James Wood – Safety Speaker

James Wood is an internationally recognised award winning Safety Speaker.

His passion for sharing Safety Messages and educating employees, employers and management teams on the real impact of workplace injury has seen him share his message from the workshop floor to the boardroom.

Woody as he is often known uses his experience of having a workplace injury and the knowledge gained from visiting workplaces for over 20 years to share the ways that we can all prevent workplace injury and fatality.

The impact of hearing James Wood speak is something that will stay with you for a long time.

James has won numerous awards for his work in the field of Safety Information and was recently acknowledged by his peers at the Hunter Safety Awards as the 2016 WHS Champion.

“This doesn’t happen to me!”…. that was what went through my head when the doctor told me I had broken my back & damaged my spinal cord.

I was just getting to a great stage in my life, living independently, great job & career options, nice car & a couple of motorbikes. Good friends and a steady relationship.


All of this changed because I made some wrong CHOICES while doing a simple job at work!

I was airlifted to hospital and then spent the next 3 months in hospital and then a rehabilitation centre for another 6 months.

It’s quite ironic that it took nine months as I basically had to learn to live all over again!

Everything that I used to be able to do easily now took much more time and planning, getting dressed, showering & personal care, I had to learn to drive a car using hand controls, and many other things that we all take for granted.

And then there are the things that I can’t do anymore. I can’t change a light bulb, I can’t push a lawn mower and it is almost impossible to take the rubbish bin out for collection.

One of the things I really struggled with after my accident was having to ask people to help me to do things that I should be able to do for myself! You have no idea how that affects your pride!

James Wood

James Wood is listed in the Top 16 LinkedIn EHS Influencers for 2020.

Coming in at No.6, up 2 places from 2019, this show that James is committed and passionate about sharing safety messages on a global level.

Follow James on LinkedIn 

Coping with life in a wheelchair

At the time of my accident, the organisation where I worked did not offer me alternative employment, so I found myself unable to go back to the job I had spent all of my adult life doing and training for. I had to learn to live and support myself again.

As a result of my accident my career opportunities were wiped out, I just can’t do some of the things I used to be able to do. Since my accident I have had to put up with some jobs that I would not have done if I had more opportunities.

I had some good people around me, my family helped me to cope both physically & mentally. I also had a couple of mates that gave me a hand when required

But it wasn’t easy.

One of the things that happened in hospital is that we would sit around and talk about our accidents, this is when I first started to realise that most of the people I was with had been hurt due to the CHOICES that they had made…. And most of them could have been prevented!

When I went through hospital & then rehab, I saw how other people were coping with their injuries, some turned to alcohol, some dabbled in some serious drugs as a way of trying to deal with what they were going through. And some people don’t cope when they have a serious accident.

I now share my story with others in the hope that it can give them some information on what it would be like to get hurt at work.

My message is to think about the CHOICES you make, don’t let it get to the stage where you have to work out how or if you will cope with a serious injury!

Workplace accidents, we always think they happen to the other bloke. How wrong can we be?

So think about the choices you make, then consider the consequences.

Safety Presentations



Choices Presentation

James Wood tells the story of his accident and how it changed his life

         Description of the accident
         Factors leading up to the accident
                     Did not plan the job
                     Took a Risk
                     Did not protect himself
         How the accident affected other people
                      His workmates
                      His family
         Getting back to work (or not)
         Life after injury

The CHOICES presentation allows time for interaction and a Q&A session.

Learn more about Choices Presentation Here

A Day with James Workshop

Ideally run 3-6 months after the CHOICES presentation as a follow up & reinforcement message.
Can also be run in conjunction with CHOICES on the same day (CHOICES a break then ADWJ)

A Day with James Wood workshop requires approx. 60 minutes and covers

Revision of James’ accident reminding attendees of the CHOICES James made that caused his injury

Interactive discussion asking participants if they have experienced an injury to themselves or others

Short DVD presentation of a typical day in James life

Questionnaire designed to make attendees think about how their situation would change if they were hurt

Closing discussion to allow attendees to raise any safety issues or concerns they have

Learn more about A Day with James Here

Clients Say

James ‘Woody’ Wood was excellent in his presentation to our Year 10 cohort in PDHPE.
The main message: Your actions have consequences and be very aware of the choices you make in life. One small mistake can have ongoing consequences that can impact you own and your family/friends lives.
People with disabilities are still normal people trying to live a normal life and navigating life as best they can with their disability. They still can achieve most if not all things able bodied people can.
Our students responded with great positivity and it challenged their thinking around safety and making wise choices.

Woody was very clear and easy to understand. He had an easy going style that the students could relate to in a real and down to earth way. The students were definitely challenged to think about their own thoughts and actions, and the consequences for both themselves and others around them.

Yes, it was harsh reality and hard hitting toolbox talk. Very visual and emotional on how it affects not just James but also his loved ones – people could relate to it and it hit the message home.

Joe Kenny

Delivery manager

Hunter Water

There is no better way to communicate the safety message, the need for safety and the choice of being safe than by someone who experienced the life transforming event of a significant injury.

James’s Blog