Change attitudes, be heard, save lives
07 September 2016
The Health and Safety North event returns to Bolton Arena on 12-13 October, arming health and safety professionals in the North of England with the latest industry news and legislative developments. HSM discovers what visitors can expect to see at this year's event.
Once again, the British Safety Council (BSC) has curated a highly topical and thought-provoking education programme for the free-to-attend conference with leading industry speakers offering unique insights into health and safety policy and practice.
Developed specifically to meet the needs of health and safety professionals working in industrial, commercial and public sector businesses, Health and Safety North offers visitors even more in the way of educational content, interactive forums and product manufacturers and service providers.
All-inclusive British Safety Council conference sessions
This year’s conference sessions reflect significant developments in health and safety policy and practice over the past year, notably a timely legal perspective on the Sentencing Council guidelines for health and safety offences just over six months after its introduction in February 2016.
Opening the conference on a powerful note, Shaun Knott, manager at Casella, explains why occupational illnesses are a far bigger killer than industrial accidents even though they don’t grab the headlines. An expert in the assessment and control of occupational exposure to dust, Shaun sets out the key issues facing industry and how businesses can better protect the workforce from diseases caused by occupational health exposure.
Moving onto an issue that has divided the health and safety community, Zoe Betts, criminal regulatory lawyer from leading UK legal firm Pinsent Masons LLP, assesses the Sentencing Council guidelines for health and safety offences, which was introduced in February, and the impact that increased fines has had on regulatory compliance.
“The definitive sentencing guideline for all health and safety offences has dramatically changed the sentencing landscape,” she says. “Never before has there been such intense scrutiny on the risk of harm arising from business activities and the systems in place to ensure regulatory compliance. It remains to be seen whether the potential for eye-watering fines will create safer workplaces and a tangible reduction in accidents or ill-health.”
Safe businesses are reliant on the entire workforce – from managers down to front-line workers – maintaining excellent standards of health and safety. In a thought-provoking presentation Nigel Bryson, director of Bryson Consulting references the Health and Safety Executive’s new strategy for health and safety in Great Britain and highlights how worker involvement can contribute to effective health and safety management. Nigel will also offer practical advice on the benefits of manager-worker collaboration.
“When you look at all of the reviews that were done over the last five years and the fact that a number like Löfstedt singled out worker involvement as one of the most productive areas that could make a significant difference on health and safety performance, how is that no one is talking about it?,” he asks.
After outlining key points in the HSE strategy document, Nigel will reference three case studies to highlight “the practicalities of how worker involvement contributed to the successes achieved”.
Closing the first day, Harry Gallagher and Shaun Curry from training providers Macnaughton McGregor (aka 2Macs) will be hosting a scenario-based workshop that offers delegates first-hand experience of health and safety engagement.
“The conference delegates are led to understand that there has been a serious incident and what they’ll see is a key person’s regrets about it and the huge impact it has had on everyone involved,” explains Harry on the scenario that is played out.
“What we do is go back in time and we witness a conversation between the two key players who could have stopped the accident but didn’t due to various pressures. We halt it at the point where the audience can see what is going to happen next. From then on, the whole process becomes interactive. Through a highly enjoyable and memorable process, the audience gets the opportunity to question both people, challenge their behaviours and ultimately influence what should have happened, rather than what did happen.”
Designed to inspire positive safety behaviour, the interactive session enables delegates to develop tips and techniques that they can take back and successfully implement into the workplace.
“By the end of the session, they’ve achieved something real and tangible,” adds Harry. “They will have recognised the behaviours of the people in front of them. What they actually end up doing is advising themselves.”
Roger Ward, director of SHEQ at ByBox Holdings, opens day two with an inspiring presentation on the ByBox Coventry Distribution Hub, which was awarded the British Safety Council’s prestigious Sword of Honour award in 2015 in recognition of the very high standard of health and safety measures it has successfully implemented. The ByBox Coventry Hub is one of only 61 organisations worldwide that have achieved a Sword of Honour and Roger will share the benefits that this brought to the wider business.
Mark Davies, managing director at consultancy 7Futures, has been consulting in workplace resilience, wellbeing and performance since 2000. Drawing on his extensive experience of working with elite performers, sports personalities and the military, he will offer delegates practical advice on how to build resilience by successfully managing stressful situations.
“Harvard Business School says that a person’s resilience, more than education, experience and training, will determine who succeeds and fails,” says Mark. “But how can we work with resilience to proactively manage performance without compromising people’s health and wellbeing? I’ll be exploring a model that enables delegates to treat stress as an adaptive force to strengthen and grow their resilience and protect their long-term wellbeing.”
The Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 have attracted considerable debate among industry onlookers but has the latest legislative update made a difference to the construction industry? Kevin Fear, health and safety strategy lead at the Construction Industry Training Board, explores the thinking behind the latest version and the impact it has had on the construction sector.
As Kevin points out: “The level of discussion about the regulations since their introduction has risked forgetting their main purpose, which is to protect workers.”
The afternoon session draws to a close with another highly topical issue that will be of significant interest to businesses – the thorny issue of HSE’s fee for intervention (FFI). Kevin Bridges and Gareth McManus, partner and associate at legal firm Pinsent Masons LLP, offer some practical advice on what businesses should expect and how they can prepare from a visit from an HSE inspector. Highlighting the changes that have occurred as a result of FFI, they will answer the all-important question – when can the HSE inspector charge a fee for their engagement with the business?
“Effectively responding to incidents and visits from regulators has never been more important, particularly in light of ‘FFI’, which allows an inspector to charge for their time if they identify a ‘material breach’ of health and safety legislation,” says Gareth.
“This session will provide practical advice in dealing with regulators and responding to incidents to help ensure your organisation complies with its obligations while also minimising the risk of any enforcement action being taken.”
As well as the British Safety Council conference programme, the Health and Safety North event will also feature the extremely popular Safety Dialogue with panellists drawn from event partners 3M, the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) and the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) and leading health and safety organisations. Delegates will also be able to hear about the inspiring Learning Occupational Health by Experiencing Risks (LOcHER) project, which provides college students with information about occupational health risks and new approaches to tackling occupational disease. Other topical issues that will be up for discussion are respiratory protection, noise hazards and hearing protection and training and demonstrating competence.
The educational content at the show is a major draw for visitors. Following its resounding success at the Health and Safety Event at the NEC in March where it made its debut the National Examination Board for Occupational Safety & Health (NEBOSH) Education Pavilion appears for the first time at Bolton.
The Health and Safety North event is centred on an exhibition that includes the most well recognised trade bodies, manufacturers and distributors, training providers and consultants in the health and safety sector.
To register online visit www.healthandsafetyevents.co.uk