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June 27, 2018

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Safety & Health Expo

Things you may have missed at Safety & Health Expo 2018

There was something for everyone at this year’s Safety & Health Expo, with a diverse programme of seminars and debates covering a host of hot health & safety topics.

So in case you were too busy taking in the show, or couldn’t make it, here are some of the highlights of this year’s Safety & Health Expo.

Inspirational speakers

Ruby WaxComedian Ruby Wax kicked off the Expo with a talk on her experiences of mental health, and the difference between mental illness and stress, explaining the science behind stress and why it’s an evolutionary problem, before giving some tips for warding it off.

Nicky Moffat, formerly the most senior female officer in the British Army, described how everyone is a leader and therefore needs to understand the motivations and backgrounds of their teams. Experienced in commanding a large workforce over a large geographical space, Moffat spoke about the important of trust and delegation, and about reframing the narrative when it comes to diversity.

Sir Clive Woodward, the coach behind England’s famous Rugby World Cup victory in 2003 and a member of the British Olympic management in 2012, revealed the secrets behind his teams’ successes, and how they revolve around preparation and a willingness to embrace technology and data.

Mental health in the workplace

One of the hot topic’s this year was what place mental health and wellness should play in the modern health & safety agenda. The Occupational Health & Wellbeing Zone made its debut and hosted a raft of seminars and debates on the subject.

One debate saw Dr Dominic Cooper, a regular opponent to mental health being added to the responsibilities of health & safety departments, put his arguments forward to the audience and a panel of mental health proponents.

Former Head of Vice President for HR at Unilever Geoff McDonald gave an impassioned talk describing his own struggles with mental ill health and explaining why companies that embrace mental health in a strategic way could benefit from a competitive advantage.

On that note, Heather Beach, Managing Director at The Healthy Work Company, gave attendees a lesson in mental health first aid. The company’s course is not about providing therapy or diagnosing someone but providing the tools for a person to provide support to a friend or colleague in need.

High rise buildings

One year on from Grenfell, the safety of high rise buildings and responsibility for fire safety was the key topic at the Expo’s partner event FIREX International.

Geoffrey Podger, former Chief Executive of the HSE, had his say on Dame Judith Hackitt’s report into the Grenfell fire, raising several pertinent questions about the final recommendations.

The lessons from Grenfell “will shape us for some time”, said Chartered Fire Engineer Russ Timpson as he discussed the fire safety management of tall buildings, while US fire expert Curtis Massey decried the need for simple, clear and easy-to-access information on the layouts and procedures of high rise buildings for fire fighters, emergency services and residents.

The future of health & safety

Health & safety is experiencing a lot of development, whether that be internal to the profession and the way that the sector operates, or through the technology that is influencing and enhancing how health & safety is monitored and enforced.

An SHP debate discussed whether health & safety has an image problem and how it can shed its reputation as a downbeat, overbearing and restrictive impact on business and showcase the engaging and progressive side of health & safety.

Another panel looked at the ways that new technology like drones, autonomous vehicles, the internet of things and Virtual Reality could revolutionise health & safety, but also present new issues that we must react to in order to keep workers and the public safe.

Awards

Jyssica MurphySHP’s annual health & safety industry awards were presented to four deserving individuals all bringing something new to the profession. Torus’s Jyssica Murphy (right) took home the Rising Star award, while TATA Sons Ltd’s Sanjay Rajasekeran was named International Rising Star. Both awards celebrate the contributions of the new generation of health & safety professionals. JCA Engineering’s Tina McGennity won the Biggest Impact award for those who have joined the health & safety profession in the past 18 months.

Louise Taggart, Founder of Michael’s Story and public speaker on workplace health & safety, was voted Most Influential by SHP readers. Louise topped the list of inspirational, innovative and industrious individuals, the top 15 of which can be found here.

Professional Development

The Professional Development Theatre gave visitors to the Expo the opportunity to receive pointers on how to progress in the sector, hear stories about important career experiences and discuss how we can utilise training to engage our workforces in health & safety matters.

A panel of recruitment experts discussed the key skills needed to be a modern health & safety professional, noting the vital importance of ‘soft skills’ when interacting with colleagues and effectively getting across your safety message, and technical skills, and knowing when to ask for help.

Safety & Health Expo Networking Forum

The show’s Networking Forum gave health & safety professionals the opportunity to meet, network and discuss ideas and partnerships.

You can find all of SHP Online’s stories from a packed programme at Safety & Health Expo 2018 here.

Barbour Download: A Technical Guide to Sprinkler Systems

There is no general legal requirement for sprinkler systems to be installed in a place of work but there may be circumstances where sprinklers are required.

This guide provides an overview of the need-to-know information for sprinklers and covers:

  • The legal requirements
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  • Key actions
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