Author Bio ▼

Karl holds the post of Executive Director & Chief Customer Officer at FYLD and is a Independent Non-Executive Director on the Board of the global organisation ‘Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor’.He has over 30 years of employment experience, having worked internationally across all continents and in numerous safety critical industries including oil, gas, minerals, rail, roads, construction and utilities.Karl is an Electrical & Mechanical Engineer, with a background in HM Armed Forces and has served in multiple conflicts. He holds a Post Graduate master’s degree in environmental management, safety & health, is a Chartered Occupational Safety & Health Practitioner, member of the Institute of Directors and a member of the Society of Leadership Fellows at Windsor Castle.Karl’s advice is regularly sought by Government and is an Adviser to the Cabinet Office. He is a lecturer at the University of Cambridge and a technical adviser for Film Studios.In 2020 Karl was awarded an OBE by HM the Queen for Services to Mental Health Policy and in 2019 was voted ‘The Most Influential Person in Health & Safety’ by the 600,000 global readers of SHP.
April 10, 2024

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Network connections: Safety & Health in Fibre Telecoms Group (SHiFT) Conference

The inaugural Health & Safety Conference for the Telecoms Sector took place on 3 April at the Heart of England Conference centre in Coventry. The event brought together 200 of the Sectors OSH professionals and telecoms leaders.

SHP was invited to attend the event, so its Editorial Board Chairman Karl Simons OBE went along for the day. Karl said: “It is inspirational to see the Telecoms sector come together to share best practice and discuss the challenges and opportunities the sector is facing.

“I strongly commend all the SHiFT Group representatives on their journey since it’s formation in 2021, the work undertaken since then and what was an excellent event that celebrates the work of so many in the sector and ultimately will benefit the sectors OSH community moving forward.” 

The fibre industry is undergoing a ground-breaking transformation with the objective of delivering gigabit-capable full fibre networks to homes and businesses throughout the UK.  The group was established to represent the organisations responsible for delivering and managing these networks.

The primary goals of the Group include sharing of knowledge, providing support, fostering creativity, and promoting best practices, standards, and requirements to enhance compliance.

The conference agenda was shaped around topical issues faced by the sector today, including Diversity and Inclusion, competency schemes and collaboration. Refreshingly it also held an innovation round which enabled start-up organisations the platform of presenting their solutions to the audience.

“Great societal safety benefits”

Alan Trueman presenting at the event.

The event also saw a representative from the Governments Geospatial Commission speak about its flagship National Underground Asset Register aimed at aiding safe digging practices.

Finally the event saw a series of Awards issued by the organisers for areas of excellence in Fibre Health & Safety. This included a Rising Star award, Most Influential, a Legacy award, Contractor Safety Culture award, and Best Innovator award.

Alan Trueman, the Chair or the SHiFT Group and former winner of SHP’s Most Influential in Health and Safety told us: “There are great societal safety benefits associated with the installation of giga-bit capable fibre services but there are significant risks that need to be managed throughout the installation phase in order to ensure a net positive benefit.

“The Safety & Health in Fibre Telecoms (SHiFT) Group including CityFibre and other major fibre operators, has come together to promote collaboration around health and safety to further improve standards. The inaugural SHiFT Conference & Expo is the culmination of 12 months hard work as we strive to grow our fibre community oriented around safety.”

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Karl Simons
Karl Simons
1 month ago

A superb event to celebrate this rapidly growing industry sector!