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 knowledge was something George loved to do, He has also mentored many new safety professionals. We can all be mega thankful for that legacy he has left us.

He was my number one inspiration in keeping this blog going and I am now totally lost for words for the first time in ages – all I can say is that I will desperately miss you and your contributions mate – thankyou for your encouragement, passion, brutally honest feedback, your never ending quest to “keep the bastards honest” and your healthy dis-respect for bureaucracy, tradition, hierarchies, displacement activities, convoluted systems and ummmm those who “engage in acts of public masturbation” (I laughed so hard when you first introduced me to that concept).

The only thing we did not agree on was his preference for XXXX Gold (that is how QLD’ers spell beer – for our o/s readers).

George was definitely a night owl and every morning I would wake, check my emails and smile to one of his no punches pulled commentaries, latest articles, recipes, dirty jokes, schemes or anecdotes – simple things which I will appreciate even more from now on.

My deepest condolences to his wife Lorraine and their boys.


Update: Wow!!! After reading all of the comments below and the emails I have received today, I am totally overwhelmed by the incredible impact George has had on so many people all over the world!! I am proud and honoured to have known him and to have been able to provide one of the conduits for his wisdom.  I vow to keep his work alive and hope you will spread the word of this remarkable man and his awesome stuff as obviously so many have already done – Geez he would be impressed – I can just imagine him saying “F.I.G.J.A.M.” as often he did, but in the humblest possible way!

George’s articles can be found here

His Ebooks can be found here

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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