Business’ Marmite: love it or hate it, health and safety regulation is here to stay

Posted on 3 Feb 2012

TM looks forward to Health and Safety South 2012 for insight into key compliance, cost and quality concerns arising from regulation.

In these difficult times, most companies are looking for ways to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of their processes. Ensuring your company has an effective health and safety policy can not only create a safer and healthier workplace for your employees, but can also surprisingly save a considerable amount of money.

Helping you to improve your health and safety policy by putting you in touch with the best suppliers of products and services, alongside a seminar programme that deals with the most relevant topics in the health and safety sector is Health and Safety South 2012, which takes place at Sandown Park Racecourse on February 28-29, 2012.

With event partners 3M, Ansell, Arco and Dupont, Health and Safety South 2012 is supported by the British Safety Council – which organised the content for this year’s seminar programme – as well as Safety Groups UK and is officially endorsed by the International Institute of Risk & Safety Management (IIRSM).

The seminar programme at Health and Safety South is always a key attraction. This year a presentation from Sarah Page, research & specialist services at Prospect, the union for professionals, entitled Business Benefits of Worker Participation, gives guidance on the positive impact that health and safety representatives make in organisations. Ms Page has a background in the public sector, having worked in the health, fire and civil services, and notably the Health and Safety Executive where she was an inspector and policy advisor.

Also focusing on the benefits of health and safety to an organisation is a presentation from Jane Saunders, occupational health manager at defence manufacturer Selex Galileo called Business Benefits and Implementation of an Occupational Health Service. Using the Selex Galileo delivery model as an example, the presentation will demonstrate how to achieve organisationwide buy-in from the top down, how to create and maintain employee engagement and interest. Jane Saunders has more than 20 years’ experience in occupational health working in the NHS, Public Health Laboratory, investment banking and the defence industry.

“Safety should not be restrictive but be concerned with a positive approach to good business management” – Ken Smith, Divisional Director, Consultancy Services, Arc Associates

A spring board for some of the most critical content at Health and Safety South 2012 will be the 2011 Löfstedt Review. Announced as part of the Government’s plans to reform Britain’s health and safety system by reducing the burden of legislation on UK businesses, the Löfstedt Review was tasked with maintaining progress in the health and safety sector.

When announced in May, the review was described as the first step in reducing bureaucracy and bringing ‘common-sense’ back to Britain’s health and safety legislation. To highlight some of the most important topics in this area, including how government health and safety policy and law reform is set to change following the publication of the Löfstedt Review, Dr Paul Almond, a senior lecturer in Law at the University of Reading will deliver a presentation on Current Directions in Government Policy.

Dr Almond researches issues of criminal law, health and safety law, regulations and enforcement and criminological theory. His PhD looked at HSE enforcement policy in relation to work-related fatality cases, and he has published widely on the relationship between health and safety regulation and criminal enforcement.

Also confirmed to speak at the two-day event is Mark Tyler, a solicitor and chartered safety and health practitioner, whose experience includes, in addition to many high-profile Health and Safety Executive prosecutions, the BSE Inquiry, the Southall and Ladbroke Grove Rail Inquiries, the Organophosphate chemicals group litigation, MMR vaccination claims and Legionnaires Disease cases. His presentation entitled, The Legal Scene in 2012 will highlight how health and safety law and policy is set for its greatest changes in two decades.

The presentation will explain the implications of the law reform issues coming out of the Löfstedt Review and look at the future of enforcement and penalties. Mark Tyler will also seek to explain the increasing liability risks that safety managers face it they fall short of professional standards.

Similarly, Howard Dawes, environment portfolio manager at the British Safety Council, will present on Environment and Sustainability Management – Duties, Strategies and Developments. This seminar will provide a strategic overview of environmental and sustainability issues nationally and highlight the main requirements for duty holders. It will also address the key developments and policies likely to affect organisations in the future. Howard Dawes is a chartered environmentalist (CEnv) with 18 years practical environmental management experience gained through industry and consultancy.

Howard Dawes, environment portfolio manager at the British Safety Council
Howard Dawes, environment portfolio manager at the British Safety Council

Part of the conference programme will also be made up of more practical seminars hosted by event partners such as Dupont Personal Protection’s session entitled; Is Your Chemical Protective Clothing Really Protecting You? This session will be led by Professor Victor Tytonius, and his question will be answered through a series of videos. The Professor will lead delegates through some revealing experiments on the three most commonly used materials in chemical protective clothing: Tyvek (r), Microporous film and SMS.

One of the overall messages of the event is that safety should not be thought of as restrictive, but considered as a positive approach to good business management. One seminar that encapsulates this is the event partner seminar entitled Safety is a “Can Do” Business. Delivered by Ken Smith, divisional director consultancy services from Arc Associates, the seminar will challenge the misconceptions and discuss the benefits of doing safety right and avoiding risk. Ken Smith says, “Safety should not be restrictive but be concerned with a positive approach to good business management; it isn’t about can’t do but can do!”

As well as the educational content of the event there is also a substantial exhibition where some of the biggest names in health and safety are situated. Major equipment vendors, service providers and distributors all have experts available to answer direct queries regarding the application of health and safety policy or technology.

Core areas are well covered at the exhibition with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) represented by such well-known names as: 3M, Specsavers, Ansell, Bollé and DuPont. There is widespread concern currently about cheap imitation PPE equipment that represents cheap immitation of original equipment or equipment that comes with falsified CE certificates.

The exhibitors at Health and Safety South 2012 represent best practice in the industry and can give advice on how to spot this counterfeit and illegal equipment as well as discussing individual specialist applications.

Health and Safety South is free to enter and has free parking. It is highly recommend that visitors register in advance for entry tickets and especially for seminar places as these are extremely popular.

To register online visit or call the event hotline on: 0870 4866816.