What a week Health and Safety Week 2016 was! As mentioned in our recent blog posts, we’d really been looking forward to last week for quite a while at Hundred Acre. For most of the week, Hundred Acre’s founder and director, Bridget Gilmour, was at ExCel London. While the weather made it challenging to get in and around ExCel, Bridget’s focus was on the events inside. Here are her thoughts on a fantastic week that really got her thinking.
“I’ve been attending the IOSH conferences since 2006,” explains Bridget “and I think on reflection this was possibly my favourite in all those years. I’m not sure if it was the content of the conference and expo or the eyes in which I saw it, but I can tell you I absolutely loved being part of it. Here are some of my highlights:
“Einstein said ‘a day without learning is a day wasted’ and I completely agree. One of the things I love about being a conference delegate is having the opportunity to learn and soak up as much as I can. One topic I was thrilled to hear mentioned so many times was health. There are some very scary statistics out there about work-related ill health as well as mental health, so it was great to hear the information being shared and discussed. One thing I have to learn more about is the health impact of long shifts, shift work and sedentary work. Something that so many of us do and there is significant evidence of the negative impact of these types of work on our health.
“A number of sessions really made me think about public perception of health and safety versus the mindset of those of us who work in the industry. One stand out session involved video and live actors living out the events around a death at work. I have never seen anything like it and was hugely impressed with the idea and the emotions it provoked. It was an exceptional way to get the message across in training of what safety is all about.
“The IOSH conference gives us a great opportunity to talk to friends and peers, as well as meet new colleagues. This year both the conference and SHE1000 event looked at networking, and in doing so encouraged speaking to strangers in the room. I can honestly say no one was a stranger at the end of the week.
“An unexpected situation meant that I was asked to join a panel to speak about career progression at the last minute. Naturally I jumped at the chance, not realising that I would end up being the only person on the panel for most of the time! Questions from the floor included how to start a career when roles require experience and you have none, and what the benefits of fellowship of IOSH were and why I applied for mine. A real mix that although not expected, I really loved answering.
“I cannot talk about my week without mentioning Sir Clive Woodward’s session. I remember watching the World Cup final in 2003 and I was on Oxford Street as the England team paraded around the capital. That wasn’t the only reason I was excited to hear Sir Clive speak though. His leadership of both the England team and Team GB for London 2012 were inspiring. His expertise and style was before his time and possibly still is for many companies. I absolutely loved what he had to say and I took copious amounts of notes. I really cannot wait to use some of the ideas he discussed in my work with clients and in the training I deliver.
“My brain is spinning from everything I’ve learnt and ways to interweave it into my future work,” continues Bridget. “I can’t stop thinking about all the incredible insights we were discussing to help everyone work safely and healthily for a lifetime, but on top of that, considering the referendum result of Friday 24th and wondering what affect that might have on the future of my country and world, as well as my profession.
“I’ll be reaching out to all the new contacts I made last week so we can keep in touch and support each other. I’ll also be looking forward to my next conference in Vancouver over the next couple of months, and to all these events repeating in 2017, though I certainly won’t forget about this week in a hurry.”