Our annual day seminar, ably chaired by Tim Briggs, Immediate Past President, IOSH, proved to be popular and informative.

Delegates were privileged to hear some fascinating presentations that included practical advice about how to develop a positive workplace safety culture and ways of preventing and dealing with major workplace incidents.

Jennifer Webster, Psychologist, Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL), Buxton opened the seminar by challenging delegates to understand what workplace ‘safety culture’ and ‘safety climate’ are and whether or not they are different from ‘workplace culture’ and ‘workplace climate’.

A copy of her presentation can be found here: The importance of workplace culture, what is it and how does it affect our business operations – Jennifer Webster

Mike Griffiths, H M Inspector of Health and Safety, Construction Division, HSE Bootle, gave a thought provoking key note presentation on RIDDOR investigations. He included advice on the content of major incident plans and the need to have effective management systems in place to cope with the incident aftermath.

Our summary of key points from Mike’s presentation: RIDDOR investigation time line – Mike Griffiths

Advice and question prompt sheet for witness interviews: Witness question advice sheet

After the meeting Mike also mentioned that there are a lot of instances, particularly for cardiac arrest, where people who know CPR don’t attempt it and the victim dies; equally there are instances in industrial incidents where the injured person has blood and/or vomit in their mouth and that will put people off from doing CPR (imagine the impact on a first aider that doesn’t do CPR and then the casualty dies…)

The British Heart Foundation provide information on resuscitation techniques. Further information is available on their website


A lot of public buildings now have “smart” defibrillators (smart as in they won’t let you shock someone who doesn’t need it). The following BBC news article explains how defibrillators can save lives.


 Amanda Dowson, Managing Director, Peritus Health Management, gave us an entertaining insight into how occupational health professionals can contribute to developing a positive culture by assessing workplace ergonomics and individual employees physical needs so that work output is improved and employees feel valued.

A copy of her presentation can be found here: Can occupational health programmes change workplace culture – Amanda Dowson

Faye Collis, Operational Excellence Coach, Centrica Energy Exploration and Production outlined the thinking behind Centrica’s long-term management programme to ensure that all employees ‘buy in’ to a caring workplace safet culture.

A copy of her presentation can be found here: Can workplace management systems influence workplace cultures – Faye de Wolf

David Smith, Senior Consultant, Act Associates asked delegates to consider how safety auditing programmes can affect workplace culture.

A copy of his presentation can be found here: How can auditing programmes be used to influence workplace culture – David Smith

Helen Shaw, Senior Litigation Manager, Porter, Rees & Dolan Solicitors, Manchester, our final speaker, focussed delegates minds on the impact of workplace injuries on the injured employee, their families, work colleagues, the organisation’s reputation and the business’s bottom line. She said that, in her experience, nearly all of the workplace injuries and occupational health problems that she had dealt with were preventable.

Our summary of key points from Helen’s presentation: How to avoid private litigation – Helen Shaw summary

Working Towards a Safer Workplace