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Winds of change

01 February 2018

Since I stepped into the role of editor at the end of last year, a lot has been happening in the UK health and safety arena that will have a significant impact going forward. 

Just before Christmas, Dame Judith Hackitt's interim review into the Grenfell Tower fire was published and warned that the current regulatory system is "not fit for purpose" and opens the door to "shortcuts" that put lives at risk. The review of building regulations and fire safety urged a "universal shift in culture" and said: "Change needs to start now." The final report is expected in the spring.

Then 2018 began with the news that Carillion plc, the UK's second largest contractor which employs around 20,000 in the UK, had been forced into compulsory liquidation after running up debts of more than £1.5bn and a pension deficit of almost £1bn. The consequences "are far reaching and unprecedented", according to Mark Maunsell, associate director at Clearwater international, a mid-market advisory service. 

More than 800 redundancies have already been confirmed, and there are also fears about the knock-on impact among businesses in its supply chain that are still owed money. 

"[It is] a situation made worse by the fact Carillion only self-delivered 10-15% of its services. The large sums of money will bring into question the sustainability of a number of sub-contractors who considered Carillion a key client and will at best receive pennies on the pound of monies owed," Maunsell added.

There are legislative changes knocking on the door too: The publication of ISO 45001 – the new international standard for occupational health and safety – is due in March, and the new PPE regulation comes into force in April. 

With so much going on, it is vital for businesses to stay up to date on the latest news, guidance and information. 

To ensure that HSM continues to keep its finger on the pulse of the latest trends and developments in health and safety, we have strengthened our editorial team. We are pleased to introduce Charlie Kortens as deputy editor, as well as respected industry journalists Georgina Bisby and Tina Weadick, who will be regular contributors going forward. 

In 2018, our series of health and safety events will continue to provide high quality and topical education and information for health and safety practitioners that is free to attend. The first seminar topics for our next event, The Health & Safety Event (10 to 12 April, The NEC, Birmingham), are now available to view and register to attend online at www.healthandsafetyevents.co.uk 

With presentations including 'Preparing for ISO45001', 'The changing face of regulation', and 'Lessons from Grenfell Tower', it is certainly an educational programme that anyone responsible for running a safe and efficient workplace cannot afford to miss.

Look out for a full preview of the show and seminar programme in the March/April issue of HSM.