Driving change in the nature of the safety and health profession.
SHP Online and Safety & Health Expo have collaborated to introduce New Safety and Health, a campaign for rethinking the role of the health and safety professional. The aim is to inspire the next generation, bring the community together and change the perceptions surrounding health & safety.
Health and safety professionals are still often viewed negatively within organisations, as discovered in a recent poll on SHP which found that 90% of industry professionals believe that health and safety has an image problem.
The issue largely stems from the mainstream press where, until a few years ago, barely a week would go by without a negative story about health and safety hitting the headlines. The amount of negative press has reduced in recent years, but does occasionally rise to the surface. To change the stigma within an organisation, often how the information is communicated is as important as the message itself.
Workplace culture also plays a large part. In the construction industry for instance, the pressure on ground level is to get the job done on time. Health and safety can be seen as a burden on hitting those targets and delaying operations. It’s often only when the benefits are fully outlined, that workers are understand.
We want to hear from you!
As part of New Safety and Health, we’re keen to find out what the remit of health & safety professionals is…
- What do you consider to be the responsibility of a health & safety professional?
- What aspects beyond health and safety are you are your team responsible for such as workplace culture, the environment and security?
- Are you responsible for mental health & wellbeing?
Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win a hamper.
New Safety and Health is:
Holistic – Caring for both mental and physical health.
For the first time this year, Safety & Health Expo will be running a dedicated Occupational Health and Wellbeing Zone. The focal point of this area will be a theatre where show visitors can listen to industry leaders and experts share their own personal stores on mental health, reducing stress, boosting resilience, including a discussion with Santander on how to manage psychological wellbeing for positive business outcome.
Seminar topics include: ‘Practical considerations for implementing mental health first aid’, ‘Using nature-inspired design to improve office occupant health and wellbeing’ and many more debates and talks…
Disruptive – Embracing new approaches and technologies.
As technology advances, manufacturers are constantly evolving new and innovative ways to keep people safe and provide more engaging training. Be it virtual reality as a way to simulate someone suffering with anxiety or depression, augmented reality, big data, or a host of wearable technology designed to protect employees.
A recent poll run on SHP revealed that 62% of readers would be happy to wear a device to detect signs of mental health if it was provided by an employer.
Over the past few months, SHP has reported on several new developments in this field, including parking wardens in Yorkshire wearing body cameras and a recent study, undertaken by YouGov for healthcare provider AXA, also showed 45% of the British workforce would be comfortable sharing information with wearable devices, when it assists with employee-related health and wellbeing strategies.
Business Leadership – Driving cultural change from the frontline to the boardroom.
Strong leadership requires a having a good team and good line managers. Great initiatives can be undone if line managers are not ‘living the values’ of the company. It’s important for leaders to be found within teams and for them to be engaged in the strategy of the business.
To support this, Safety & Health Expo is running a Professional Development Theatre with the aim of supporting leaders and future leaders of the profession. Within the theatre, there will be seminars focussed on career development and qualifications, soft skills and behavioural safety & culture.
Martin Cook, Director, Turner & Townsend, recently told SHP: “In the last five to ten years behavioural safety has been the conversation of many health and safety consultants across industry. The concept of influencing and changing an individual’s behaviour to improve risk management and reduce accidents/incidents was hailed as the utopia across the profession. However in more recent times conversations have been taking a different route with an increasing number of organisations becoming frustrated in the lack of progress, and in behavioural safety generally as a concept.”
Seminars that will take place in the Professional Development Theatre include ‘Core skills for health and safety professionals’, ‘Influencing the board’, ‘Adding value to HSE management’, ‘Building your career’, ‘The impact of leadership on engagement’ and many more…
Innovative – Finding creative solutions to problems.
In a recent interview with SHP, Karl Simons, Head of Health, Safety, Security and Wellbeing at Thames Water, defined innovation by saying: “Innovation comes in many forms. This could be an idea, a product, a system, an initiative or even a speech given by someone during the conference.”
He went on to say: “With the exciting evolution in the tech world any organisation that is not taking advantage of utilising the latest cutting edge hard and software is missing out and will not adapt quickly enough to the changing climate of health and safety. At Thames I am blessed to have a first class team of H&S professionals who are superb at identifying new technology and transforming it into tangible initiatives that demonstrate value that then become a transactional part of our business.
“I must stress that not every idea works, but I say that’s fine and in doing this I am aware of creating a culture where taking a risk on piloting something new is not feared but embraced. This goes for the tabling of ideas also by my team as they shouldn’t feel something they may raise will be frowned upon.”
Inclusive – Celebrating diversity of views and individuals.
Women in Health and Safety is a thriving network of people who support gender equality and want to see women flourish in our profession. We connect in-person and online. Our get-togethers are free to attend and open to all, and we actively encourage both men and women to join us. Safety & Health Expo sees the flagship Women in Health and Safety event, which will include a workshop on presentation skills by TEDx Director and Curator, Maryam Pasha. Maryam is working with 6 people from the Women in Health and Safety network in the run-up to the event, offering them professional presentation skills coaching.
SHP and Safety & Health Expo are also proud to present Rising Star, Biggest Impact and Most Influential Awards, which recognise those going above and beyond in our profession.
Sustainable – Championing environmentally responsible business values.
What are your thoughts on the New Safety and Health pillars? Please leave your comments below…
Sleep and Fatigue: Director’s Briefing
Fatigue is common amongst the population, but particularly among those working abnormal hours, and can arise from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns. It is also related to workload, in that workers are more easily fatigued if their work is machine-paced, complex or monotonous.
This free director’s briefing contains:
- Key points;
- Recommendations for employers;
- Case law;
- Legal duties.
Categories: Disruptive, Holistic, Inclusive, Innovative, Leadership, Mental Health, New Safety and Health, Occupational Health, SHE 2018, Sustainable, Wellbeing
You May Also Be Interested In