Delivering the Solution Together: Next Steps – Birmingham, 27 November 2014
Around 150 invited senior representatives from across the waste and recycling industry met in Birmingham on Thursday 27 November 2014 to tackle the industry’s poor health and safety record.
The event organised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) Forum celebrated progress in delivering actions from the 2013 WISH Blueprint, as well as identifying ideas for future action, agreeing priorities and securing commitment to help bring about further change moving forward.
Giving the keynote speech to the conference, HSE Chair Judith Hackitt congratulated the Forum on what had been achieved thus far, but warned of the dangers of complacency and urged them to build on the positive start. “It is vital that you push on and all do your bit to make further progress. In particular, make a concerted effort to tackle those actions where progress has been slow. Keep setting yourselves challenging targets and play your part in raising health and safety standards in the industry”.
During the day a number of useful tools, guidance and initiatives developed from the 2013 WISH Blueprint were highlighted including:
Watch this space!
It was also announced that WISH would have its own dedicated web site autonomous of HSE in the New Year.
Using the outcomes from interactive workshops held on the day WISH is committed to developing a new Blueprint for 2015 onwards also to be published in the New Year. It will focus in particular on actions associated with worker involvement, support for small businesses and creating safer, healthier workplaces.
Chris Jones, WISH Chair and Director of Risk Management and Compliance at Cory Environmental said “After 13 years of tough, challenging, but ultimately very successful WISH work programmes, it was good to see the level of passion and enthusiasm that remains in the industry to take on the next set of challenges. As Machiavelli observed "Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great". I'm looking forward to working through the outcomes of the workshop sessions to see what new challenges the industry is dedicating itself to overcome.”
Event agenda and associated presentations
- Event chair – Alexander Maddan (Chief Executive, Agrivert) and Toni Gladding (Senior Lecturer, Open University Integrated Waste Management Services and Secretary of WISH)
- Keynote address – Judith Hackitt (CBE) Chair of Health and Safety Executive
- WISH update and news – Christopher Jones, Chair of Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum and Compliance Director, Cory Environmental
- Delivering the WISH Blueprint
- Worker Involvement – led by Geoff Smallwood, Shanks Waste Management
- Competence – led by Chris James, WAMITAB
- Creating healthier workplaces – led by Peter Sykes, Cardiff Metropolitan University
- Creating safer workplaces – led by Kezia Grimley, Shanks Group
- Customising support for SMEs – led by Susan Relf, Agrivert Ltd
- Feedback from workshops and open panel discussion
- Concluding remarks and close – Christopher Jones, Chair of WISH
Reaction and comment – vox pops
- “It was good to see so many people and organisations demonstrating their commitment to improving performance across the waste and recycling industry, the celebration of achievements and the recognition that there is still a long way to go. As a priority sector for HSE we will continue to work with the industry to address the poor safety record to further reduce the toll of death and injury.” Rick Brunt, HSE Head of Waste and Recycling Sector
- “Employee engagement can provide significant benefits in improving health and safety performance, and this view was supported fully by the WISH employee engagement workshop at the conference. The workshop certainly endorsed employee engagement as a key part of WISH strategy, and provided many important insights into the topic from a waste management prospective. Workshop participants also provided WISH with a clear view of the specific issues it needs to address on engagement". Geoff Smallwood, Director of Corporate Responsibility and Risk Management, Shanks Group
- “The passion and quality of contribution was inspiring, I was delighted that health and safety skills were given such high prominence and provided such energising debate.” Chris James, Chief Executive Office, WAMITAB
- “The Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) requires individuals to “take care of each other” in all matters of health and safety. In the Waste Industry we are starting to see businesses taking care of businesses – sharing information and formulating improvement plans together. Delivering the solution together is those principles of HSWA, applied to the Waste Industry and it was important and exciting to see that working on the day!” Susan Relf, Compliance Director, Agrivert Ltd
- “It was a pleasure and a privilege to participate in an event which regularly puts safety improvement at the forefront of the Waste Management Industry’s strategy and planning” Paul Thornber, Health and Safety Manager, Veolia Environmental Services
- I thought the day went very well and levels if interest and commitment are high – this can only be a good thing as we try to move this forward Peter Sykes, Head of Enterprise, Cardiff Metropolitan University
- “I am very pleased to be a part of WISH and be able to attend such an important conference as a representative of the GMB, it is not often that so many people from so many organisations involved in the waste industry come together with one aim 'to do everything we can to make our industry safer and ensure that our members and employees return home every day to their families without accident or I'll health'. Everyone spoke with passion and commitment to finding solutions and making a safer working environment for all and I would like to offer as a representative of the GMB our commitment to work with everyone involved to find such solutions.“ Lee Hillam, Refuse Leading Hand, Cambridge City Council and Health and Safety Representative, GMB union