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British Safety Council annual conference

Steve Hails

An opportunity for business leaders and managers to get up to speed on what’s next in health and safety

THE British Safety Council will be holding its annual conference entitled ‘Health and Safety – What’s Next?’ on Wednesday 23 September 2015 at Dexter House, Tower Hill, London.

This year’s conference will cut across the health and safety management landscape, allowing business leaders and managers to share insights into the ongoing challenges facing businesses. Open for registration from 8.15am, the event will run from 9.00am to 4.45pm, with opportunities to network over lunch and throughout the day.


The morning will open with a keynote presentation by Steve Hails (pictured), health and safety director at Crossrail, one of Europe’s largest railway and infrastructure projects, who will give insight into some of his key challenges and priorities.

Professor Stephen Bevan from the Work Foundation will present the second keynote articulating the need to address health at work and potential policy outcomes for business.

The morning’s opening session will be completed with a view from Mike Clancy, general secretary of Prospect, on what comes next in terms of addressing workers’ priorities.

Other morning presentations will include: Kevin Myers, director general of regulation with the HSE, on the priorities and challenges ahead in relation to working with businesses; and Birgit Müller from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, who will speak about the Agency’s stress-management campaign and the resources available to businesses to share good practice.

In the afternoon delegates can choose whether to participate in panel discussions – one on ‘compliance and enforcement’ and the other on ‘competence and training’ – or attend further presentation sessions on sharing best practice from British Safety Council member organizations Black & Veatch, Unipart Group and North Star Shipping, as well as gaining insight into some of the latest health and safety campaigns – Safer Lorries (TfL), Breathe Freely (BOHS), or Speak Up, Stay Safe (British Safety Council).

The day’s proceedings will be drawn to a close with a concluding keynote by Geoffrey Podger, former chief executive of HSE and now visiting senior research fellow at King’s College London.

Neal Stone, acting chief executive of the British Safety Council, said: ‘Health as much as safety continues to demand the attention of business managers and decision-makers. Though the numbers of fatalities have dropped to lowest levels yet in Great Britain, the numbers we are seeing regarding the cost and impact of sickness absence, particularly in relation to musculoskeletal disorders and stress management, are a cause for concern.

‘In 2013 PriceWaterhouseCooper’s research showed that in UK companies, illness and its associated costs accounted for around 90% (£29 billion) of the total absence bill (£31 billion).

‘Health and safety can be about managing the risks, be they to individuals or operations, but what we also see evidence of is the tangible benefits and advantages that good health and safety management can bring to businesses. And our strength is that our members can and do share their experiences in understanding and addressing these day-to-day challenges that can have such a large impact on individuals – colleagues – as well as the bottom line.’

Attendance at the conference costs £145.00 + VAT per person for British Safety Council members and £175.00 + VAT per person for non-members. There is a three-for-two offer available until 30 June which will allow those booking two places to bring a third colleague for free. The full event programme can be found at:


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