Teambuilding in OHS

Teambuilding in OHS

Guest Post by George Robotham from

Team Pulling the WorldIntroduction

My motto is-When Initiating Change, Remember, People Support What They Create. Working in teams is an essential part of most management functions. In the OHS area OHS people may work as part of a broader H.R. team, lead at team of other OHS personnel, lead safety project teams and coach / mentor a broad range of personnel. Skills in teambuilding are essential for OHS people.


Teams are small groups of people with complementary skills who work together as a unit to achieve a common purpose for which they hold themselves collectively accountable.

Effective teams

  • Create clear objectives & goals
  • There is role clarity
  • Willing to try new ideas
  • Build mutual trust
  • Ensure a common purpose
  • Establish clear rules for behaviour by the team

Creating high performing teams

  • Get the vision, scope and objectives right
  • Create high expectations
  • Get the biggest bang for your buck
  • Call a spade a spade
  • Get the right people
  • Require people to do their homework
  • Never move slowly on critical personal issues
  • Constantly upgrade skills
  • Build trust through appropriate self-disclosure
  • Consider “What’s in it for me” from the perspective of the other person
  • Create short-term wins
  • Celebrate success
  • Clearly defined roles
  • Have fun
  • Be a bit crazy when appropriate (calculated risk-taking is good!)
  • Do what gives you the biggest bang for your buck

Safety project teams

I have found safety project teams using change management and project management methodologies are a great way to drive significant safety change. Having a well developed project plan and someone with significant management horsepower on the team will always help. Giving the team a budget and responsibility to introduce change is often appropriate.

Teambuilding workshop

With one organisation I facilitated a teambuilding workshop with a particular focus on newly appointed OHS personnel. The workshop aimed to define and clarify the roles of the various parties in the OHS mix. Participants were the Department Manager, the H.R. Manager the OHS people reported to and existing and new members of the OHS team.

Objective of the workshop

Build a highly effective safety team that will lead the organisation to safety excellence.


1 Existing team members gave a10-15 minute presentation on-

What they do

How they do it

What the challenges are

What they would like to do if they had the resources

What assistance they want from the team leader to help them perform at a high level

2 New team members discussed the challenges they saw integrating into the safety team

3 There was some discussion from senior personnel of their expectations of safety team members

4 Discussion on “Where to from here?”-What additional assistance is needed to participants in their journey to build a highly effective team.


All participants reported that the workshop assisted to clarify their role in the team. We all got to know and understand each other better.


Teambuilding is an important part of the OHS persons role. You are advised to read up on the topic.

George can be contacted on, 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,,,07-38021516, 0421860574, My passion is the reduction of permanently life altering (Class 1 ) personal damage

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