Health and Safety North 08 August 2011

Health and Safety North, the third in the regional series this year, claims to offers plant engineers a valuable learning and networking experience. Brian Wall reports

The third in the 2011 Health and Safety regional events series will take place at The Reebok Stadium in Bolton on 5 and 6 October, with a line-up now including seminars, a strong conference programme, major exhibitors from across the sector and a new Cleaning and Hygiene Zone.

The British Safety Council is the event's educational partner for the conference and this time the event is also endorsed by the IIRSM (International Institute of Risk and Safety Management) and Safety groups UK – so we're talking serious conference and seminar support.

For example, health and safety trainers neding to improve their communications skills will be able to hear Lisa Fowlie, health and safety advisor at the University of Wales, Bangor, with a presentation entitled 'Communicating health and safety issues in training: from (bored) board level to basics'. Expect a tirade of techniques that reflect her experience with course delegates, who, she says, are almost universally told to attend and believe that health and safety is an imposition and training an ordeal to endure.

Then at the legislative level, Neal Stone, director of policy and research with the British Safety Council, will talk about the changing health and safety landscape. For plant engineers and managers wanting an update on recent and planned government reforms to the health and safety framework, this is for you. Stone will cover the Löfstedt review and explore the likely impact of reduced resources for regulation and enforcement, resulting from government cutbacks. He will also explore the significant changes taking place in the sourcing of expert advice and guidance.

Equally, at the operational level, health and safety practitioners can gain insights into sensible approaches from Richard Evens, commercial training director of St John Ambulance, presenting 'Health and safety gone sane'. Evens refers to Lord Young's report last year, which accused unqualified consultants of giving health and safety a bad name. But he says that having a clear and qualified understanding of the safety risks in any organisation – and knowing how to minimise them – are still just the first steps. Having trained personnel in place during operations, and mitigating accidents when they do happen are also essential.

Bringing that to life will be a new feature for the conference this year – a drama based presentation 'Safety leadership and culture', delivered by Shaun Curry and Harry Gallagher of Macnaughton McGregor. The pair promise an interactive session, with practical content designed to deliver a long-term change in attitude. Their goal, they say, is not just to effect a short-term change in behaviour, but to place the foundations for a lasting positive cultural change.

And there are also seminars from event partners, such as 3M Occupational Health and Environmental Safety, which will talk about cccupational asthmagens. The company's technical affairs engineer Alan McArthur explains that occupational asthmagens in exist in a wide range of industries. Substances to beware of include flour and wood dust, and McArthur says he will highlight other common asthmagens and their health effects, and give guidance on appropriate control measures.

As for the new Cleaning and Hygiene Zone, sponsored by the Cleaning and Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA), this will feature exhibits from product and service providers covering a wide range of health and safety issues – for practitioners but also distributors. "There is a great synergy between cleaning and hygiene and health and safety," explains Graham Fletcher, CHSA secretary. "For example, the threat of occupational skin [disease] is overcome by the use of skin care programmes, developed and sold by the cleaning and hygiene industry. Slips, trips and falls are controlled through the use of appropriate floor preparations, developed and sold by the cleaning and hygiene industry. And so it goes on."

Exhibitors in the Cleaning and Hygiene Zone will include: Chemaide, which develops a range of maintenance, cleaning and hygiene products for industrial, commercial and institutional applications; Sebo, which manufacturers industrial vacuum cleaners; and Omnipole, which provides maintenance and cleaning equipment.

Elsewhere, visitors will find the Demonstration Zone, sponsored by machinery safety specialist Laidler Associates, now part of the machinery division of TÜV SÜD Product Service. Laidler says the zone will host more than a dozen demonstrations and offer theoretical and practical information about legislation and technology around machine safety.

Health & Safety North 2011

5 and 6 October

Reebok Stadium, Bolton

Register online at:

Brian Wall

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Related Companies
3M Abrasive Systems
British Safety Council
Laidler Associates Consulting

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