CNB Safe

Safety Speaker - James Wood

James Wood is an internationally recognised award winning Safety Speaker.

James’ 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.

James uses his experience of having a workplace injury and the knowledge gained from visiting workplaces for over 15 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!

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 tells the story of his accident and how it changed his life.
The presentation requires approximately 60 minutes & includes:

  • Description of the accident
  • Factors leading up to the accident
    • No job plan
    • Taking a risk
    • Not protecting himself
  • Hospital
  • Rehabilitation
  • How the accident affected other people
    • His workmates
    • His family
    • Relationships
  • Getting back to work (or not)
  • Life after injury
  • Blame
  • Compensation

The CHOICES presentation also allows time for interaction & a question/answer session.

Read more about Choices Presentation here

A Day with James Wood Workshop

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

A Day with James Wood presentation requires approx. 60 minutes and includes:

  • Revision of James’ accident reminding attendees that the CHOICES James made 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

Read more about A Day with James Wood Here

James Wood giving toolbox talk

Request a Safety Speaker

Photo Album

Photo Album

What people say about our Safety Speakers

  • James story is very powerful and he speaks openly and honestly about his bad choice resulting in a life long sentence. Bloody Brilliant.

    Paul Burns – Manager Rail Infrastructure Maintenance ,  DEPT of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure South Australia
  • Thank you James for speaking at our recent Safety Summit, our day was all about “Who are you Safe for?” Your Choices talk hit all the right notes and you had our attendees captivated. They appreciated your “Down to Earth” nature and your candour in speaking about your very personal experience.

    Lisa Foster – Health Safety & Training ,  Glencore Bulga Underground
  • This is the second time I have utilised James Wood to speak at a Safety Day and he has not let us down, with his emotive talks indicating the choices he had and what the choices each and every one of the audience will have in the future and who may be affected. Highly skilled […]

    Jim Batey ,  HST Manager - Glencore​ Bulga Underground Operations