The Safety & Health Podcast

Safety & Health Podcast

The Safety & Health Podcast dovetails with SHP, the first for health and safety news in the UK, to meet all the content needs of a health and safety professional. We’ll bring you the latest news, insights and legislation updates in the form of interviews, discussions and panel debates from leading figures within the profession.

From working at height, lone working and other common workplace hazards, to safety culture and behaviours, occupational health and mental health & wellbeing, tune in for an easy way to remain up to date on the issues affecting your role.

Listen On



Episode 25: The health & safety profession, how is it changing?

We drop in on a panel debate which discusses the changing the perception of the health & safety profession, and the opportunities for increasing collaboration across teams, and changing the direction of safety in the workplace, through genuine staff engagement. 

Recorded in the Operational Excellence Theatre at Safety & Health Expo in May, this panel discussion focussed on the COVID-19 pandemic and how it could be argued that the safety profession is now viewed in a more positive light by the general public.

Episode 24: How safety in design and digitalisation can increase productivity and deliver results

We hear from Sukhy Hogwood who looks at safety in design and safety’s role in ensuring buildings are not only safe to construct, but also usable for those who will be living, working in, and recreationally using the space. Then, Paul Richardson discusses how digitalised safety processes can transform a workplace.

Sukhy speaks about how we can re-invigorate the approach to safety in design, how safety can capture the hearts and minds of engineers and designers and why the most inclusive work environments are the safest work environments, before Paul touches on why safety tech inspires him and how he visualises how safety with use technology in the future.

Episode 23: When SHP met Louis Theroux…

We bring you the full recording of Louis Theroux’s keynote session at Safety & Health Expo. Louis sat down in front of a packed Keynote Theatre audience to discuss all things, from communicating effectively and working in hostile to health and health and wellbeing.

In this interview, recorded at Safety & Health Expo on Thursday 19 May 2022, Louis sat down with SHP Editor Ian Hart.

Episode 22: The importance of establishing good relationships in safety

We speak to SHE Manager at Kier Highways, Dave McPherson and Health and Safety Officer at Great British Communications, Jessica Collings about the work they do, how they got into health & safety and their thoughts on the future of the profession.

Dave talks about his slightly unorthodox journey into safety and the importance of building a rapport and establishing good relationships with the people around you. Then, Jessica discusses the challenges of starting a role in a new career in the midst of a pandemic, shares some of the initiatives that she has helped to implement and highlights the importance of mentoring.

Episode 21: Starting out on a career in health & safety

We hear from two women at the start of their careers, speaking about their journey into health & safety and the challenges they have faced along the way.

Cindy Bell, SHE Advisor at Greggs, discusses her varied role and her advice for starting out in a career in health & safety. Then, Shari Bowen, HSSE Officer at Massy Distribution, talks about working in health & safety in the Caribbean and the challenges of working in a male-dominated environment.

Episode 20: Three top tips for a good night’s sleep

We speak to campaigner and SHP’s Most Influential Individual in health & safety, Dr Mavis Nye about her work raising awareness of dangers of asbestos exposure, and we hear from Lisa Artis, Deputy CEO at The Sleep Charity, who provides three quick fixes to immediately improve your sleep.

Mavis lives with Mesothelioma every day of her life, having been diagnosed a few years ago, and spends her life campaigning for asbestos awareness and removal.

Lisa, a qualified sleep practitioner, speaks about how important sleep is, when it comes to people’s health and wellbeing.

Episode 19: Ensuring a safe return to face-to-face events

The last two years have been challenging for most sectors, but the events industry has been particularly badly affected. That’s going to be the focus of this episode, as we move back to more regular face-to-face events in the UK.

Listen to an events venue, London’s ExCeL, and an events business, Informa Markets, discuss how they have worked alongside industry associations and government to secure a swift and safe return to face-to-face events, in a post-pandemic world.

Episode 18: Approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders

Listen to Matt Birtles, Principal Ergonomics Consultant at HSE’s Science and Research Centre, discuss the different approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders.

Matt, an ergonomics and human factors expert, shares his thoughts on why MSDs are important, the various prevalent rates across the UK, what you can do within your own organisation and the Risk Management process surrounding MSD’s.

Bonus: Safety & Health Expo 2022: Registration now open

Registration for Safety & Health Expo 2022, taking place from 17-19 May 2022 at ExCeL London, has officially opened. Secure your place today!

Safety & Health Expo is a chance for anyone with a health, safety and wellbeing remit to source solutions across occupational health, wellbeing, PPE, site safety and more. It offers unique access to leading suppliers, as well as world-class education across the health and safety sector.

Episode 17: Louise Hosking and Jimmy Quinn on IOSH Presidency and looking ahead to 2022

We are joined by both IOSH President, Louise Hosking, and Immediate Past President, Jimmy Quinn, to discuss overcoming the challenges of the last 12 months and look ahead to what’s in store for 2022.

We discuss Louise’ plans for her Presidency, including equality, diversity and inclusion and how the role of the health & safety practitioner is changing, and look back on the past 12 months with Jimmy Quinn.

Episode 16: ‘Work-related suicides should be monitored and regulated’

We are joined by Sarah Waters, Professor of French Studies at the University of Leeds, to look at a study, published by University of Leeds and Hazards Campaign, which calls on the HSE to monitor, regulate and ultimately prevent workplace suicides.

Professor Sarah Waters is a specialist on French labour and the French workplace. The report investigated 12 suicide cases that occurred between 2015 and 2020 to discover whether they could be attributed to the workplace.

Episode 15: Developing non-technical skills and overcoming a lack of confidence

We are joined by Anna Keen, Founding Director at Acre Frameworks, who provides guidance on learning the relevant skills to progress your career and delves into confidence, including how to present yourself and tips for leaders when dealing with Imposter Syndrome. 

The interview with Anna, forms part of a series for Women in Health & Safety, carried out by Charlotte Geoghegan, Event and content Manager for Safety & Health Expo, Workplace Wellbeing Show and SHP.

Episode 14: How do periods of economic growth affect workplace injuries?

We are joined by Tanya Jenke, General Manager of Cority Australia, who has carried out a study, analysing over half a million occupational injuries in Western Australia between 2003-2019, to find whether economic growth following a period of recession has an impact on workplace injuries.

Tanya’s study, ‘An investigation of the influence of economic cycles on safety performance in Western Australia’, was carried out as part of her PhD and looked at the impact of external factors on safety and performance.

Episode 13: Fire safety Making buildings safer

We drop in to a recent FIREX webinar, which looked at the legislative and systemic changes required in fire safety, and the wider building sector, to ensure buildings are made safer for occupants.

IFSEC Global Editor James Moore moderates the session, which includes an audience Q&A, and asks are the proposals enough, and how does the building safety sector work to encourage a wide adoption of a new safety-conscious culture in construction and building safety – from planning through to occupation?

Episode 12: Alastair Campbell on workplace mental ill-health

Hear from former 10 Downing Street Director of Communications, Alastair Campbell, about the stigma around mental health in the workplace and tips for employers and those suffering with mental ill health.

Alastair provides some advice for employers and colleagues on how to support people suffering with mental ill-health, his thoughts on some of the common stigmas around mental health and why they exist and some words of advice on how he looks after his depression.

Then, in part two, we hand over to Heather Beach from the Healthy Work Company, for an interview with Vicki Simmonds, based on recent personal experience with burnout.

Episode 11: The Rising Stars of health & Safety

We focus on the SHP Awards and hear from four winners, SHP’s Rising Star UK and Rising Stars in construction and manufacturing and SHP’s Trailblazer in Positive Social Impact. Hear some interesting and innovative safety ideas from the construction and manufacturing sectors and learn how the perceived negative of struggles with mental ill-heath, can be turned into a positive.

Hear from Thomas Dunning, the Mental Health Runner, an award-winning TED speaker, who was named SHP’s Trailblazer in Positive Social Impact and Lucilla Cummings, HSE Improvement Specialist at Travis Perkins, who was the winner of the SHP Award for Rising Star UK.

We then chat to PepsiCo EHS Specialist, Sam Watts, SHP’s Rising Star in Manufacturing, and BAM Construction Training Managing Director, Matthew Durant, who was named SHP’s Rising Star in Construction.

Episode 10: The legalities of returning to work in times of COVID-19

We focus on the latest health & safety legislation updates, particularly around returning to work and the coronavirus vaccination programme. We’ll also hear from SHP’s Most Influential Person in health & safety, Hilda Palmer, and we’ll drop in some clips from a recent roundtable, hosted by SHP, about the role of smart PPE in protecting lone workers.

Turnstone Law Director, Simon Joyston-Bechal, discusses returning to work in times of COVID-19. Simon shares how far you can push the boundaries to get people back into the office lawfully.

Hilda shares her views on the health & safety system in the UK, the importance of protecting workers as they return to the office and talks about her work with Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK).

Episode 9: Work-related stress and the wellbeing of frontline workers

We hear from Peter Kelly, Senior Psychologist for the Health and Safety Executive about work-related stress and Inspector Phil Spencer, Blue Light Programme Co-ordinator at Cleveland Police, discusses the stress of working on the frontline during the pandemic.

Peter Kelly is Senior Psychologist for the Health and Safety Executive, primarily responsible with providing the HSE and the government with advice on work-related stress, mental health and wellbeing. He has also been working closely with the BSI on the new ISO45003 Standard, a voluntary standard which sets out what you need to have in place as an organisation to improve psychological health, safety and wellbeing.

We’re then joined by Inspector Phil Spencer, Cleveland Police’s Blue Light Programme Coordinator & Wellbeing Inspector. Phil has been a key component in driving forward the workplace wellbeing agenda and changing the way mental health is thought about in policing. He has transformed how Cleveland Police supports its staff in better understanding mental health, and how to cope with the trauma and difficulties of the working environment, especially during the pandemic. His work over the last 12 months saw him voted the winner of SHP’s Trailblazer in Workplace Wellbeing Award, in December.

Episode 8: Lessons from Grenfell: Why aren’t we learning?

We hear from Gill Kernick about the pressing need to improve building safety culture post-Grenfell. We then look ahead to 2021 with some news from the Women in Safety & Health Network, plus hear an update on the One Percent Safer Foundation.

Gill Kernick is a Master Consultant at JMJ Associates who specialises in safety leadership and culture. As a former Grenfell resident, moving out three years before the tragedy in 2017, she has been a high-profile voice on the subject. In this episode, she chats to SHP Editor Ian Hart and IFSEC Global Editor James Moore about the pressing need to improve building safety culture and prevent low probability, high consequence events – such as Grenfell – from happening again.

We’re then joined by Heather Beach, Chair of the Women in Health and Safety Network in the UK, to discuss how the pandemic has affected the network, it’s plans for 2021 and how you can get involved. Plus, learn about the new International Women in Safety Coalition.

Finally, Andrew Sharman, Founder and Chairman of One Percent Safer and Malcolm Staves, Corporate Health & Safety Director at L’Oréal, provide an update on the One Percent Safer book, the Foundation and the up-coming conference.

Episode 7: Leadership and safety culture

We revisit two recent SHP webinars and find out whether there is a difference between leadership and safety leadership and how to implement a successful safety culture within an organisation.

In the first part of the episode, the panel look at whether leadership differs from safety leadership and explain how to create leaders within teams and look at the future of the OSH profession and its leaders.

Then, in part two, our panel look at how to create a successful safety culture and the challenges that come with large, multi-national organisations. They also discuss how to change an organisation’s safety culture and provide some tips for influencing at board level, in order to implement those changes.

Episode 6: IOSH President James Quinn on how coronavirus has affected health and safety in construction and some recruitment tips for job hunting in a pandemic

James Quinn, Senior Health and Safety Manager at Multiplex and Vice-Chair of the IOSH Construction Group, and newly appointed IOSH President, talks about how the pandemic has affected the construction sector and the mental health of those working within it, his work promoting veterans and his plans for his tenure as IOSH President, including how the importance of providing the correct support and guidance people starting out on career in safety. James was recently voted one of the most influential people in health & safety by SHP readers.

We also hear from four recruitment experts, Elliot Fisher from Acre, James Irwin from Irwin and Colton, Phil Muston from Shirley Parsons and Laura Aucott from HSE Recruitment Network, who provide some insight into health & safety recruitment during the pandemic and how it’s changed looking for a new job. The quartet discuss the challenges of job hunting at this time and how to overcome them, tips for interviewing via video or telephone call and advice on how to integrate in a new company and its culture, when you might not have physically been on site or met any of your colleagues when you start.

Episode 5: How coronavirus has affected health & safety in manufacturing

In this episode, hear from Robert Jukes, Health, Safety and Environment Manager at Wax Lyrical and the 2019 SHP Rising Star in Manufacturing and SHP Rising Star UK, as he talks about the challenges the coronavirus pandemic has brought to the manufacturing sector.

Robert’s firm, Wax Lyrical, has remined open throughout the pandemic, pivoting to produce hand sanitizer for the NHS. In this episode, hear Robert speak about his experiences of the last few months, how his year has been as SHP Rising Star in Manufacturing and SHP Rising Star UK, his involvement with the IOSH Future Leaders programme and his plans and goals for 2021.

Episode 4: Health, safety and environmental legislation update

Teresa Higgins and Lisa Lewington from Barbour EHS and Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA, will update you some of the recent health, safety and environmental legislation changes. We’ll also dip in to Barbour’s recent legislation webinar, which featured lawyers Simon Joyston-Bechal and Kizzy Augustin.

You can listen to the webinar in full, hereClick here to download the SHP and Barbour EHS October legislation update eBook. Published in October 2020, it covers coronavirus legislation, Brexit, Grenfell, Fire Safety Bill, Building Safety Bill, environment and much more…

In part two, we pick up on last month’s interview with outgoing IOSH President, Professor Dr Andrew Sharman. Hear Andrew talk about his views on the future of the health and safety professional, his year as IOSH President and what is next for him.

Episode 3: IOSH President Andrew Sharman on making your business 1% safer and how What3Words protects lone workers

Professor Dr Andrew Sharman, Managing Partner of RMS Switzerland, author and President of IOSH shares his experiences of lockdown and talks about his latest book, One Percent Safer, described as an ‘anthology of the world’s best thought leaders, all in one place’.

The book contains 142 chapters, written by 142 different contributors, each one giving their best nugget of wisdom to make your organisation one percent safer.

Then, in the second part of the episode, we speak to Giles Rhys Jones, Chief Marketing Officer at What3Words about how the geocoding system can be used to keep lone workers safe. What3Words is being used by around 80% of the emergency services in the UK to help find an exact location quickly, and also allows lone and remote workers to check in with their employer when they arrive at a job, pinpointing their location to a 3x3m square, anywhere on the planet.

Episode 2: Burnout, stress and being human

Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

Heather Beach is Founder and Managing Director of The Healthy Work Company. For this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, Heather sits down with Stacy Thomson, award winning mental health nurse & Cognitive Behavioural Coach, to provide insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.

To read in more depth about the subject of burnout, read Heather’s SHP article ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, where you can also listen to the rest of this interview, in full.

If you, or anyone you know are suffering from some of the issues mentioned in this episode, please do visit the stress, anxiety and depression section of the NHS website.

Episode 1: SHP’s Most Influential Person in health & safety

In May 2019, Thames Water’s Chief Health, Safety and Security Officer, Karl Simons, was named the Most Influential Person in health & safety by SHP readers.

In this episode, which was due to be released ahead of announcing the shortlist for SHP’s Most Influential for 2020, we caught up with Karl to find out how he felt when he learned of the award and what he has been doing since.

A leading figure within health & safety, Karl discusses his role in lobbying government for changes in the way mental ill health is viewed in the workplace, how Thames reduced work-related illness by 78%, how public perception and accolades help the company and his role in SHP’s Rising Stars initiative.

SHP’s Most Influential for 2020 will be announced in December, following the postponement of Safety & Health Expo to May 2021, due to the coronavirus outbreak.