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Innovation & education

29 April 2013

Health & Safety South kicks off the trio of health & safety events for 2013 with dynamic new features and an extensive conference programme

Health & Safety South kicks off the trio of health & safety events for 2013 with dynamic new features and an extensive conference programme

Health & Safety South, the first in a series of three regional events in 2013, will be held on 12 - 13 March at Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher. The event has multiple elements to provide visitors with an array of benefits, including a comprehensive conference programme providing the latest updates on industry trends and legislation; access to the best suppliers of products and services; and the opportunity to network with other professionals.

The conference programme, organised in conjunction with the British Safety Council, covers a wide range of the most relevant and pertinent topics affecting UK industries today and will be delivered by some of the most respected experts. One of the seminars that visitors can look forward to is 'Directors in the Dock - Could it be you?' presented by Chris Green, head of regulatory services in the Midlands for Weightmans LLP. The seminar which is aimed at all employers as well as health and safety practitioners will look at the HSE's Fee for Intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme six months on and how that has affected industry. The seminar will also cover enforcement and inspection of safety in the coalition era; charging for inspectors, common sense safety and the procedures for appealing enforcement notices.

Green said: "I'm hoping to give employers a better insight on their duties and responsibilities when it comes to health and safety within the company and give them a 'heads up' on what to look out for. The perception is that health and safety is being enforced disproportionately and judging by some of the recent media headlines people may now be less likely to volunteer to do a health and safety job due to this. So, with this seminar I'm hoping to straighten out any uncertainties an individual may have within their job role." Characteristic of the diverse and expert nature of the programme and its speakers is a presentation that addresses the various hazards catering organisations and their workers face in their day-to-day jobs. Zerxes Ghinwalla, group health & food safety manager at Searcys, will discuss 'Succeeding in safety within the hospitality sector'. Commenting on his seminar, Ghinwalla said: "I will be looking at the challenges faced in the hospitality sector and discussing techniques and methods to address the risks.

"One of the main challenges we face in this sector is the number of ridiculous and spurious legal claims that people make. It's a difficult issue to address because people are constantly bombarded by messages from the media and through advertising.

Those adverts that say 'have you ever had a slip, trip or a fall? Then you could make a claim' - are tempting people. I'm not talking about people with a genuine claim as they are entitled to the full protection of the law but people who are being tempted by the chance to make some money." The seminar will also be addressing communication and training within the sector. As an industry the hospitality sector has a high turnover of staff and therefore it's difficult to get the training programme right. Ghinwalla added: "If the staff are given a great deal of training but leave after six months then the investment is 'wasted' somewhat. But, also how do you make sure that all the staff are trained to the right level? This is a tricky problem which I like to keep on top of by conducting many training sessions myself. The staff are at the sharp end and I think by spending time with them, you get a real perspective on what the true challenges of the job are."

Working together more closely Highlighting the fact that he believes health and safety should facilitate business is Shaun Davis, group director of safety, health & wellbeing at Royal Mail Group, with his seminar entitled: 'The Health and Safety Professional as a Business Partner'.

Commenting on the seminar which is aimed at all health and safety professionals, Davis said: "Business partnering works really well in HR so why can't it work in health and safety? HR business partnering is a well-known process whereby HR professionals work closely with business leaders and/or line managers to achieve shared organisational objectives. With this 'track record' of success I'm pretty certain we can all learn from this and apply some of the key techniques to develop stronger relationships within organisations!" Davis adds that this process may involve the formal designation of 'health and safety business partners', which means health and safety professionals who are embedded within the business, and sometimes act as part of a wider process of operations. If this is the case, which Davis proposes it is, certain questions arise such as:

What is valuable business partnering? Is there a return on investment, if so what is it? What does business partnering look like? What does success look like?

Interactive experience As well as the British Safety Council conference stream there are other, more practical, seminars taking place across the two days. Visitors will be able to see vendors and event partners such as 3M host two practical seminars on 'PPE Compatibility' and 'The Science of Fit'.

Something new for this year's South event is the 'Safety Dialogue' Live Panel which will be held on both days of the event. The panel offers visitors the opportunity to engage with live debates surrounding the most significant issues of the day, and this year the panel of experts will focus on the issues surrounding Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) and specifically face fit testing for masks.

The panel includes top names such as Frank Angear of the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) and Alan McArthur of 3M Safety Solutions.

Innovation in action At the event there will also be a substantial exhibition where the leading product and service providers in the health and safety sector are exhibiting and will be available to advise on the latest technology and business practices.

Health & Safety South is supported by the British Safety Council and Safety Groups UK. Furthermore, it was recently announced that 3M Safety Solutions is to be the lead sponsor for the series of regional Health and Safety events in 2013.

The event is also officially endorsed by the International Institute of Risk & Safety Management (IIRSM). Health & Safety South is free to enter and has free parking but it is strongly recommended that visitors register in advance to facilitate speed of entry and for guaranteed seminar places as these are extremely popular.

To register online visit: www.healthandsafetyevents.co.uk or call the event hotline on the telephone number below.