Icebreakers and Games that Safety Trainers Play

Icebreakers / Games that Safety trainers play

Guest Post by the late George Robotham 

icebeakersLots 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 trainers play John Newstrom

I choose carefully from the techniques mentioned in the books. Ones I choose had to be simple, required a minimum of props and hard mental effort and engaging peoples values

1 contributor sent me the following links:


Hi George a few links to stir up you creativity:

Troy Jeanes sent me his list of icebreakers, these are very specific to safety. I thank these people for their contribution:

Warm up before a meeting

If you were to be someone other than yourself, who would you be? Why?

If you were to be an automobile what would you be? Why?

Warm the group up and get them to know each other

Give participants 3 minutes to consider what they will be doing in 5, 10 and 20 years from now

Have each participant share his or her vision for the future with the group

Warm the group up and getting participants to connect with each other

Have the participants think silently about the best thing that happened in the last week

Participants share

Warm the group up and getting participants to connect with each other

Ask participants to share what was their best deal yet

Getting to know you

Participants interview others and then share

  • Name
  • Job title
  • Hobbies
  • Dream holiday
  • Most significant achievement
  • Most memorable moment

Contract with myself

The most ideas I have been exposed to at this seminar are?

As a result of those ideas, I intend to do the following things in the next 30 days?

By doing these things, I will achieve the following things?

Reviewing learning

Before we break for smoko please tell me the 10 main things you have learnt so far

Top 10 time wasters

Ask group to identify the top 10 management time wasters. Note- readily adaptable to a range of topics.

Managing change

Groups of 4-5

Identify a situation where some type of change was introduced in your organisation. Provide details

Was the change resisted?

Why or why not?

In retrospect, what should have been done to make the change easier?

Leadership pre post test

  1. Rate on a scale of 1-10
  2. How much do you know about how to motivate people?
  3. How good are you at talking to groups and communicating?
  4. How do you think others would rate you as a leader?
  5. How would you rated yourself as a leader?
  6. How good are you at dealing with difficult people?
  7. How likely are you to introduce yourself to people you do not know?
  8. How much do you know about leadership
  9. How much leadership experience do you have?
  10. How well do you work under pressure?
  11. How important are you to the overall success of the organisation?
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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