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Leading the way: South Wales Safety Alliance Inaugural Conference

On 13 April in Cardiff, the South Wales Safety Alliance Inaugural Conference took place. The Alliance, made up of key health and safety groups in the area, is an excellent example of collaboration to achieve an improvement in the health, safety and wellbeing of all employees and others in South Wales. Chaired by Neil Craig, Head of Field Operations for HSE Wales and the Marches, the conference provided delegates with practical information on an array of subjects that they could take away and use in their roles. From sessions on risk assessments to safety leadership, a key theme of the day was that health should be given equal billing to safety.

IIRSM President Siobhan Donnelly gave a presidential speech and praised the organisers for their extraordinary efforts. Siobhan pointed out how the Alliance was unique in its collaborative local approach and that South Wales was leading the way towards the working together agenda. In her address Siobhan talked about how the UK has some of the best health and safety legislation and practice in the world but added that we should not be complacent – we must continue to work towards ensuring that everyone comes home from work safe, as “one death is one too many”.

IIRSM Council member Clive Johnson gave a presentation on risk assessments and provided delegates with an interesting insight to the approach taken by his employer, Land Securities. Drawing on his experience and using local examples, Clive talked about the complexities of the hazards that he deals with and how he uses risk assessments to address risks that cannot be mitigated at the source.

Following this there were some inspirational presidential speeches from the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) and IOSH as well as some great quality sessions about wellbeing, behavioural safety, BOHS’s breathe freely campaign and a look at the defence side of legal claims.

The alliance is formed of the IIRSM Wales Branch, IOSH South Wales Branch, South Wales Construction Safety Group, Cardiff & South East Wales Occupational Health & Safety Group and Swansea & West Wales Occupational Safety Group.

The day was a great success and the Institute would like to give special thanks to IIRSM Wales Branch Chair Steve Bergiers and the Branch Committee for their part in the Alliance and for helping to organise the event.

Clive Johnson has kindly made his presentation on risk assessments available on our website. You can access the presentation here.

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