European Week for Safety and Health at Work: Planning Tips

European Week for Safety and Health at Work: Planning Tips

When you’re planning workplace health and safety activities annually, there will doubtless be a number of standing dates you stick in the diary, around which you can build awareness, campaigns or endeavours, including the fast-approaching European Week for Safety and Health at Work (w/c 22 October 2018).

Comprehensive campaign materials are available free for use at https://healthy-workplaces.eu/en/get-involved/european-week .  Yet, I can’t help but feel something is missing. 

The personal!

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​​​​​​​Why do people think health and safety has gone mad?

​​​​​​​Why do people think health and safety has gone mad?

144 people died at work last year. So said the Health and Safety Executive’s annual fatality statistic report. So it must be true.

I mean, that’s not even 3 people a week. And, in a country with a population in excess of 66 million people, it would barely register as a bar on a graph, or a slither on a pie chart.  

Easy to see then why people:

  • think health and safety’s gone mad;

  • claim health and safety is a burden on business;

  • tout safety regulation as red tape; and

  • see safety rules and procedures as a tiresome impediment to getting a job done. 

Actually, as someone who has lost a brother in a work-related electrocution, I think all of these beliefs could not be further from the truth.

So, why do such attitudes persist?  In part, is it because the general public are not told The Whole Story?  And if they were, what difference would it make?

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Influencing health and safety in 2018 and beyond

Influencing health and safety in 2018 and beyond

This year's Safety and Health Expo at London's Excel brought a true "What the Four-Letter-Word" moment for me. 

Chris Edwards, the Show's Director had pulled me aside on the morning of Day 2, to chat about the "running order".  Knowing I was presenting in the Soapbox Challenge in the afternoon, I assumed that's what we were to be chatting about. 

It turned out to be more about what was to happen prior to the Soapbox Challenge.   

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Who are the best female health and safety speakers?

Who are the best female health and safety speakers?

Ask an organisation which safety speakers they’ve had in and the list will more often than not begin with Jason Anker and Ken Woodward. 

Or there might be Dylan Skelhorn, James Gorry and Paul Blanchard. 

And what of Paul J Mahoney, Gary Gallagher or Matt Hazelton. 

All with a compelling story about injuries or losses suffered.  And all male. 

So just where are all the women? 

In this post, Louise outlines the three best female health and safety speakers she’s aware of in the UK who talk about personal loss.

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SHExpo Soapbox Challenge - The Whole Story: Work-Related Fatalities

SHExpo Soapbox Challenge - The Whole Story: Work-Related Fatalities

Being able to present in a convincing, engaging and inspiring manner is important for developing almost any career and is certainly important in health and safety. Speaking in front of a large audience has the bi-product of developing confidence too."

And this was exactly the opportunity being offered to six women by the Women in Health and Safety Committee at #SHExpo.  Entries were sought to deliver a 3-minute soapbox piece in the Keynote Theatre on any health and safety related topic: something we felt passionate about and on which we wanted the audience to take action.  

In this blog, Louise writes about her successful entry to the Challenge, and the lessons she learned from taking part.

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