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Date of Issue: Friday, 8 March, 2013
I was at the health and wellbeing conference in Birmingham earlier this week. Judith Hackett provided an excellent resume on the changes in HSE. However good the presentation and despite her reassurances, it was quite clear that there remain many concerns within our profession with regard to the changes. It is easy to argue that no one likes change, but is also all too easy to dismiss those who have concerns as Luddites.
The main areas of concern seem to centre the definition of “low risk” and a feeling that this will equate to “small”. Judith was at pains to point out that that this was not the case and that intelligence based intervention would ensure that this did not happen. The charging regime also came in for comment with a real concern that this had the potential to change the whole relationship between HSE and “client”. Having previously worked in the transport industry where the relationship between Traffic Commissioners and the industry became adversarial, I can sympathise with this concern.
It was clear that Judith understood the views of those who commented. Her views were conciliatory and sympathetic. However, it is quite clear that much work still needs to be done to address the many issues felt by the profession. Resistance to change occurs when individuals perceive that a proposed change is a threat – not only to themselves as individuals, but also to their values.
If we are to make this transition successfully, then HSE must continue to recognise the real concerns within the industry and through a process of facilitation and education, work with the profession and help it to fully buy into the rationale behind the changes.
Brian Nimick, IIRSM Chief Executive