FREE ebook – Guidance for the beginning OHS professional

FREE 216 page ebook – “Guidance for the beginning OHS professional” – by the late Safety Legend George Robotham

UPDATE: Over 10,000 copies already sent out and the positive feedback has been overwhelming – this encouraged George to write another 6 before he passed away suddenly and way too soon! Check out all of George’s FREE EBooks here: Free Safety EBooks – Sharing his immense knowledge and experience in his own unique way was just the way George rolled – Fwd this link to as many as you can – Help keep his legacy alive

DOWNLOAD GEORGE ROBOTHAM’S EBOOK HERE Guidance-FOR-the-beginning-OHS-professiona1.docx (760 downloads)

 Most of you would know George from the many articles he has written for us in the last 2 years. This book combines many of those modified articles and many other reflections by George after nearly 40 years at the coal face of safety. Sadly George passed away suddenly on Sept 11 2013. George wanted to spread his wisdom far and wide and wrote this huge volume of the most useful safety stuff you are likely to find after already mentoring many young safety Pros. This is a must read for not only the new Safety Professional but also the tough nuts hardened by the years and perhaps still bashing your head against the wall.


Book intro and TOC are below for your info:


In nearly 4 decades of involvement in field, corporate, project and consultant OHS roles I have had the opportunity to learn a variety of things. In this publication I have outlined generally 1-2 page thoughts on safety and safety aligned topics, with the aim of providing some brief guidance to the newly developing OHS professional. Where I considered it important I have included major papers on significant topics I believe I cover a fair bit of relevant ground. Whilst there is a smattering of theory in the following, most is based on practical experience. A strong message is that to be effective in OHS you need competency from other areas, as well as your OHS competencies.


Why read this paper? What will I learn? What is in it for me? 4

Lessons learnt from my safety jobs 4

Major safety technical lessons learnt 10

The good, bad and the ugly of George’s 38 year safety career 26

Professional associations

Why have OHS? 69

30 Sure fire ways to stuff up a safety management system 86

Advice to new OHS people 88

The accidents I have been associated with 93

What is wrong with the way OHS is managed in Australia 104

What is right with the way OHS is managed in Australia 110

What makes a safety management system fly

Geoff McDonald 128

Safety Myths 128


Personal Damage Occurrence Investigation Models 130

Analysis of “Accident” experience 131

Access to earthmoving equipment 132

Critical Incident Recall 133

George’s Philosophy on Life, Work and Relationships 134

Background to OHS 140

Behaviour-Based Safety 140

Role of the safety professional 141

Safety incentives 141

Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate 142

Alternatives to the hierarchy of controls 143

Young worker safety 145

Zero harm 146

Commercial Safety Management Systems 148

Major mistakes I have seen made in implementing OHS 149

The toughest safety assignment I have had 150

How to have an effective safety committee 151

Common law 152

Safety Benchmarking 153

OHS tools for managing safety 154

Job Safety Analysis 154

Georges down to earth advice to safety representatives and safety committee members 155

Risk assessment tips 156

Accident investigation 157

Accident investigation summary 163

Auditing OHS systems 164

Non OHS tools for managing safety 165

Safety communications 165

Safety culture 166

How to improve safety culture 166

Interpersonal skills 167

Leadership 176

The things you need to know about health and safety leadership

Leadership quotes 176

Military leaders on leadership 177

OHS Leadership 178

How to be a safety leader 180

References 180

Leadership in safety-Ethics 181

Leadership in safety-Trust 181

Learning 182

Adult learning principles and process

OHS Learning 202

Training and development needs of OHS personnel

Implementation of a learning management system 210

The use of Power-Point presentations 211

Tool box meetings 211

The use of humour 212

Safety Induction 213

Human Resources 213

Job interviews 213

The resume 215

Conclusion 216

George Robotham

George Robotham

George was a Legend in the Safety World who passed away in Sept 2013 but left us with a great legacy
George Robotham
I have worked in OHS for most of my working life, many years in the mining industry including over 10 years in a corporate OHS role with BHP. Since leaving the mining industry I have worked in a variety of safety roles with a variety of employers, large & small, in a variety of industries. I was associated with my first workplace fatality at age 21, the girl involved was young, intelligent, vivacious and friendly. Such a waste! I was the first on the scene and tried to comfort her and tend to her injuries. She said to me “George, please do not let me die” We put her on the aerial ambulance to Rockhampton base hospital where she died the next day. I do not mind telling you that knocked me around for awhile. Since then I have helped my employers cope with the aftermath of 12 fatalities and 2 other life-altering events. The section "Why do Occupational Health & Safety" provides further detail but in summary, poor safety is simply very expensive and also has a massive humanitarian cost. My qualifications include a certificate I.V. in Workplace Training and Assessment, a Diploma in Frontline Management, a Diploma in Training & Assessment Systems, a Bachelor of Education (Adult & Workplace Education) , a Grad. Cert. in Management of Organisational Change and a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Hazard Management. I am currently studying towards a Masters in Business Leadership. Up until recently I had been a Chartered Fellow of the Safety Institute of Australia for 10 years and a member for about 30 years. My interest is in non-traditional methods of driving organisational change in OHS and I have what I believe is a healthy dis-respect for many common approaches to OHS Management and OHS Training. I hold what I believe is a well-founded perception that many of the things safety people and management do in safety are “displacement activities” (Displacement activities are things we do, things we put a lot of energy into, but which when we examine them closely there is no valid reason for doing them). My managerial and leadership roles in OHS have exposed me to a range of management techniques that are relevant to Business Improvement. In particular I am a strong supporter of continuous improvement and quality management approaches to business. I believe leadership is the often forgotten key to excellence in most aspects of life. I hold the Australian Defence Medal and am a J.P.(Qualified). I have many fond memories of my time playing Rugby Union when I was a young bloke.

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