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Waxing lyrical about health & safety

03 November 2017

September and October have been particularly active months in the health & safety arena.

On 10 and 11 October Health & Safety North played host to a record number of visitors at its new venue, EventCity in Manchester. A packed hall was filled with more than 200 exhibitors and an unprecedented number of seminars from industry experts. The numbers speak for themselves, with a 30% increase in visitors compared with the 2016 event.

The BSIF had its biggest ever presence at Health & Safety North, taking part in many of the Safety Dialogue sessions as well as presenting its ‘Step by Step’ talk on the new PPE Regulation. With the new Regulation becoming applicable in just a few months, the BSIF has been working with the European and UK authorities in supporting its implementation. Updating its ‘Countdown’ pamphlet and working with the European Safety Federation, the Federation has produced a flowchart to illustrate what it means to all the commercial operators in the market.

The annual BSIF Networking event on 28 September gave attendees the chance to enjoy day time activities and golf, followed by a gala dinner in the evening. BSIF CEO Alan Murray launched the event by discussing the Federation’s successes over the past year, as well as plans throughout 2018. Noting the rapid expansion of BSIF membership, Alan told delegates: “This highlights the importance of focusing on quality and PPE compliance and I'd like to take this opportunity to tell the industry to be outspoken and drive the story of PPE quality."

The Federation's key challenge is to rebuild the image of the safety and health industry. "In our Federation Strategy which we launched last year we  focused on key pillars to give our members and the market the best trade body possible – one that they deserve and would be proud to be part of," Alan explained. "The pillars and the activities within them properly executed will deliver the best Federation in the country.”

A week after Health & Safety North visitors headed to Messe Düsseldorf for the bi-annual A+A Trade Fair. Providing an opportunity to witness some groundbreaking technology, not to mention plenty of networking opportunities in the old town, the show was a celebration of the industry’s commitment to addressing health & safety issues throughout the world.

Attitudes to mental health, especially within the workplace, have become a hot topic in 2017 and last month actor Ruby Wax discussed the issue at 3M’s Safety Network Live event in Bracknell. Ruby, a keen mental health campaigner, gave health and safety professionals a ‘tour of the mind’ during her hour long talk and demonstrated her dedication to the cause by revealing how she completed a Master’s degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy.

Ruby’s advice to managers on the importance of training to help spot mental health issues can be read in the October / November issue of HSM magazine, which will be published 10 November.