Three days to save a life

‘Three days to save a life’ is the overall theme for the 2016 Health & Safety Event that takes place at Birmingham’s NEC between 22-24 March.

The Health & Safety Event, the UK’s fastest growing in the sector, has expanded once again for 2016 and will offer visitors even more in the way of educational content, interactive forums and product manufacturers and service providers. The event is now in its third year and, having canvassed visitor feedback, there are some major additions to the types of activities taking place, the range of disciplines covered and even the layout of the event and the visitor amenities on offer.

According to Tim Else, event director: “We have taken on board the request from our visitors that they have somewhere neutral to spend some time during the show, to check their emails or do some work on a laptop. Therefore, we have included a spacious visitor lounge complete with free Wi-Fi so that their visit doesn’t result in them missing important work correspondence. Similarly, responding to visitor requests we have partnered with NEBOSH on an Education Pavilion which will house stands from educational establishments but also host an ‘Ask the Expert’ facility across the three days of the event.”

Conference Sessions
Free education is a major reason to visit the event and the 2016 programme is particularly well-timed to address the latest legislative changes. The main conference theatre will host a programme which has been curated by the combined expertise of the British Safety Council (BSC) and the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM).

There are many highlights but one session which stands out is that presented by Rory Underwood, the ex-England rugby international and ex-RAF pilot who will speak on the morning of the 24 March. Rory will use his experience of flight safety to provide a talk on behavioural safety, as well as using analogies from his experience of international rugby and as a jet pilot to highlight issues in successful management and leadership, in a health and safety context. Following his presentation Rory will be available to meet on the Alcumus stand.

The full educational programme is online to view but there are many high profile, hugely respected presenters speaking as well as there being a host of topics that are on the cutting edge of where the sector is moving to, be that in terms of legislation or technology.

Picking out just three of the seminars emphasises the diversity of subject matter and depth of expertise on offer during the event. On March 22 Chris Green will look at the latest legislative updates and has advised that he is looking very much to concentrate on the change to the sentencing guidelines that takes place in February 2016.

Chris says: “The timing of the Health & Safety Event is perfect in my experience. The changes to the size of potential fines, which are linked now to company turnover, that the sentencing guidelines are potentially going to implement means that there is more discussion of this topic at board level than I can ever remember.”

Chris believes that those attending his session will be able to return to their places of work and advise their boards or senior managers more accurately. But equally, he views the event as being a 360 degree exercise as his interaction allows him and his company Weightmans LLP to understand what practitioners are facing and thinking.

Hearing from experts
Addressing a completely different subject, and exampling the varied nature of expertise available, is Mike Gillespie whose seminar on 23 March addresses information security, business continuity, information governance and physical security and training. Seemingly a fish out of water when speaking to health and safety professionals, Mike, the founder of Advent IM and independent holistic security consultancy, connects the two worlds very easily.

He says: “Regarding cyber security and information security and the attitude towards it, we are where the health and safety industry has come from, we aren’t taken seriously at board level.

“Financial risk is discussed at board level, so increasingly is health and safety risk and cyber risk really needs to be considered a natural topic for good corporate governance but largely currently it is dismissed as there is an enormous lack of understanding of how to manage information, and the dangers of not doing so, in the modern age.”

Emphasising his point Mike references an automotive vehicle recall that took place recently because a Wi-Fi enabled car management system was not secure which could have led to car accidents. As can be appreciated at this point the lines are blurred about who is responsible for such a problem which emphasises Mike’s point about essentially it all being risk related. A thought provoking presentation, not to be missed.

Finally on 24 March Clive Johnson of Land Securities will address the topic of health in the construction industry. Recently Clive founded the Health in Construction Leadership Group in order that ‘health’ in the sector be afforded the same weight as ‘safety’.

The group is hosting a breakfast in January where 200 CEOs of construction companies and their clients, will hear more about the problems surrounding health in the sector and Clive will be feeding back on this event in March. He will also be talking about the wider activities that his group are looking at, addressing such areas as getting architects to design out health risks in their buildings and the materials they use and he will also address mental health.

Clive comments: “I see the audience at the Health and Safety Event as being very much the kinds of people who might attend our ‘Summit of the Do’ers’. After we have got buy-in from the CEOs then we need people with expertise, empathy and skills to help us implement these initiatives and that’s very much the kind of people I am looking to engage with in March.”

Lions Lair
Alongside the traditionally more passive educational content, there are also several interactive programmes that run during the event. Brand new for 2016 is ‘Lions Lair’. Based loosely on a popular TV series during which budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of experts the ‘Lions Lair’ will be a fun, interactive activity but behind it sits a serious point. ‘Lions Lair’ is designed to encourage innovation but also to allow visitors to witness innovative products, services and concepts being presented simply and quickly by experts, plus these experts being quizzed by an informed panel. On 24 March the ‘Lions Lair’ winner will be announced which, it is hoped, will make more people aware of the great leaps that are being taken in health and safety technology that, returning to the theme of the whole event, could save a life.

The event will also feature once again at the Safety Dialogue Theatre. Sponsored by 3M, the number of debates will be increased to four 30 minute sessions per day. The format sees a round table discussion involving a live panel during which experts discuss the latest issues and open up the floor to questions from the audience. Topics for discussion will be: Hearing protection; RPE/Fit Testing; Behavioural safe and training competence.

Returning once again and with a superb programme of speakers is the Safer Logistics Theatre. Sponsored by Toyota and A-Safe, the theatre will host seminars by such respected bodies as the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, the United Kingdom Warehousing Association and the British Standards Institution who along with A-Safe will present a seminar on a new industry standard for barrier protection.

While the full programme is still being finalized RTITB will be tackling the issues of driver behaviour and risk taking and the FLTA will also be focusing on Fork Lift truck related issues.

Co-locations
At the heart of all this activity The Health & Safety Event is centred on an exhibition that includes the most well recognised trade bodies, manufacturers and distributors, training providers and consultants in the health and safety sector, giving visitors access to new information and experts.

Giving the event an even broader appeal is its co-location alongside the Industrial Maintenance themed event ‘Maintec’ and the Facilities Management event. This co‑location allows those from a wide range of industry types and sectors to access targeted information in one visit. The ‘three days to save a life’ theme is in reference to all of the activity taking place at the NEC during 22-24 March.

The final word belongs to Tim Else, event director, who concludes: “It may be that the vital piece of information that helps one of our visitors to save a life comes from attending a seminar or from a fellow visitor during a Safety Dialogue session. It might be that they see a new piece of technology highlighted as part of Lions Lair or being demonstrated on a stand.

“We feel by offering our visitors a cross‑section of activities to attend, experts to talk to and equipment to test, feel and handle that we are doing everything we can to continually improve the health and safety knowledge and performance of businesses within the United Kingdom.”

Further Information
www.healthandsafetyevents.co.uk