from the Sleeping Blog for the photo of Choco at swimming lessons and Sarah Jane for the photo of the Director of Security at Riskology Consulting Introduction Dealing with animals has a lot […]

Useful Risk Management Model

Management of Low Probability/High Consequence Risk Thanks to George Robotham  for his basic explanation of the very useful 9 box model How often have we heard in regard to a high consequence risk “We have been doing it that way for 20 years and not had a problem” Disasters like the Moura explosion and […]

A Challenge To SIA and SIWA

A Challenge To SIA and SIWA In this article (or “challenge”) George resurrects a long term debate about joining a Professional Safety Association in Australia. It is not mandatory and you will probably not be asked about it when you apply for a job (unless the interviewer is a member?). There are other effective networking […]

Free EBook – Lessons I Have Learnt

Lessons I Have Learnt about Management, Safety, Life and People It gives me great pleasure to now publicise the 4th Free EBook in the series by George Robotham (no, that is not him in the photo ). If you missed the first 3 they were: George’s first FREE EBook: Guidance for the beginning OHS professional […]

SAFETY LEADERSHIP ESSENTIALS

SAFETY LEADERSHIP ESSENTIALS by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au Leadership is the often forgotten key to excellence in most aspects of life. General Colin Powell is reported as saying you should worry when soldiers no longer come to you with their problems. This is because they have either concluded that you cannot help or you do […]

Top 10 Resume Stuff Ups

Top 10 Resume Stuff Ups When Applying for a Safety Role Guest post by George Robotham As the result of some Linkedin OHS forum posts where I advised the availability of a resume template and some advice on job interviews a number of people have sent me their […]

What it means to be an OHS professional

What it means to be an OHS professional Announcing George Robotham’s latest 100 page FREE E-BOOK – download his others here ABSTRACT and TABLE of CONTENTS CAN BE FOUND AFTER THE IMAGE BELOW. ESSENTIAL READING FOR THOSE STARTING OUT AND SEASONED VETERANS! If you want a good chuckle then you will also appreciate this little […]

What Makes a Safety Management System Fly

What Makes a Safety Management System Fly By George Robotham – download his free E-Books HERE Original published by the American Society of Safety Engineers, International Safety Best-Practice Specialty Newsletter, Spring 2002,Vol.1, No.3, incorporated in a subject of a OHS course at the University of New Brunswick, Canada – republished here by popular demand Related […]

Accident Investigation Models

Personal damage occurrence (Accident) Investigation Models Guest Post by George Robotham Introduction Personal damage occurrences (“Accidents”) may be a source of learning and improvement for the safety management system if they are well investigated and appropriate corrective action implemented. The term accident is an emotionally laden term that infers blame, the term should be avoided. […]

People and Safety


People and safety Article by George Robotham – Download his free Safety EBooks Here Introduction In the push to implement complex, integrated management system, long ponderous paper work, bureaucracy, the latest fads, self serving commercial safety management systems, buzz words such as Zero Harm and the other assorted bull shit that often happens in safety, […]

The 10 Commandments For The OHS Person

The 10 Commandments For The OHS Person Guest Post by George Robotham – and I managed to refrain from calling him the “God of Safety”. That title actually belongs to “SOTER” who was the God of safety, preservation and deliverance from harm. His female equivalent was the Goddess “SOTERIA”. Introduction OHS people often complain about […]

Free Safety EBooks

Free Safety EBooks If you are a reader of this blog (and yesterday there were over 15,000 of you awesome people!) you would be familiar with and love the work of one our guest authors, George Robotham. George writes in a style that pleases most of us: Simple, plain English, practical and with no punches […]

Vision for Safety in Australia

Vision for safety in Australia By George Robotham I am in the final stages of preparing what will end up being an approx. 70 page e book on What It Means To Be An OHS Professional. I was thinking of finishing up with the following: My vision for what an excellent approach to OHS in […]

Tips For Safety Learning Facilitation

Tips For Safety Learning Facilitation Guest Post by George Robotham – get George’s new FREE EBook: “Broader Management Skills for the OHS Professional” Introduction OHS people often spend a lot of time facilitating learning, conducting meetings and leading problem solving groups. The following aims to provide succinct advice on carrying out these tasks. I have […]

New FREE EBook – Broader Management Skills For The OHS Professional

Broader Management Skills For The OHS Professional (And Other Professionals) Well the first free 216 page EBook – “Guidance for the beginning OHS professional” – George Robotham” – was a huge success with over 3,500 copies sent out and still counting! Inspired by the positive feedback, George has just finished his latest book based on […]

Non OHS Technical Skills For The OHS Person

Non OHS Technical Skills For The OHS Person by George Robotham The new EBook is available HERE now – go get it! I put my 216 page e book Guidance For The Beginning OHS Professional on this blog about 2 months ago. Since then I have been kept quite busy responding to requests for copies […]

Bureaucracy and Paperwork in OHS


Bureaucracy and Paperwork in OHS Guest post by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au Introduction I believe bureaucracy and paperwork is strangling innovation and progress in OHS. Overly complex systems are being used and people give up because it is too much like hard work. Some examples One organisation I was associated with employed an outside consultant […]

Safety Learning Needs Analysis

Safety Learning Needs Analysis Guest Post by George Robotham  Introduction Learning needs analysis is one of the basic tools of the effective learning facilitator, without its use your learning will be at best informed guesswork. A recent exercise emphasised to me the vital nature of learning needs analysis and I have revised my […]

LinkedIn OHS Forums

LinkedIn OHS Forums Latest ramblings by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au – see the rest of his articles HERE Being a bit of an OHS enthusiast I have to say the LinkedIn OHS forums are a fantastic resource. Prior to this we only had a S.I.A. discussion forum that was restricted to S.I.A. members and had […]

Tool-box meetings

Tool-box meetings Guest post by George Robotham You can find heaps of free safety toolbox talk resources HERE Regular, short, sharp, tool-box meetings can be an excellent means of getting the safety message to employees and resolving safety problems. These talks are a visual commitment to safety, open lines of communication and help to meet […]

Is There Hope For The OHS Business In Australia?


Is There Hope For The OHS Business In Australia? Guest article by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au In my nearly 4 decades of involvement in OHS I have helped my employers cope with the aftermath of 13 fatalities and 3 other cases of permanently life altering personnel damage. As a permanent employee or consultant / contractor […]

Safety Myths and Misconceptions

Safety Myths & Misconceptions Guest Article by George Robotham – see his other articles HERE Note:- Brisbane based OHS consultant, Geoff McDonald has considerably influenced my thinking in the preparation of the following. Because they go to work in Australia, 10 people per hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a […]

Progress? in Health & Safety

Progress? in Health & Safety By George Robotham I had to give a talk about health and safety to a different group of people than I normally talk to, so I decided to try something different. My research led me to early causes of health & safety problems and early health & safety legislation. The […]

Fuzzy OHS Logic


Fuzzy OHS Logic by George Robotham Because they go to work in Australia, 10 people per hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year have their lives permanently altered (Geoff McDonald) Quotable Quote “A health & safety problem can be described by statistics but cannot be understood by statistics. It […]

More on 10 Sure Fire Ways To Stuff Up a Safety Management System

10 Sure Fire Ways To Stuff Up a Safety Management System- Expanded version Article by George Robotham GET GEORGE’S FREE SAFETY MANAGEMENT E-BOOK HERE When the original paper was published there was a reader request to expand on the brief points made. This paper is my response to that request. The paper What Makes A […]

How OHS people can maintain their motivation


How OHS people can maintain their motivation Guest post by George Robotham In my 38 years involvement in OHS I have been lied to by various people, have lost count of the number of times I have been called an idiot or worse, have had promises made that were never fulfilled, dealt with idiots and […]

The Things You Need To Know About Health and Safety Leadership

The Things You Need To Know About Health and Safety Leadership by George Robotham This article was first published here in May 2012 and was very well received – I have decided to republish it for anyone who missed out. People do not care how much you know, they want to know how much you […]

Free Safety E-book

Free Safety E-book George tells me he has been inundated for requests for his free 216 page ebook from all over the world. Feedback from one circle of Safety Professionals was that this book is their new “Safety Bible”.   He would still like to spread this excellent reference as far as possible.   Read […]

Operational versus strategic safety roles

Operational versus strategic safety roles Guest Post by George Robotham – see more of his work here Operational planning is the day by day and month by month planning for what your organisation is doing. Strategic planning determines the entire direction of your organisation. Operational and strategic plans can tend to be massive documents that […]

Safety Leadership Workshop – Special offer for 2013


Safety Leadership Workshop – Special offer for 2013 by George Robotham I have developed a 90 minute Safety Leadership Workshop and ran it successfully for a number of companies. For companies in Brisbane I am offering to run an initial safety leadership workshop for up to 15 people for a discounted rate of $250, costs […]

Major safety technical lessons learnt


Latest and greatest article by George Robotham. In his words: “I think this is the most potentially useful to other safety people paper that I have ever produced” Major safety technical lessons learnt In my 38 years in OHS I have helped my employers cope with the aftermath of 13 fatalities, one case of paraplegia, […]

Lessons learnt from my safety jobs

Lessons learnt from my safety jobs Reflection by George Robotham In my 38 years in OHS I have helped my employers cope with the aftermath of 13 fatalities, one case of paraplegia, one major stress case and a very serious burns case. Speaking from personal experience the most devastating thing that can happen […]

For The Love of Zero–Book Review

For The Love of Zero – Dr. Robert Long – Brief book review by George Robotham See more details about the book HERE After a number of years in OHS an observation of mine is that OHS personnel and managers have a tendency to pick up and run with safety fads. Often there is little […]

An Essential Skill for Safety Professionals–Reading Other People


An Essential Skill for Safety Professionals – Reading Other People Article by George Robotham Basic principles The greatest motivator is not money. It is the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, to contribute and be recognised. Be tough on the task but gentle on yourself & others. People judge you by what they see you […]

Are You A Good Safety Leader?


Are You A Good Safety Leader? By George Robotham Managers, supervisors, OHS personnel and informal leaders all have a responsibility to lead the OHS function. Leadership is the often forgotten key to excellence in many spheres of life. Safety leaders need to be asking themselves the following questions- 1. Do I visibly demonstrate commitment and […]

Journey of a smoker

Journey of a smoker A personal reflection by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au I quit smoking about a month ago and feel I have done something significant in my life. I am 58 and started smoking about 25. Back in the days when you could smoke in an office I used to go through a pack […]

George’s New Year Wishes for OHS Personnel

George’s New Year Wishes for OHS Personnel From George Robotham – www.ohschange.com.au Look after you physical and emotional health, give up the smokes (Never an easy thing to do), ease up on the grog, have plenty of fruit and vegetables and avoid fast foods. Spend quality time with friends, family and your pet if you […]

Guidance for the beginning OHS professional


Guidance for the beginning OHS professional Our most prolific Guest Writer, George Robotham, is writing a book and would appreciate some input I have set myself the task of writing a book in 2013 with a title something like the above. Some of you may have seen my earlier attempt on this blog a month […]

Recruitment Consultants – The OHS Persons Friend or Foe?

Recruitment Consultants – The OHS Persons Friend or Foe? Guest Post by George Robotham – see his other work here Please note that in writing this I mean no disrespect to the many recruitment consultants who I am sure try very hard. I am reasonably happy with my lot in life but still apply for […]

An OHS Advisor’s New Year Wish List

An OHS Advisor’s New Year Wish List Guest post by George Robotham I continue not to smoke I lose weight to a healthier range I cut down on the wine Give me the patience I need to positively influence the cretins I have to deal with Make me a better trainer and communicator […]

George’s Christmas Message

George’s Christmas Message I would like to wish Safetyrisk readers all the best for the festive season. I have enjoyed writing my various articles; hopefully you have found them interesting and more importantly useful. (see them all here) There was a time in my life when I regularly drank and drove. Looking back on it, […]

More Free Safety Resources

More Free Safety Resources George Robotham has been writing for us for some time now and his articles have been very popular, controversial, provocative and most of all practical and useful – he bases what he writes on real world experiences! READ THEM HERE If you would like to learn more in 4 hours than […]

Accident Investigation

Personal damage occurrence ( “Accident “) Investigation George shares his considerable experience on the subject Introduction Personal damage occurrences (“Accidents”) may be a source of learning and improvement for the safety management system if they are well investigated and appropriate corrective action implemented. The term accident is an emotionally laden term that infers […]

Adult Learning Principles and Process

Adult Learning Principles and Process This short paper is a summary of some of the main points in the paper Adult Learning Principles and Process-Back to Basics which is available on request from fgrobotham@gmail.com  Abstract One of the activities we all do in business is “training” others. It is my contention that modern adult learning […]

Effective evaluation of an organisation’s OHS performance


Effective evaluation of an organisation’s OHS performance Article by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au See all of George’s unique takes on OHS here: george-robotham I was asked to write about this topic and I am not confident I have a good response. I am aware my ideas about this topic will be different from many others. […]

permanently life altering personal damage occurrences


The permanently life altering personal damage occurrences (Accidents) I have been associated with by George Robotham Introduction During my 38 years involvement in OHS I have been associated with 13 fatalities, a case of paraplegia, a serious burns case and a major stress incident. The following are brief details of the permanently life altering personal […]

Do You Choose Your Occupation or Does It Choose You?

Do You Choose Your Occupation or Does It Choose You? by George Robotham  I do not know the answer to the above question but the following may help to answer it. I completed grade 12 and like a lot of young people had no idea what I was going to do for a […]

Trust And Betrayal In The Workplace

Trust And Betrayal In The Workplace – Building Effective Relationships In Your Organisation – D & M Reina – Book Review by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au Introduction Those of you who follow my ramblings will have seen me say interpersonal skills, communications skills, leadership skills and an ability to manage organisational change are just as […]

Safety Resume Template

Safety Resume Template by George Robotham The resume is one of the most important documents in your life and really deserves a lot of work to get it right. A lot of people have a very casual approach to their resume. I do a bit of work helping people prepare their resumes. When I help […]

Safety Professional Association Effectiveness


Safety Professional Association Effectiveness By George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au DOWNLOAD HERE: 1 Introduction This discussion paper represents critical reflection of the author’s experiences with a number of professional organisations, tertiary study in 3 disciplines, extensive OHS and Learning experience, working with 2 excellent leaders, extensive research on leadership and comment from a number of OHS, […]

What Is Right With The Way OHS Is Managed In Australia


George and I share the philosophy that it is way better to provide solutions rather than problems. So, as a follow up to the hugely popular What Is Wrong With The Way OHS Is Managed In Australia, I know you will nod your head as you read and enjoy the practical, positive messages in this […]

Safety Climate / Safety Leadership Survey

Safety Climate / Safety Leadership Survey Kindly provided by George Robotham  in response to a recent request from a reader – thanks George   *******We are undertaking this survey in an attempt to improve on how safety is managed. An excellent safety climate and excellent safety leadership is considered essential. Individual responses are […]

What Is Wrong With The Way OHS Is Managed In Australia


What Is Wrong With The Way OHS Is Managed In Australia Guest post by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au Quotable Quote “A health & safety problem can be described by statistics but cannot be understood by statistics. It can only be understood by knowing and feeling the pain, anguish, and depression and shattered hopes of the […]

Common Law Liability

Common Law Liability Whilst many of those involved in Safety can quote the Acts and Regulations verbatim, what I have noted during audits and discussions over the years is that most seem blissfully unaware or ignorant of the Common Law aspect of Safety and Risk Management. Meeting your Duty of Care obligations under Common Law […]

The Blame Game

The Blame Game Far too many people involved in OHS, including some OHS people, spend too much time playing the blame game. When you pick up the newspaper and listen to the television or radio you will find terms like driver error, human error and pilot error used frequently as if this was the definitive […]

Safety Leadership Short Workshop

Safety Leadership Short Workshop Guest Post by George Robotham I facilitate workshops about safety leadership. The following is more about promoting the concept of running safety leadership learning as opposed to my promoting my own work. Excellent health & safety leadership is one of the most important things in maintaining an excellent health & […]

Consensus on Safety – Friend or Foe


Consensus on Safety – Friend or Foe Latest by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au Based on my study of Management of Organisational Change I have adopted the motto “When initiating change, remember, People support what they create” for my OHS work. Generally I think involving the stakeholders in discussions and decisions about OHS is a good […]

What It Takes To Be An Excellent OHS Professional

What It Takes To Be An Excellent OHS Professional Guest post by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au Geoff McDonald Australian safety researcher Geoff McDonald has been my advisor/coach/mentor /guide in my safety career. Geoff McDonald has a system of classifying personal damage occurrences (“Accidents “) that goes something like this- Class 1-Permanently alters the future of […]

OHS Customer Service

OHS Customer Service by George Robotham . See the rest of George’s Safety Reflections HERE Many is OHS are really in customer service roles where our customers may be managers, supervisors, workers, unions, regulators and employer associations. Always treat the customer like a King or Queen-If you do not your competitors will. As an […]

The Effects of Retrenchments & Redundancies


Retrenchment or redundancy affects different people in different ways. Some take the opportunity for a long awaited career change, others do something they always wanted to do but never had the spare cash or the balls to to – like start a business. Others go into a spiral of depression….. This is some of George’s […]

Bring Me Solutions Not Problems


Bring Me Solutions Not Problems – George’s Safety Reflections Guest post by George Robotham – www.ohschange.com.au In association with 3 other people I have decided to write a paper proposing solutions to Australia’s major OHS problems, a big ask I know. I would be interested in your contributions towards the solutions. An ex-manager of mine […]

Psycho-social workplace issues

Psycho-social workplace issues – George’s Safety Reflections Guest post by George Robotham  I have only had to deal with one psycho-social claim in my time managing workers compensation and rehabilitation. A female secretary was being harassed and bullied by her female boss. The department manager knew what was happening, did nothing to manage […]

Mentoring of OHS personnel

Mentoring of OHS personnel – George’s Safety Reflections Guest article by George Robotham. Everybody says mentoring is a good idea, so recently I volunteered to take on the role of mentor for 3 developing OHS personnel. I had a look at what my mate, Mr. Google, had to say about mentoring and spoke […]

The Development Of Competency In Management Of Organisational Change


The Development Of Competency In Management Of Organisational Change – A Personal Journey by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au Quotable quote Change has been around a long time. “I cannot say whether things will get better if we change, what I can say is that they must change if they are to get better” (Georg Christoph […]

The Development Of Safety Competency

The Development Of Safety Competency – A Personal Journey by George Robotham. Quotable quote “A health & safety problem can be described by statistics but cannot be understood by statistics. It can only be understood by knowing and feeling the pain, anguish, and depression and shattered hopes of the victim and of wives, […]

The Development Of Leadership Competency


The Development Of Leadership Competency – A Personal Journey George Robotham provides a unique perspective on Safety Leadership based on his many years in some pretty heavy duty safety roles. I don’t have fancy statistics or convoluted research papers to prove it but I reckon commitment of management and their relatively poor leadership skills is […]

The Development Of Competency In Learning Facilitation-A Personal Journey

The Development Of Competency In Learning Facilitation – A Personal Journey Latest awesomeness by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au Quotable quote “As soon as we stop growing, learning, and thinking, our brains and our mental states start to deteriorate and to die. When we learn something, our hearts and minds grow accordingly. Staying involved, being a […]

Practical Guidance for OHS Professionals

Practical Guidance for OHS Professionals You have loved his Safety Reflections over the last couple of years and George Robotham  has now incorporated all of his work into this 60 page collection of essential reading for every Safety Professional, new or old. This stuff is based on practical, real world experience and I […]

Winning The Hearts And Minds Of Workers In Relation To Safety


Winning The Hearts And Minds Of Workers In Relation To Safety – Advice To Managers, Supervisors And Safety People Guest post by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au Image Source A manager in Nigeria, of all places, approached me to give some advice on getting the workers on side in safety. Rightly or wrongly the following is […]

Learning and Development Needs of OHS Personnel

George Robotham has been burning the midnight oil on this for sometime and a big group of us fellow trouble makers have had some input into it. I’ve just published here the general advice section but feel free to download the whole paper if this topic is of interest to you (it should […]

Young worker safety

From yesterday’s Canberra Times The employer of a young man killed in a workplace accident on the weekend has issued a statement saying it is “deeply saddened” by the tragedy and has launched its own investigation into how the incident happened. Concreter Ben Catanzariti was working at a Kingston Foreshore construction site on Saturday morning […]

Qld. Workplace Health & Safety Officer (W.H.S.O.) Concept


I remember moving to QLD about 10 years ago and thinking that the WHSO concept was a great idea. National Legislation has seen the demise of the concept – but nothing says you still can’t have one! George from www.ohschange.com.au discusses his lament. I highly recommend George’s other articles HERE. Qld. Workplace Health & Safety […]

Establishing a Safety Consulting Business


No doubt many of you, for whatever reason, have, at some time thought about going out on your own as a safety consultant. Having done it sometime ago, I could never go back to having a boss! The personal and financial rewards can be great as can the losses. To be successful you will need […]

Advice to new OHS people

Advice to new OHS people Guest Post by George “Failure is Not an Option” Robotham, from www.ohschange.com.au Read more of Georges thoughts HERE Quotes: I make no apologies for the fact that I challenge the accepted wisdom in some of what follows! The last thing I will leave you with are risk assessment and Zero […]

Adult Learning Principles and Process in OHS

ADULT LEARNING PRINCIPLES AND PROCESS IN OHS Guest post by George Robotham Facilitating OHS learning is a very important part of an OHS professional’s role but unfortunately many do not have high levels of skills in this area. The Cert. IV T.A.E. is the standard people are judged by. The reality is that […]

OHS 2012 Where Are We Now?


George Robotham reflects back over the changes, or lack there of, in the last 11 years. Comments and criticisms are bound be many and are totally encouraged. Be warned, no punches have been pulled! Quote: “Many of the people who work in OHS are strongly locked into traditional approaches and have difficulty accepting new ideas. […]

Communicating Change


Article by George Robotham – www.ohschange.com.au A quote I love from this article: “The world of safety is famous for well-meaning, ponderous, glossy publications that no one really knows about, cares about or uses. Safety communications are also famous for the use of “weasel-words”. “Weasel-words” promise a lot but deliver little. Corporate OHS people are […]

Useful Stuff


Some stuff you are bound to find useful – from George Robotham – www.ohschange.com.au Useful stuff With the following I have tried to summarise from 3 much more extensive lists Personal success 1 Minimise the bureaucracy and bull-shit 2 The number one job of a leader is to transmit and embed high value standards. 3 […]

A Different Twist To Health & Safety


A Different Twist To Health & Safety Guest Post by George Robotham – www.ohschange.com.au I listened to indigenous healer Don Tolman on 98.9 FM Indigenous Radio yesterday. He was certainly a zealot, zealots usually enthuse or worry me, I suspect he did a bit of both. Some of his messages were- He claims considerable success […]

Safety Team Building


Safety Teambuilding By George Robotham – www.ohschange.com.au  OHS people must have technical OHS skills. My experience is that broader skills such as leadership, communications, interpersonal and team building skills are also necessary. I have facilitated some interactive learning for OHS team members and believe such learning has significant benefit for both established and new teams. […]

Marketing of OHS


Marketing of OHS By George Robotham – www.ohschange.com.au Sometimes skills from other disciplines can be applied successfully to OHS, one such skill set is marketing. I have attended some marketing training but admittedly the focus was on marketing consultancy services. What I have tried to do with the following is provide are a few marketing […]

Contractors Charter


Useful document just sent in by George Robotham – may be useful for establishing and committing to obligations of both the contractor and the company hiring them: Expectations of Contractors As a contractor I am committed to work safely at all times and will: · work in a way to minimise the risk to safety, […]

Positive Performance Indicators


Positive Performance Indicators – The better way of measuring safety performance? By George Robotham – see more of George’s work here: Quotable Quote “A health & safety problem can be described by statistics but cannot be understood by statistics. It can only be understood by knowing and feeling the pain, anguish, and depression and shattered […]

ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES AND OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY


ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES AND OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY George Robotham – www.ohschange.com.au ABSTRACT The only thing constant in business is change. This paper introduces the reader to general organisational change principles and suggests these principles can enhance safety change if they are applied to this particular type of organisational re-design. Communicating change is dealt […]

The Good, Bad & Ugly of a 38 Year OHS Career


George’s Safety Reflections SEE MORE HERE By George Robotham www.ohschange.com.au   You are likely to learn more from reading this excellent reflection than you will ever learn at Safety University. Enjoy: The Good, Bad & Ugly of George’s 38 Year OHS Career I normally aim to produce succinct documentation and I have broken my own […]

The 15 Major Impediments To OHS Success


The 15 Major Impediments To OHS Success George’s Safety Reflections SEE MORE HERE By George Robotham www.ohschange.com.au   1 Lack of succinct paperwork. There is not much point in having detailed paperwork that is too much like hard work to read. The OHS world is famous for long ponderous paper work that no one reads, […]

Management of Your Most Precious Resource – Time


Management of Your Most Precious Resource-Time George’s Safety Reflections SEE MORE HERE By George Robotham www.ohschange.com.au   It used to be said that man has a finite time on this earth, possibly this is changing to a certain extent with modern advances in medical science. The important thing to realise is that whatever time we […]

Critical Safety Reflection or thinking about stuff


Critical Safety Reflection or thinking about stuff George’s Safety Reflections SEE MORE HERE By George Robotham www.ohschange.com.au   This brief article was prompted by an excellent paper in the Central Alberta Well Services Corporation, Safety Newsletter, Vol2, Issue 6 by Mark Sanborn, www.marksanborn.com  titled “Think like a leader and lead like a thinker” Action Learning […]

Characteristics of admired leaders (Jim Clemmer)


George’s Safety Reflections SEE MORE HERE By George Robotham www.ohschange.com.au Characteristics of admired leaders (Jim Clemmer) Over recent years I have carried out a lot of research on leadership, there is a vast body of leadership knowledge that can be and should be applied to OHS. I believe leadership is the often forgotten key to […]

First Steps in a New Safety Job


George’s Safety Reflections SEE MORE HERE By George Robotham www.ohschange.com.au First Steps New Job Basic An inexperienced OHS person recently asked me what they should do when starting in a new OHS position. Rightly or wrongly here is what I told her- Talk to the senior leaders about what they want / need / expect. […]

Accident Investigation Kit


George’s Safety Reflections SEE MORE HERE By George Robotham www.ohschange.com.au PERSONAL DAMAGE OCCURRENCE (“ACCIDENT”) INVESTIGATION KIT (To be left in vehicle) The following is what I would regard as the ultimate investigation kit, it needs to be tailored to the likely types of investigation. Digital camera with spare batteries Video camera, blank D.V.D.’s, spare batteries, […]

Safety Culture and How to Improve It


Safety Culture and How to Improve It George’s Safety Reflections SEE MORE HERE By George Robotham www.ohschange.com.au Introduction I have been asked how to improve safety culture a number of times in recent years. This paper is the result of research into how to best respond to this question. I have turned to the Organisational […]

Facilitating Safety Learning


Facilitating Learning – Critical Reflection On Practice George’s Safety Reflections SEE MORE HERE By George Robotham www.ohschange.com.au Introduction One of the activities we all do in business is “training” others. It is my contention that modern adult learning principles are not practiced frequently or well in general “training” in industry and in consequence the learning […]

Learning Safety From Various Approaches


George’s Safety Reflections SEE MORE HERE By George Robotham www.ohschange.com.au Learning From Various Approaches Quotable Quote “A health and safety problem can be described by statistics but cannot be understood by statistics. It can only be understood by knowing and feeling the pain, anguish, and depression and shattered hopes of the victim and of wives, […]

Key management concepts in OHS


More classic stuff from George – please don’t read this if overly sensitive or think you are perfect already. Read more of Georges stuff here: SAFETY REFLECTIONS Key management concepts (These concepts have come mainly from working with wise leaders on major change projects and critical reflection on personal experience) Management focus is the key […]

A Different Way of Learning


A Different Way of Learning, Adventure Based Learning, George Robotham Is your learning becoming routine and boring? You may like to try adventure based learning. Having been associated for many years with a program that uses adventure based learning in life-style, leadership and team building issues I can see application for this style of learning […]

The Things You Need To Know About Health and Safety Leadership


Latest brilliant reflection from GEORGE ROBOTHAM from www.ohschange.com.au. See his other articles HERE This is probably one of the most significant pieces of work that I have published for sometime. I have been involved with its evolution for quite a while now and it has been peer reviewed of over 50 professionals and modified accordingly. […]

Implementation of a learning management system


George’s Safety Reflections SEE MORE HERE Implementation of a learning management system In the early 1990’s XYZ mining company revolutionised their approach to learning. Existing learning programs were examined and costed, many millions were being spent and it became obvious much of this money was wasted. 2 An exhaustive learning needs analysis was carried out. […]

Managing the OHS Practical – Theoretical Divide


George’s Safety Reflections SEE MORE HERE Managing the OHS Practical – Theoretical Divide by George Robotham – www.ohschange.com.au Quotable Quote “A health & safety problem can be described by statistics but cannot be understood by statistics. It can only be understood by knowing and feeling the pain, anguish, and depression and shattered hopes of the […]

Response to complaints


A quick list of responses to a complaint which you may find useful. It was assembled, mostly in jest, by a little group of my esteemed recalcitrant colleagues, actually, mostly George Robotham. Don’t read on if you are easily offended. Happy for you to contribute your suggestions in the comments below Response to complaints I […]

“Risk Makes Sense” Book Review


Review of the Robert Long book Risk Makes Sense by George Robotham See more details about the book HERE In my view this book is a substantial addition to the body of knowledge about Risk and OHS. Written from a psychological perspective it puts into print many of the things I have figured out for […]

Safety Needs Analysis


George’s Safety Reflections Safety Needs analysis A major lesson in my professional life is that whatever is done in OHS must be preceded by a thorough needs analysis. The perceptions on needed change that managers, supervisors and workers have must be incorporated in the change process. There must be organised processes in place to surface […]

The toughest safety assignment I have had


George’s Safety Reflections SEE MORE HERE The toughest safety assignment I have had George gets a call from a management consultant, can I commit a bit of time to review a company’s Safety Management System? Said yes and was told 2 of the company directors want to meet me before going ahead. I think they […]

Safety Tool Box Meeting


George’s Safety Reflections – SEE MORE HERE Safety Tool box meetings Regular, short, sharp, tool-box meetings or toolbox talks can be an excellent means of getting the safety message to employees and resolving safety problems. The following advice is given for the conduct of these meetings: Find a quiet area free of distractions Use open-ended […]

Safety and Human Error


George’s Safety Reflections – guest post by George Robotham – www.ohschange.com.au Safety and Human Error When you pick up the newspaper and listen to the television or radio you will find terms like driver error, human error and pilot error used frequently as if this was the definitive reason why “accidents”, occur. Authorities such as […]

Barry Spud

Barry Spud

Safety Crusader, Zero Harm Zealot and Compliance Controller at Everything Safety
Barry Spud

Latest posts by Barry Spud (see all)

Barry Spud
What is a Safety Spud? Lets look at a few more spud head activities in risk and safety: 1. Coming on to site saying there is a safety issue when in fact there’s no such thing, it’s a political issue. 2. ‘Falling apart’ when people make choices that we think are stupid because they won’t do as we ‘tell’ them. Then we put on the angry face and think that overpowering others creates ownership. 3. Putting on the zero harm face, presenting statistics, knowing it has nothing to do with culture, risk or safety. 4. Putting on the superman (hazardman) suit and pretending to be the saviour of everything, this is good spud head cynic stuff. 5. Thinking that everyone else is a spud head except me. 6. Thinking there’s such a thing as ‘common’ sense and using such mythology to blame and label others. 7. Accepting safety policies and processes that dehumanize others. 8. Blaming, ego-seeking, grandstanding and territory protecting behind the mask of safety. 9. Thinking that risk and safety is simple when in fact it is a wicked problem. Denying complexity and putting your spud head in the sand. 10. Continually repeating the nonsense language and discourse of risk aversion that misdirect people about risk, safety, learning and imagination.

Do you have any thoughts? Please share them below