Health and Safety seminar – resounding success.

Chesterfield, was perhaps the biggest health and safety seminar event in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire this year. It was by all accounts a resounding success. Invited guests, safety managers,  turned up from all over the country on a wonderfully sunny early summer’s day in May. Somerset, London, Durham, Lancashire as well as a good attendance from local companies, to hear and see a fast moving programme of a whole range of subjects. From the latest in fire precautions, stress management, developments in how courts determine the level of fines, through to how the human brain is easily tricked making us more prone to accidents, safety management software, moving vehicle detection and much more.

However, the presentation enjoyed most by the  audience, was the presentation on how to gain the co-operation of the workforce. The presentation was certainly well delivered by my colleague Mark Eastburn who not only has a vast experience in this area, but also possesses a higher level of teaching qualification than most. On reflection though, the huge demand by other HS managers to discover new and successful methods of gaining compliance is recognisable. Is this the greatest problem we are faced with I wonder?

The weather was also good to us on the day, allowing for a very relaxed chance to get together and discuss  work place issues with our colleagues outside on the patio while lunch was consumed.

The feedback I received from the seminar was overwhelmingly encouraging. Everyone found it to be useful in some way or other and took something away from the day. Some of us found the chance to catch up with old colleagues to be invaluable. Others found it useful in the way it enabled them to escape from the day to day grind of management and find the time to relax and reflect but in a professional atmosphere.

You will be pleased to note that next years’ date has already been set as we are now working towards the 19th April 2018. As always we will build on previous years to make subtle improvements. The next seminar is due to have a nationally recognised guest speaker. We will also look to lengthen some of the presentation slots although not all. We will continue to stick to the latest format of making the presentations wide and varying. Therefore if one presentation is of little interest, then the following one, being in a completely different subject area, should hopefully be of more interest to the individual and to successfully hold their attention.

Did anything disappoint us? Not really on the day, everything worked so well and managed to keep to the tight schedule. However, on the build-up, we were disappointed by the local paper, who despite requesting an editorial, still could not find space in their lightweight periodical for such a great and well attended event. Oh well, I guess this typifies the claustrophobic and depressingly inwardly looking paper it is.

Thanks to everyone who attended and made this day such an important and useful event.
See you again on 19th April 2018!


CCNSG safety passport constantly evolving

The CCNSG safety passport, awarded by the ECITB continues to move onwards and constantly evolve.

The latest news is regarding the capping of the fees being charged by training providers. It doesn’t affect Train to Safety as we already charged below the maximum cap now being imposed. However, some organisations are rather disgruntled and are refusing to renew their licence, claiming the course is just not viable. Be careful your “reliable” training provider isn’t going to leave you out in the cold.

Also new is the trial being conducted to complete just the renewal test as a touch screen type test, if employees can demonstrate they are the holders of a high level course such as a NEBOSH or an IOSH Managing Safely. I shall report back once we know how the trials went.

The CCNSG courses are constantly being reviewed and upgraded every few years. Both the renewal and the two day courses were updated last year. The central theme really does go along the route of trying to get contractors to accept that misbehaviour is a significant cause of accidents. The course also is also in line with the current theme to attempt to engage workers and look out for each-others safety and health while out on a site. The LATS course or Leading a Team Safely course aimed at supervisors is in the process of being revised. It is starting to look a bit jaded now, however the focus of the course on management skills as opposed to health and safety issues directly, hits the spot. It really is a valuable addition to any person looking to demonstrate a wider range of interpersonal skills.

For more information regarding course dates, go to the Train to Safety website at However next two day course in Chesterfield is set for 15th and 16th August.

Finally. Napo the cartoon character no longer appears on the CCNSG courses. Some people are relieved, whereas some are most disappointed to learn this when they turn up for the renewal. I’m in the latter group as for any training that has the impact of being memorable to smallest detail 3 years later has to be a very powerful weapon in the battle to create visual, engaging and humorous training. No laughing matter tries to redress the balance here.

Health and safety Seminar workshop 11th May

Imagine an Health and safety seminar where you can clock up plenty of kudos with your CPD, continuous personal development.

Imagine a networking event where you could meet up with old colleagues, meet new acquaintances and get carried away with the enthusiasm and passion of your subject.

Imagine taking half or a full day, away from the workplace to free your mind from the day to day toil, while allowing your mind to soak up new ideas and test new technologies.

Imagine giving some of your hard earned experiences and receiving the wisdom of many others.

Imagine no further. Join our Health and safety seminar on May 11th at Ringwood Hall Hotel near Chesterfield.

Ringwood Hall Hotel Gardens

Directors under fire

It is not easy being a director. I should know, I’ve been one. I still am one in actual fact. The level of responsibility and pressure to succeed are immense. Emerging technologies expand and grow at an exponential rate, effecting the field of business in ways we find difficult to imagine. The opportunities and threats have to be met head on and dealt with before there is a negative impact on the business. Health and safety is just one aspect of business which is hard to keep track of and harness in as useful a way as is possible. It doesn’t help when the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) turn their attention more and more to business directors if something has gone wrong in the workplace. In the most recent year end to April 2016 for figures being made available, director convictions leaped to 45 in comparison to 15 during the year before. The new sentencing guidelines imposed onto the criminal courts have pushed the value of fines for many companies into the millions (a ten fold increase for some business types). One utility company has set aside £26 million just to deal with the problem.

Taking no action and hoping for the best is not a wise option. However there are a few things that directors could instigate. By being proactive, they could start to demonstrate that their health and safety culture is an improving one. (Note, the HSE use under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974 to gain a prosecution of an individual director if in their estimation, the company had a negative health and safety culture)

Action one: Attend the Train to Safety one day course – Directing Safety on 28th February specifically to help directors decide what they need to do and at what level to become involved. This course has been widely accepted as greatly beneficial to directors who have been on the course.

Action two. As well as the Directing course (but not instead of), directors could ensure they have access to adequate health and safety assistance. Many come to me and request my services for this however, it is far better for them to install these levels of competence working inside their organisation. Recruitment is one method but qualifying their staff to the NEBOSH General certificate will pay for itself by the end of the year.

The next NEBOSH course starts soon on the 7th March. contact:

Don’t miss out. The business risks are just to great.

David Smith explaining how Asda became the top as a business performer.

No more NEBOSH sting

Ever taken a sting from a training company who offer you the world, take your money and then abandon you? Apparently this is quite common for many people looking for a NEBOSH qualification with one of the many of the cattle market training companies. Hopeful wannabe health and safety managers become sucked in and cleaned out. It’s at that  point they phone Train to Safety for help. We seem to be offering more and more support for those in despair. People who have suffered disenchantment and disillusioned at the mediocre trainers delivering courses full of thousands of powerpoints.  I was offered one off-the-shelf NEBOSH powerpoint presentation to buy and use that included over 1,600 individual powerpoint frames. These organisations have completely lost the plot and do not have the imagination to find a way out.

So welcome to any humiliated individuals who may be looking to recover their position. Our next course starts on 8th March in Chesterfield. Please come and join us. We cant guarantee success but we will guarantee that we will put more effort into providing the vital support that this course requires.

See the classic con which you wont experience with us.

Made a difference?

“So, do you really think you have made a difference?” came the question from a fresh and sceptical mind on my latest IOSH Managing Safely course. The enthusiasm had been building up in me and had by then come to the boil, bubbling over and spilling good practice theory all around.

“Well of course I feel that” I replied. Its difficult to be able to quantify things but as I look back over the last twelve years I have been completing safety training, I can make a quite clear distinction between then and now. Firstly and most obviously, the national accident and ill health rates (for most but not all things) have reduced. I cant claim that any of this is directly attributable to me, or to health and safety trainers as a whole. Some of this may have been down to the general massaging of peoples minds by the gentle subtle shift in society as a whole.  Such as successful campaigns to reduce car accidents, drink and driving and high profile accidents hitting the headlines (i.e. the Alton Towers theme park ride catastrophe). However, I have noticed that shop floor workers who come to me for basic health and safety training are far more aware about safety as a starting point. All health and safety courses have had to raise their bar slightly as a result.

I can definitely point to two situations at least where, as a natural cynic, I have welled up in pride at the most noticeable results. One company was a fabricator of machine tools near Sheffield. A few years ago and due to their desperation I handed them a very basic off the shelf Health and Safety Management System as they had virtually nothing in place. I spent a bit of time going through how to implement it and their factory manager came on an IOSH course. I then left thinking that they would struggle to implement things as I had suggested due to the usual pressures of time and diminishing motivation. Earlier this year I bumped into the factory manager. He told me that the HSE had just conducted a random visit on them. I was full of dread and was visibly cringing. “Oh no”, the guy said. “The HSE were very complementary and went away very happy”. My heart jumped for joy. Well done to them.

Then last week I completed a one day IOSH refresher training course at a supply products manufacturer  in mid Derbyshire. Three years previously these same staff had come into the training room feeling pushed, cynical and rather exposed. Their company had grown from a small tin shed making widgets, expanding to  a lush, new, modern, purpose built factory. It coincided with a change of management who were keen to progress and modernise to modern day working practice as quickly as possible. But on the day, when the staff came in, they were confident, smiling and very proud of the achievements of their company together with their own personal progress within the company. Everyone was happy about management systems, risk assessment, monitoring etc. It was a great feeling for me to witness this and recognised once more my own small part in their achievements. Well done to them.

Compare and contrast this to a machining company I was at last week. One of their guys told me he thought it was acceptable, almost a badge of honour if you were to lose, say, a finger in a machining operation. He resented safe working practice and implied we had all gone soft. This guy and millions like him across industry want to return to the good old days. They are suspicious of management with vision, are resistant to new technology and new ideas and then wonder why their companies are dying out. These people have developed radical social ideas but unfortunately and ultimately it will not save them as progress sweeps them away. I remember the good old days, I was there. However, I cant recall a single thing at all that was good about them. Aberfan, Flixborough, Piper Alpha, Herald of Free Enterprise, nearly eight hundred people being killed each year. Desperate, desperate ill health in later years even if you did manage to survive. Good riddance.

In summary. I believe that health and safety is part of a progressive movement of which I play a small, almost insignificant part. But that part I feel extremely proud to be part of and I do believe I and many of my colleagues make a real difference.

Check out the “good old days” seen at their ugliest in this documentary.






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