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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
March 24, 2014

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Fit for purpose

This month, SHP launches a new editorial board, drawing on the expertise of four health and safety stalwarts. Over the next two pages, we take a closer look at the board’s functions and its members, and how it will serve a diverse readership in an ever-changing world.

Readers that attended the SHP-IOSH awards on 24 October last year will remember the speech that IOSH chief executive Jan Chmiel gave on the trends that are shaping the profession. 

 
These include globalisation, the rise of the deregulatory agenda, changes in employment structures, the growing influence of social media on brand reputation and the emergence of new technologies and materials. All of these, and others, will influence and shape the competencies, skills and knowledge that health and safety professionals need to be effective in the future. 
 
SHP’s readership is incredibly diverse, covering all sectors of the economy — construction, health care, manufacturing, retail, utilities and offshore, and waste and recycling to name a few. Increasingly, it reflects an international audience and a market where the standards of health and safety vary considerably.
 
In an ever-changing world, it’s vital that this prized membership magazine, which remains the market leader, continues to reflect the needs of its 34,000 (and growing) readers and deals with the myriad of challenges that its members face.   
 
To help assist the editorial team to further develop the magazine and its online content so that it remains fit for purpose, SHP has set up an editorial board that brings together four leading industry experts — Nigel Bryson, Nattasha Freeman, David Thomas and Louise Ward. 
 
Each member boasts an impressive CV and a superlative track record in health and safety policy and practice (see individual biographies on page 38). The four board members bring a wealth of industry experience and knowledge to the table and no doubt will be familiar to most readers. 
 
To start with, Nattasha Freeman, David Thomas and Louise Ward have all served as judges for the SHP-IOSH awards. 
 
Nattasha Freeman also has the distinguished honour of being a past IOSH president and currently serves IOSH as a trustee. A chartered fellow of IOSH, she has legal expertise and offers a wealth of industry experience from such contrasting sectors as construction, health, the rail industry and retail.
 
Nigel Bryson is another chartered fellow of IOSH and was awarded the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ (RoSPA) Distinguished Service Award for his “outstanding contribution to the cause of health and safety at work”. He also holds an OBE for his services to occupational health and safety.
 
David Thomas is a chartered health and safety professional who brings global insights from work in countries like the United Arab Emirates as well as an expertise in global product standards. A specialist in height safety, he also understands the regulator’s role, having worked in the past as a principal specialist inspector of health and safety (construction) for the Health and Safety Executive.  
 
Another chartered health and safety professional, Louise Ward comes with a huge breadth of industry experience and knowledge gained through such diverse sectors as nuclear power, investment banking, manufacturing and the civil service. She currently works for Network Rail.
 
Drawing on our members’ collective expertise, SHP envisages that each will carry an ambassadorial role for the magazine, which may include, for example, sourcing potential contributors through conferences, events and industry networks. 
 
The SHP editorial team will remain the first port of call for article submissions and will have ultimate say over what is published but we would see our industry experts as another outlet for contributors to present articles for submission.
 
SHP also plans to tap into the board members as a resource. This could include asking our panel of experts to provide technical features, informed opinion pieces and professional advice on topical issues that add value to both the magazine and SHPonline. 
 
Value added to SHP
 
However, this does not mean that they will replace our regular contributors or any writers that have strong story ideas. Rather their contributions are intended as an important resource that can add further value to the magazine and SHPonline.
 
To ensure that we continue to meet the needs of SHP’s readership and maintain the brand’s high standards, we would like the board members to act as a sounding board, so that the editorial team can ensure that any new content is relevant to professionals.
 
The board’s membership will change on an annual basis and submissions to join will take place towards the end of each year. Successful applicants must hold at least chartered membership of IOSH status as a minimum requirement. Criteria for submissions will be made available later in the year when the next board is chosen. 
 
Together with our industry experts, the editorial board will also include SHP’s editor Nick Warburton who will act as chair; commissioning editor Mark Glover; and digital editor Mark Rowland. The board will meet on a formal basis at UBM’s offices at Ludgate House twice a year. 
 
The editor will provide an agenda before the meeting and readers that would like to suggest issues for discussion can contact the editorial team at: [email protected]
 
Nigel Bryson
 
Nigel Bryson is director of Bryson Consulting and has worked at national, European and international level on trade union health and safety issues for over 20 years. In January 2003, he established his own consultancy, specialising on worker involvement in health and safety. He is seen as one of the leading authorities on practical worker involvement in the UK. 
 
In May 2011, Nigel published his book Zero harm: worker involvement — the missing piece. He is a chartered fellow of IOSH and in May 2000, was awarded the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ distinguished service award for his ‘outstanding contribution to the cause of health and safety at work.’ 
 
In June 2002, Nigel was awarded an OBE for ‘services to occupational health and safety.’ He is also listed on the Occupational Safety and Health Consultant’s Register.
 
Nattasha Freeman
Nattasha Freeman is director for health and safety at GBR Phoenix Beard Property Consultants with over 20 years’ experience as a health and safety practitioner. 
 
She studied law and decided that the best way to make a difference was to move into risk management. 
 
Nattasha started her career at British Rail and then Railtrack. Her CV also includes construction, commercial, prisons, hospitals, schools, house building, retail, automotive and airports. She now majors in property management and also works in the role of CDMC.
 
A  former IOSH president (2008-9), she currently serves IOSH as a trustee, sits on the networks committee, and is a chartership panel chair. As president she championed a pilot on proactive interventions and return to work and pushed the concept of sensible safety and practical solutions.  
 
David Thomas
David Thomas is technical director at The heightec Group Ltd, a leading supplier of equipment, training and support for professional work at height and rescue. He is a chartered civil engineer, with his early career spent at Allott & Lomax and WS Atkins, as well as a chartered safety and health practitioner.  
 
David was previously safety, health and environment director at William Hare Ltd — a global leader in engineered steel solutions with facilities in the UK, UAE and India. 
 
Prior to that, he was a principal specialist inspector of health and safety (construction) at the HSE and technical advisor for its ‘falls from height’ programme. Specialising now in height safety, his experience includes design, contracting, enforcement, manufacturing and training. 
 
Louise Ward

Louise Ward is a chartered health and safety professional with over 14 years’ experience in a variety of sectors, including nuclear power; newspaper production; investment banking; facilities management; manufacturing and the Civil Service.
She is currently employed as head of passenger and public safety at Network Rail.
 
As well as being a practising health and safety specialist, Louise has been involved in the development of legislation, guidance material and regulatory policy.  
 
She has a particular interest in professional development and supports a number of initiatives in this area. Louise is a member of the judging panel for the SHP-IOSH Awards and the RoSPA Awards. Louise also writes for SHP.

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