James Wood is definitely not a safety professional, he has no qualifications in safety and does not work in a safety role.

This has not stopped him from becoming 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 25 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 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 at 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 full time 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 will share his story and how it changed his life.

Read more about James’ presentation CHOICES HERE

James Wood

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!

James Wood



I was personally humbled by James’ ability to not only be extremely independent but brutally honest about his experience and the lessons he has learnt since that time. The degree of acceptance by James was admirable and refreshing.

Malcolm McPhan

Project Manager


Project leadership can bang on about safety, procedures, processes, compliance, SWMS, take 5’s, KPI’s etc etc however nothing has a greater impact on individuals than a real life story and the impact choices have on peoples lives and wellbeing.

Carl Allcorn

Consortium Project Director


James is captivating and inspirational given what he has had to endure since his injury. To be able to hear first hand how one poor decision affected his life is truly heart wrenching and definitely shines light on how quickly it can go wrong if you don’t stop and think. Afterall, you don’t get a second chance when it’s too late. l will always think of James when l am going to undertake a task and ensure i give it the due consideration it needs especially where you know that the consequences could be life changing. Thanks James

Shane Le Fevre

Operations Manager


James Wood is down to earth and very open with his message about choices and what, why and if only he did not taken the short cut and followed the correct process his life would be so different today. What a hard lesson to learn for James Wood but if he has changed one persons way of thinking in work crew then that is a positive as that work crew member will teach another. James Wood is a great motivator.

Sheila McGregor

HSE Advisor





We share our stories to try and show workplaces and management groups the ‘Real’ impact that workplace incidents can have and the reason that we must all be involved in SAFETY.

Our stories bring reality to all of the effort and resources that a business puts into safety, most people need a ‘Reason’ to use the training and systems and procedures that you put in place. Our Safety Speakers give them that reason by showing and explaining how their workplace accidents changed their lives and affected many of the people around them.