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Philip Smallman
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Philip Smallman

Philip Smallman’s real life experiences have assisted many who work in major manufacturing industries throughout Australia. He forces his audiences to sit up and take notice and in turn provokes positive changes in attitudes to workplace safety. A powerful and professional speaker who is making huge changes to Australia’s Workplace Safety.

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Testimonials for Philip Smallman

Phil was very good, he kept my audience of 95 people glued to their seats for 100 minutes as he took them on a journey. Phil really hit home in more ways then one, as I looked around the room that day I could see people wiping their eyes as tears flowed, others had their mouth wide open in dismay and others obviously searching their own minds on what they may have done in the past that could have been dangerous and stupid and lucky not to be affected. He’s speech set the scene for the rest of the day which was so important for my conference to be a success so I thank him for that”.
CSR Lightweight Systems


"Phil, yesterday morning did a truly wonderful presentation, bought tears to my eyes and that of many others, I had to give him a hug after.It was a very strong message and I think one that will travel well throughout the business.Having our management group there yesterday, I think has inspired them to spread the message more widely across the business.  Fingers crossed, hopefully, this means we will look to book more sessions for the business. Look forward to Phil's next session, will try not to be too teary :)

Safety Health & Environment Co-ordinator, Qenos


“Wow.  For the hour that Philip spoke for you could hear a pin drop in the room.  Philip's story is very personal one that leaves a very strong message about why safety and just importantly ones attitude to safety is important.  The message that he left with our audience is one that I am sure will stay with them for a long time to come. “

CFC Group


“The overall rating of excellent is supported by the impact Phil had upon the employees that were privileged to attend the presentations.  Phil's story that he relates about the incident he was involved in, the impacts of the incident where he explains the loss and costs and the overall summary of the presentation into a basic safety culture model is outstanding.   The concept of employees who take short cuts and not follow systems and practices moves the employee from the realm of possibility to the realm of probability is very important and the choice of the word 'arrogance' to describe the attitude that people take when they put themselves into the realm of probability really hit home to employees.From a personal perspective, I consider it an honour to have travelled with Phil over the week and I have gained a perspective on Safety that will impact on my life from this point onwards and as a Safety Practitioner, I believe I can influence other people with the concepts Phil presented so they will have the choice to remain in the realm of possibility or put themselves in the realm of probability.”

Ergon Energy

Philip Smallman Travels from VIC
Fee Range: .Up to $5000

Philip Smallman's Biography

Philip Smallman’s real life experiences have assisted many who work in major manufacturing industries throughout Australia. He forces his audiences to sit up and take notice and in turn provokes positive changes in attitudes to workplace safety. A powerful and professional speaker who is making huge changes to Australia’s Workplace Safety.  

Philip Smallman could have lost his life as a result of a workplace accident.  He didn’t – but will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.  One small lapse in concentration and his world came crashing down.  He is now a paraplegic. Philip Smallman is unique.  He is a professional speaker on a mission.  In two powerful hours, Philip will change attitudes towards workplace safety.  

Most Australian Companies have been very progressive in improving our workplaces over the last two decades.  The final hurdle is personal accountability and commitment from each individual to build a sustainable safety culture. Philip Smallman is on a mission to help individuals, no matter what their role in the Company to understand why it’s important to contribute to a safe culture.  

Workplace safety, as you know, isn’t just all about saving lives.  It’s about preventing injury and the trauma that means for workers, their family, workmates and the Company. Philip Smallman is having a powerful effect and bringing about big changes in workplace attitudes towards safety.  This is being reflected by a change in behavior by workers, both towards their fellow workers and towards management.  

As a principal client, Telstra used the services of Philip for 6 years in various roles from inspirational talks to workers (and their families), as an advisor on safety committees and recently was the host in a series of videos aimed at Telstra employees and their families. The letter below, from Alan Olden, the Executive General Manager, Metro Service to Philip following a presentation to a management team provides an insight into the power of Philip’s presentations.   In November and December of 2003 Philip delivered his presentation to all workers and managers at the Alcoa site at Point Henry.  Following a zero injury rate in January 2004 there was evidence to suggest that not only was there an attitude shift towards building a safer culture but there was a behavioral shift as well. Alcoa is well on the way to building a committed workforce with intolerance to injuries.  

In November 2006, Philip spoke to all employees at SPC Ardmona Operations at Shepparton and Kyabram. In February 2007 the company announced that no injuries were reported for the period of January 2007, a record never achieved by the Company.  

When it comes to talking to employees, Phil is one of them; they relate to him and he relates to them. One small thing changed Phil’s life forever.  Do your employees understand the importance of the small things when it comes to safety?  Do they accept personal responsibility and accountability for their safety and the safety of their workmates? Do they transfer a safe life ethic to their home life as well?  Philip will convince them of why they should make safety an integral aspect of their work ethic.  

Philip has a powerful message that revolves around an account of the consequences of his injury.  An understanding of the consequences helps us to finally understand the ‘Essence of Health and Safety’.  

What we are rarely confronted with is the costs associated with ‘lifestyle altering’ injuries.  We often hear people say “you did not think about the consequences of your actions” but the reality is that very few people ever hear about the true costs associated with injury.  How can we ever think about the costs if we don’t know about them?  Well, from personal experience Philip will tell you that the costs are very, very expensive.  With every ‘life-changing’ injury there will be financial, professional, social, emotional, psychological and deeply personal costs.  It is coming to understand these costs that lead us to understand the essence of health and safety and the human costs associated with injury.   If our judgments are based on an underlying rejection of safety principles and resources, and these judgments become habitual, we take ourselves out of the realm of ‘possibility’ and into the realm of ‘probability’.  If we personally make poor judgments often enough then it becomes probably that we are going to get hurt, it’s just a matter of time.  

Philip should know, he was in the ‘probability’ realm.  His injury was not an accident ……. he just ran out of time and luck. Arrogance is what put Philip into the realm of probability and consequently into a wheelchair.  

The human costs associated with injury are real and there are thousands of people in this country who will testify to the same conclusion.  Sure, accidents happen but a true accident is very rare in work places.  Most injuries occur because people continue to make poor judgments.  Many of us consider the essence of safety is all about money, personal protective equipment, work procedures, training, manuals, safety equipment etc. 

The truth is that the essence of safety is the human costs associated with injury.   Once the safety management teams of companies such as Telstra, Alcoa and recently TXU, Sims Metals, SPC Ardmona, Nilsen Electrics and Toll SPD heard Philip’s message, they made the commitment that every person must hear the message. They are committed to positive change and recognize Philip as a powerful tool to help them build a safety culture.

Speaking Topics Include

Positive change

Making safety personal

The 'why' of safety

Building a safety culture