British Safety Council event to focus on targeted prevention and intervention strategies for employers

The British Safety Council will be hosting its opening seminar in its 2015 events programme at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on Thursday 26 February 2015. The seminar will focus on specific areas within health and safety that are of continuing concern, as the HSE’s statistics show – occupational health and musculoskeletal disorders. There will also be updates on Fee for Intervention and sentencing guidelines along with an environmental update on ISO14001 and energy.


Joscelyne Shaw, Head of Policy at the British Safety Council, explains: “In a recent article in our magazine, Safety Management, Professor Stephen Bevan at the Work Foundation stated that: ‘A healthy workforce is a productive workforce, so the ‘payback’ from investments in early interventions to reduce their impact is likely to be substantial’.

The British Safety Council actively seeks to promote this approach to businesses – our members and others alike. We would like to invite managers, business owners, HR directors and others with similar responsibilities to join us at this morning seminar in Manchester. We will be looking at priority areas within the occupational health and safety agenda with experts in these fields who will share their knowledge and insight.”

Dr Tim Marsh, Director at RyderMarsh, will be talking about “The Person in Safety Culture”. He said: “Consideration of the role of the individual, psychology and behaviour in safety and health management is fundamental.

Everyone in an organisation contributes to its culture whether they want to or not. So often managers are caught up with targets and in the process can focus attention on obstacles and constraints and forget about the opportunities that talking about safety and health with their workers offer them. The question is how to change the conversation to empower, recognising those who are leaders, even if they don’t want to think about themselves as such, and how they can facilitate positive change.”

Steve Sumner OBE, Director of Sumner Associates, who will also be speaking during the morning, said: “There is some good best practice approaches on managing occupational health and employee wellbeing. For example, there is increasing awareness of how poor management of occupational health risks, such as stress, can impact upon the effectiveness and productivity of a business – the impact of this can be associated health conditions such as depression and anxiety as well as other related health-damaging behaviours, such as excessive alcohol consumption, and presenteeism. It is important to understand what steps, such as the provision of occupational health support services and employee assistance programmes, are available. It is as much about prevention as well it is about identifying and encouraging healthier lifestyle choices to staff.”

Mark Thomas, a health and safety consultant, will be speaking about slips and trips, arguing that it should remain firmly on the health and safety radar. “Even after 40 years of the landmark Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the figures surrounding the number of incidents from slips, trips and falls mean that this should remain a focus for organisations. It is an aspect that can be found in all businesses regardless of the size or complexity of the site and number of workers – so in that sense is a real cross-cutting health and safety issue. It is also an issue that highlights the importance of recognising the risks as much as remembering to refresh the issue with workers.”

The morning’s event will consist of presentations and a panel discussion. The full event programme can be found at: www.britsafe.org/events/2015manchester



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