The modern world moves quickly and the health and safety sector is no exception. It’s difficult to keep up with changes in the law, changes to technical legislation and changes to working practices. But, if you have responsibility for the health and safety of others it's vital that you do keep up and it’s one of the reasons why the conference programme at Health and Safety North 2014 is so helpful. Here HSM looks at the recognised experts who are sharing their knowledge at this year’s event
It’s possible that health and safety is only one of a number of different ‘hats’ which you wear in your daily working life and therefore keeping up to speed can seem even more daunting. Also, training is vital but it’s expensive…and how do you know if the course which you think you need to take is going to cover what you require? So a free educational program, designed and delivered by experts will prove incredibly useful in firstly, getting some more knowledge on a subject for free and secondly identifying the areas where you do really need to invest in specialist training. The conference programme at the above event is designed to cover the most pressing current issues and vitally, the presenters are among the most respected names in the industry with vast experience. They can be trusted to cover topics accurately, give the best advice and they’ll even make themselves available to answer questions afterwards.
One such respected name is that of Ian Travers from the HSE who will be delivering the keynote session on the morning of 8th October in Bolton on the theme of corporate governance. Ian, Deputy Director of Chemicals Regulation joined HSE in 1992 as part of the chemical and major hazard regulatory team. He is an expert in process safety management and performance measurement. He pioneered the use of key performance indicators to monitor the effectiveness of critical chemical process systems and was the author of the first publication to set out how to do this (Developing Key Performance Indicator for Process Safety, HSG 254).
The embodiment of the expertise contained within the seminar programme at Health and Safety 2014 is Professor David Fishwick MBChB FRCP (Glasgow and London) AFOM MD. Professor Fishwick is a true expert and currently a consultant respiratory physician with a major clinical and research interest in occupational lung disease. He also holds the following roles; Consultant Respiratory Physician, STH Foundation NHS Trust, Co-Director of the Centre for Workplace Health (CWH), and Chief Medical Officer, Health and Safety Laboratory. At the conference Professor Flitwick will be discussing the causes, risk assessment and potential solutions appertaining to respiratory ill health and from his CV you can appreciate that the seminar will be incredibly thorough, well-researched and useful to those with a need in this area.
Another well-respected name and a familiar face to those that have attended the Bolton show annually is that of Kevin Bridges: Partner & Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner: Pinsent Masons LLP. Operating, in what is to most people, the very complex area of health and safety law Kevin is a Regulatory Partner specialising in health and safety, fire safety and environmental law, and related criminal and civil litigation. He is dual qualified as a solicitor and chartered safety and health practitioner and is a Council Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. Kevin provides his clients with preventative health and safety advice, as well as responding to incidents when they happen. He frequently undertakes training and briefing sessions for boards and senior managers all over the country on their health and safety responsibilities and the risk of personal liability arising from consent, connivance and neglect. Kevin has been instructed in a number of high profile fatal accident cases and advised the first company to be prosecuted with the statutory offence of Corporate Manslaughter together with its Managing Director who was separately prosecuted for Gross Negligence Manslaughter.
Liability risk control
While the above are all presenting on day one of the event expertise is not short in supply on day two either. Again, presenting on legal matters is Helen Devery, Partner and Head of Office at BLM Manchester where she manages a team of lawyers specialising in defending regulatory prosecutions for private companies across all industry sectors and a number of public bodies including local authorities, adult and child care facilities and nurseries. Helen is also one of the BLM’s Corporate Risks Partners and delivers training to many boards and organisations on effective liability risk control.
Speaking about her presentation at Health and Safety 2014 Helen says: "Good safety management techniques involve building on best practice including the lessons learned from legal claims and prosecutions. I want to show people how to use legal risk management techniques to improve safety. I hope people will find my session really useful as I have included case studies and other practical tips to help people improve risk management across their workplace.”
As an aside to the conference programme, keeping up with the latest products and services can be as tricky as keeping up to date with legislation. The leading companies in the safety industry are constantly conducting R&D and therefore the ability to provide solutions for different materials or substances or different environments is constantly evolving. As well as absorbing the educational content it’s also useful to take a good look around the accompanying exhibition of which 40% of the companies, trade bodies and training providers are completely new compared to last year. These stands too are packed with experts, who deal with end user problems on a daily basis, so it’s well worthwhile discussing your concerns with them.
Along with event partners, Arco, DuPont and NQA and title sponsor 3M, Health & Safety North 2014 is supported by the British Safety Council and officially endorsed by the International Institute of Risk & Safety Management (IIRSM). The event is free to enter and the car parking now includes a free shuttle bus to the venue. Also it is highly recommend that visitors register in advance for entry tickets, especially for seminar places as these are extremely popular.