Showcasing safety

04 August 2021

The Health and Safety Event will be the first large scale industry event post pandemic. Here, Mark Sennett catches up with event director David Bishop to get an insight to the show.

The Health and Safety Event is now well-established at the NEC, but what's different about this year's installment?

It will be interesting to see how different this year's event will be, bearing in mind we've had a pandemic since the last event in 2019. So, I think there'll be a lot of focus on businesses - how they have restructured and diversified as well how they operate and adapt in this new landscape in order to manage the health & safety of their employees.

In terms of what we're offering as an event, we've got some wonderful features, including the British Safety Council theatre, which is focusing on three specific themes; regulatory framework, crisis management and the role of risk managers, and health and wellbeing.

We've got new key features such as a Professional Development Zone, run by the HSE Recruitment, and that's going to be really interesting, because it will help people in terms of their career, how they should look to improve themselves and how they operate their businesses. It will also touch on human resources issues, exploring how to get the best out of people and it will also look at things like psychometric testing and whether it helps you get the right people on board.

This year we are working very strategically with the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) to ensure that people understand what compliance means and what CE Certification means. We'll be utilising other expertise from companies like BSI and BTTG to showcase what certified products have been through to allow them to achieve their certification mark. It's also ties in with the BSIF message about ensuring that you buy from a Registered Safety Supplier and we will be showcasing those companies throughout the exhibition to make sure you buy with confidence as these products have met a minimum compliance standard. With the publicity generated by the pandemic, it is a great opportunity for the industry to reinforce the importance of compliant, reliable and technically proficient PPE products.

What sets the Health and Safety Event apart from other events that cover the sector?

The NEC is such a great venue because of its location and infrastructure. It's easily accessible by multiple transport networks - having both a train station and an international airport on site. Situated adjacent to the M42/M6/A45, it’s easy to get to by car. The NEC has got the biggest onsite car parking facility out of all the event arenas in the UK and this year parking is FREE.

For the health and safety industry, its central location has always appealed and that's a key USP of the event.

How far has the exhibition grown and how does it compare to previous years?

The event has increased by over 40% since the last event. The PPE market is well represented and I am delighted to be hosting such a wide-ranging selection of PPE. There are some great new brands that haven't exhibited before, including companies such as ToughBuilt, WonderGrip, Milwaukee Tools, Performance Brands and Just One Source. We also welcome companies that are entering the market for the first time such as Manosun Hand Protection.

These companies will be located alongside some well established brands like JSP, Moldex, Draeger, Bolle, Delta Plus, Tilsatec and Portwest.

Can you tell us which associations and industry bodies will be at the event and how they can help delegates?

We have a long-standing relationship with NEBOSH and they will invite their alumni to come to the event. Alongside NEBOSH there will be a number of their approved training providers who can offer further information and advice about courses and where people can develop their careers. This is closely located to the HSE Recruitment Professional Development Zone and these two elements are all geared towards improving safety health professionals' expertise. HSE Recruitment are utilizing their vast reach to pull together a wide range of talent to provide guidance on how a practitioner can develop their career. 

We also benefit from the expertise of the British Safety Industry Federation, Health and Safety Executive (HSE), British Safety Council, UKATA, BOHS, Safety Groups UK, SAFed, The Access Industry Forum and Highways England.

What key content is on offer at the show?

We are excited to have the HSE Connect area at this year's show. This is the first time that the HSE will have a theatre at the Health and Safety Event and they are compiling it themselves with their expertise. Topics will include wellbeing, stress, homeworking, leadership, safety culture and risk management. There will be question and answer sessions too, so it offers a real opportunity for engagement with high profile representatives of the HSE. There will be a question and answer sessions too, with Neil Pearson (Head of Health Safety & wellbeing) so it offers a real opportunity for engagement with a high profile representative of the HSE.

We are pleased to be working with the Highways England Driving for Better Business campaign on our new Driver Safety Zone. Driving for work is one of the most dangerous activities that employees ever undertake and government statistics show there are around 40,000 injury collisions every year involving someone who was driving for work at the time. This is thought to be significantly under-reported plus there are probably millions of further incidents that result in unnecessary damage to vehicles and property.

Surveys suggest that almost 80% of companies do not even recognise this risk in their business, yet managing it effectively can bring huge business benefits in terms of reduced incidents and injuries, less business disruption, higher levels of efficiency and performance and lower environmental impact. It also contributes to a stronger staff safety culture with leading employers realising significant reductions in staff churn and recruitment costs.

Driving for Better Business is collaborating with a number of specialist partners to create the Driver Safety Zone at this year’s Health & Safety Event. It will provide invaluable information and expert support to any safety professionals who are responsible for managing work-related road risk. Three days of high-level content will look at the legal requirements of current legislation, what industry-recognised good practice looks like, how to improve safety culture in relation to driving for work, and a look at what upcoming changes to official guidance will mean for businesses and their safety managers. A series of presentations and panel discussions will cover legislation updates, driver fatigue, distraction, staff culture, vehicle safety and much more.

Why should someone who hasn't attended the health and safety event before visit this year?

The three days of content in one venue covering so many different topics by experts in their field makes this the place to be. You've got the opportunity to network and talk to companies about challenges that you might have and it will aid visitors to find better solutions, better ways of working and better ways of doing things. 

All the content is CPD accredited, so there is huge value to your personal career. It is free to attend, and it will be a great opportunity to enjoy meeting up with your peers at a large scale event for the first time since the pandemic.

The Health and Safety Event takes place on 7-9 September 2021 at the NEC in Birmingham. For more information or to register for your free pass that will give you access to all six events, visit