Free EBook – Lessons I Have Learnt

Lessons I Have Learnt about Management, Safety, Life and People

senior teacher portraitIt gives me great pleasure to offer the 4th Free EBook in the series by the late George Robotham. If you missed the first 3 they were:

George’s first FREE EBook: Guidance for the beginning OHS professional
George’s second FREE EBook: Broader Management Skills for the OHS Professional
George’s third FREE EBook: What It Means To Be An OHS Professional

 Download George’s 4th Ebook Here

Introduction by George

Now I am old and decrepit I have had the chance to reflect on the many mistakes I have made in my life and articulate a number of lessons learnt. A little bit has come from reading and study but most of it comes from working with 3 wise leaders and critical reflection on practical experience. It is a personal document, what I regard as lessons for me may not be lessons for you and you may disagree with some of it. Many of the lessons have been learnt the hard way.

This is the fourth of 4 safety e books, the first is Guidance for the beginning OHS professional, the second Broader management skills for the OHS professional and the third What it means to be an OHS professional. The papers What makes a safety management system fly, 30 ways to stuff up a safety management system and What you need to know about health & safety leadership.


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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