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 gales and storms and fog and the like, but in all my experience I have never been in an accident of any sort worth speaking about. I have seen but one vessel in distress in all my years at sea, a brig, the crew of which was taken off in a small boat in charge of my third officer. I never saw a wreck and have never been wrecked, nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort.
"I will say that I cannot imagine any condition which could cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that."

More famous safety quotes Here: https://safetyrisk.net/safety-slogans/famous-safety-quotes/ 

Quotable Quotes for Safety and Leadership

By George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au

Quotable Quotes


Quotes from respected sources can be a means of effectively transmitting messages of a range of topics .The following are quotable quotes that have worked for me in OHS and related areas.

Quotable Quotes

“The people are fashioned according to the example of their king and edicts are less powerful than the life (example) of the king” Claudian, c. 365, Egyptian epic poet

“When initiating change remember, People support what they create.” The 6 P rule is very important in change – “Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents Poor Performance”.

“Attempting too big a change and / or changing things too quickly can create an adverse reaction and alienate the very people you want to make allies. Learn the context, culture and past before trying to make changes. Unless a crisis situation is apparent realise effective change requires a lot of effort and time”

"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, parents, children, grandparents and friends, and the hope, struggle and triumph of recovery and rehabilitation in a world often unsympathetic, ignorant, unfriendly and unsupportive, only those with close experience of life altering personal damage have this understanding"

OHS is about “Change for the Future NOT Blame for the Past”

An ex-manager of mine used to say “Bring me solutions, not problems” The best way to influence management is to provide solutions and not bury them in problems. Another ex-manager said “If you cannot manage safety, you cannot manage”

General Norman Schwarzkopf said” Failures in leadership are invariably failures in character rather than competence”

Professor T.J. Larkin says “If it is not face-to-face it is not communication”.

“Nothing is more central to an organisation’s effectiveness than its ability to transmit accurate, relevant and understandable information among its members.”

“There is nothing more difficult than change” Machiavelli

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 not care, either is a crisis in leadership.

That Chinese chap is reported as saying the trouble with common sense is it is neither common nor sensible.

“Who dares wins” Australian S.A.S. Regiment

“Doing the impossible is fun”

“It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission”

“Management focus is the key to quality safety performance. Like all other management functions highly effective leadership is essential in OHS” BHP

“The greatest motivator is not money. It is the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, to contribute and be recognised”.

“ Have huge but realistic goals” Various authors.

Do the simplest thing that will work.

Be a life-long learner and encourage those in your team to be the same, I see an important part of my role is to help those in the safety team to develop their skills. George Robotham

“If you cannot solve a problem it is because you are playing by the rules” George Robotham


The above are the quotes that have made a difference to me, you are encouraged to Google the topic to identify quotes that resonate with you.

George can be contacted on fgrobotham@gmail.com, he welcomes debate on the above (it would be indeed a boring world if everybody agreed with George)

George Robotham, Cert. IV T.A.E.,. Dip. Training & Assessment Systems, Diploma in Frontline Management, Bachelor of Education (Adult & Workplace Education), (Queensland University of Technology), Graduate Certificate in Management of Organisational Change, (Charles Sturt University), Graduate Diploma of Occupational Hazard Management), (Ballarat University), Accredited Workplace Health & Safety Officer (Queensland),Justice of the Peace (Queensland), Australian Defence Medal, Brisbane, Australia, fgrobotham@gmail.com, www.ohschange.com.au,07-38021516, 0421860574, My passion is the reduction of permanently life altering (Class 1 ) personal damage

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