The Health & Safety Event 2016

The Health & Safety Event 2016

The Health and Safety Event is a national exhibition and conference organised by Western Business Exhibitions that takes place from 22th to 24th March 2016 at the NEC in Birmingham. Here, Qube previews this important event.

‘Three days to save a life’ is the overall theme for this year’s event, which returns to the NEC for a third year. The UK’s fastest growing event in the sector has expanded once again and will offer visitors even more in the way of educational content, interactive forums and product manufacturers and service providers.

Free education is a major draw and the 2016 programme is well-timed to address the latest legislative changes. The main conference theatre will host a programme that 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 stand-out session is that presented by Rory Underwood, the ex-England rugby international and ex-RAF pilot who will speak on the morning of the 24th March.

Rory will use his experience of flight safety to provide an enlightening talk on behavioural safety throughout other sectors. He will also be 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 at: but there are many high profile, respected presenters speaking as well as 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 a handful of seminars underlines the diversity of subject matter and depth of expertise on offer. On March 22nd 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. “The timing of the Health and Safety Event is perfect”, says Chris, “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.

Emma Currie will then take visitors on a creative journey using fiction to change safety culture. In a thought-provoking, interactive session, she will borrow techniques from the world of film and TV and ask participants to use their knowledge of people, places and syndromes to create a film pitch with a difference. From the safety of this fictitious world, Emma will work with the group to show how little it takes to shift the behaviour of just one character to flip a disaster film into one with a happy ending.

“The goal is to try and bring to life what might seem like a very obvious issue at one level, but one which is not always apparent in the corporate environment, namely that humans, not systems, are the central characters in every story; but sometimes the system takes centre stage and is so dominant that people become detached from their own wisdom. When this happens, good communication, common sense and ownership take the day off and accidents can happen,” explains Emma.

“What I am trying to do in using story-telling, is to reveal some of that basic psychology. Human stories bring vital context to corporate systems. Stories have been used since the dawn of man to shape societies and address common values and goals and to inspire wisdom.”

On 23rd March, Dr Tim Marsh, MD of the consultancy RyderMarshSharman, discusses cultural basics and provides a risk literacy overview.

“I’ll be looking at the way safety is dealt with from a leadership perspective. What you really want is transformational leadership. That’s coaching not telling; praise not criticism; empowerment; and leading by example,” says Tim. “Once you’ve hit diminishing returns in terms of compliance, all the action is in learning with an open mind, leadership and delivering empowerment.”

Mike Gillespie, whose seminar follows on, addresses information security, business continuity, information governance and physical security and training. The founder of Advent IM and independent holistic security consultancy, connects the two worlds very easily. “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,” says Mike.

“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.”

Finally, on 24th March, Clive Johnson of Land Securities will explore the occupational health challenges 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.

“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”, says Clive.

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’ is designed to encourage innovation but also to allow visitors to witness innovative products, services and concepts being presented simply and quickly by experts. An informed panel will quiz the experts and the ‘Lions’ Lair’ winner will be announced on the final day.

The Safety Dialogue Theatre returns again this year with the number of debates 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. Hearing conservation; RPE/Fit testing; prevention culture and training competence are key issues on the agenda.

Sponsored by Toyota and A-Safe, the Safer Logistics Theatre makes a welcomed return and will host seminars by respected bodies like the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and the United Kingdom Warehousing Association.

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

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.

“Facilities managers and building estate managers will have a particular interest in safety and the co-location provides an excellent opportunity for delegates to access not only the very latest thinking in health and safety but also facilities management,” says Katie Crocombe, event director for the Facilities Management event.

“The show is in its third year and content has been expanded once again to reflect the current trends in both sectors. Delegates that register for either show will have access to a wealth of expertise, knowledge and good practice.”

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The Health & Safety Event 2016