SHE Management Conference 2013

Hilton Manchester Deansgate 1 - 3 May 2013

Focusing on the individual is at the heart of health and safety as the energy industry came together to this week to discuss this vital area. It heard from senior industry and safety members how from the CEO to the every member of the workforce, the principle of protecting people through behavioural safety should be adopted.

Steve Johnson, Chief Executive of Electricity North West and Chairman of Energy Networks Association, the two co-hosts for the annual Safety, Health and Environment Conference, said:

"Protecting our people and the public is a given. The Board-level interaction across the industry is impressive, our investors recognise the importance of this and pour over our health and safety data. I continue to see an industry that is improving with training and experience that is informed by learning from incidents and adapting to risk.

"Innovation plays a key part in our quest to improve procedures. While regulation of costs and the challenges to keep them down are important we must guard our health and safety investment. New technologies will pose new challenges and we will need to adapt to maintain safety."

Jane Willis, Director of Cross-cutting Interventions at the HSE spoke of the progress in the industry and the work of HSE to simplify information and clarify guidance for business and industries:

"We continue to challenge the attitude that health and safety is a barrier when guidance and the law provide no valid reasons to support it. We can't underestimate the value of challenging perceptions. The government's position is to aid growth and HSE is supporting this by simplifying guidance and clarifying what is necessary. We continue to balance the needs of this process with protecting people.

"Powering Improvement has been a major driver for success and I want to commend the work. This has also been a tremendous year for the work on metal theft and ENA has worked hard across industries to deliver the new Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013."

Mike Clancy, General Secretary of the union Prospect and a 2013 Champion for Powering Improvement spoke of his pride as a Union leader and of being involved in the industry initiative:

"We expect high standards of our members and safety representatives as we want them to seek constructive relationships. In return we expect trust from companies to deliver a benefit to the workforce and to listen. For our part as unions we must be willing to accept that change does need to happen, but it must be fair.

"If an investigation is necessary then that is where the trust relationship is challenged. It must be clear that investigations are used to learn and not lynch, with a focus on improvement rather than blame. With a focus on trust, everyone's personal responsibility can be reinforced to deliver learning."