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Kim Hedges  
#1 Posted : 04 September 2019 16:09:04(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kim Hedges

I came across a story today that says the HSE has appointed a new head person.  I instantly wondered, do they come from safety?  On reading a bit further, I discovered - no.

In light of the ongoing Grenfell Tower (fire) enquiry and hopefully the shakeup of the building and construction industry regarding what is considered safe construction and not simply cheap, I am surprised the HSE chose a person from outside the ranks of the safety industry, again.

I was hoping for radical change and not more of the status quo, surly there needs to be someone appointed who can champion the best? 

Any views or am I a lone voice screaming at the ether of the internet?

Roundtuit  
#2 Posted : 04 September 2019 18:42:01(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Does the CEO/MD/etc.. who signs the company policy have any H&S training/awareness (or as often posted - competence)? Leaders, lead the rest do. So the judgement of this new heads performance will be what happens during their tenure, hopefully they will get the support necessary to resolve long standing issues but remember construction and its shareholders are powerful lobbyists - even making companies pay suppliers on time has been watered down yet again.
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Kim Hedges on 04/09/2019(UTC)
RayRapp  
#3 Posted : 04 September 2019 20:36:41(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Perhaps a fresh eye from another industry will bring some benefits. That said, after reading SHP article below the cynic in me thinks she may have been brought in for more cost cutting and job shredding.

https://www.shponline.co.uk/feature/new-chief-executive-for-hse-has-been-announced/ 

thanks 3 users thanked RayRapp for this useful post.
Kim Hedges on 04/09/2019(UTC), webstar on 05/09/2019(UTC), A Kurdziel on 11/09/2019(UTC)
SNS  
#4 Posted : 04 September 2019 21:02:44(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
SNS

I have put this out there before, however:

What is the difference between realism and cynicism ?

.

.

.

About 20 minutes...

thanks 2 users thanked SNS for this useful post.
RayRapp on 04/09/2019(UTC), Kim Hedges on 04/09/2019(UTC)
Kim Hedges  
#5 Posted : 04 September 2019 22:03:44(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kim Hedges

I totally agree RayRapp.  

On a personal note and being an optomistic pragmatist, I had thought with the public disgust on hearing how the safety of building and construction in this country has been diluted since the mid 1970's and including the removal of the Clerk of Works post and the continued underfunding of the government funded HSE and the hundred plus inspectors who are no longer employed by the HSE, there needs to be a recconing at ministerial level, whether or not we leave the EU.  

We see health and safety laws as the bedrock for a safe workplace, so why can't the Government not understand that the laws governing our land need both tightening up and simplification, but more importantly properly audited (or inspected), this needs more money spent not less.  I fear that we are going to get another lamb, when the country needs a lion to champion health and safety.  This most recent appointment does not reassue me.  

MrBrightside  
#6 Posted : 05 September 2019 13:57:59(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
MrBrightside

I'm going throw into the mix that the higher up you get in safety the less you need to know about safety.

This is the same in a lot of industries. Your not writing policies and procedures, your not carrying out risk assessments or training. Your managing people, workload, budgets etc as crazy as it sounds you don't need to know the matter of what you are managing you just need to know how to manage.

This doesn't make it right, it's the nature of the beast. 

biker1  
#7 Posted : 05 September 2019 15:41:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

This is an issue that I think, apart from anything else, puts a limit on career progression for health and safety professionals. I have worked for a safety organisation where there was no-one above my level qualified in health and safety, and I wasn't at a high level. I would have thought that someone in charge of the HSE should have qualifications and some experience in health and safety; I would have thought it goes with the territory. If we are to raise the profile of our profession, then getting professionals into senior positions is surely part of this. As it is, the recruitment processes used in such matters inflicts a ceiling on progression for all of us, and perhaps it is time this was challenged. The notion that someone from a different field can turn their hand to our field is optimistic to say the least. A fresh pair of eyes, yes, but when those eyes don't know what they're looking at, it's not going to end well.

Roundtuit  
#8 Posted : 05 September 2019 16:48:44(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Unfortunately the job title Manager, Director or having a few direct reports does not necessarily translate to the necessary business accumen to lead an entire organisation.

chris.packham  
#9 Posted : 06 September 2019 08:44:50(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

Given the extremely wide and complex field that is health and safety at work would a basic knowledge of health and safety really be of any great benefit? Could they then be competent to comment on or judge on any particular, perhaps obscure, situation in one sector of occupational health and safety?

For me, based on experience of working in a variety of roles in different industrial sectors and environments, what is much more important is that the leader (CEO) builds a team of people around him, each with their own in-depth knowledge of a particular aspect of the subject. Also that they ensure the organisation is open to advice and input from those in the field outside the organisation itself. (My experience has been that the HSE is not very good at this latter point.)

The leader's task is then to ensure the team function effectively and to co-ordinate the effort to maximies the impact that the team can brin by pooling and exploiting their combined expertise.

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stevedm on 06/09/2019(UTC), O'Donnell54548 on 09/09/2019(UTC)
jmaclaughlin  
#10 Posted : 11 September 2019 09:09:12(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
jmaclaughlin

Originally Posted by: biker1 Go to Quoted Post

The notion that someone from a different field can turn their hand to our field is optimistic to say the least. A fresh pair of eyes, yes, but when those eyes don't know what they're looking at, it's not going to end well.

That works both ways, I have seen/intervened with Cmiosh H&S professional on the railway with zero comprehension of an imminent life threatening hazard, As someone who has "turned their hand" to H&S I will never have his credentials, but as a mere H&S Advisor can keep him safe on the railway, unlike I suspect the vast majority of H&S professionals. There is more to safety than knowing all the rules and regulations.

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A Kurdziel on 11/09/2019(UTC), mihai_qa on 11/09/2019(UTC)
score  
#11 Posted : 11 September 2019 09:23:52(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
score

I took over a major client who works in the construction industry from our senior consultant, after a few weeks he asked me how i was getting along, i said that i had completed all their RAMS to which he replied what are they??? 

He can talk the talk but he certainly cant walk... Shocking!!

A Kurdziel  
#12 Posted : 11 September 2019 09:40:32(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

The HSE is a bureaucracy and like most bureaucracies it develops a life of its own. It is part of a larger bureaucracy the Civil Service which has its own agenda, which might not exactly align with what the HSE is about.

The people who run these organisations are usually called executives not managers and they no longer deal with people, as such, but departments and overarching policies and the little stuff ( like RAMS) are not really relevant to them unless they impact on the high level stuff they have been  told to deal with.  Looking at her background I would suggest the RayRapp is right. The Courts and Tribunal Service has been trying to be “cost neutral” for the past twenty years or so, which essentially means it does not cost the Treasury anything to run as it recovers its own costs through fines and charges.  I think them would like to HSE to be like that as well. Cost recovery will be the aim of the game. Is suspect that they will charge you just looking at the HSE website in the future.

 

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webstar on 11/09/2019(UTC)
mihai_qa  
#13 Posted : 11 September 2019 09:48:32(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
mihai_qa

Empathy, conflict management, strategy, awareness, soft skills, communication, business acumen

vs

Authority, text book, objective, rule of law, technical skills, technical slang, legislation.

If the choice is between the two, I know which one I prefer. We've got plenty of professionals in love with their checklist.

Natasha.Graham  
#14 Posted : 13 September 2019 09:51:52(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Natasha.Graham

I remember once being told by an incoming Director of Safety with no safety qualifications that to manage a safety organisation or a team of safety professionals, one doesn't necessarily need to know anything about safety as it is purely a people management role - the safety team are the ones with the knowledge! 

However when a month later I refused to allow some demolition works in an office to being because the CDM requirements hadn't been fulfilled, I got a rollocking for it (despite another colleague agreeing with me)! Had he have understood safety a little more then he may have understood my judgement a little more.  Needless to say I moved on fairly quickly after that! 

thanks 2 users thanked Natasha.Graham for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 13/09/2019(UTC), Dazzling Puddock on 16/09/2019(UTC)
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