Meeting Report – 9th January 2019 – Driving

Meeting Report – Wednesday 9th January 2019 – Group Meeting + Topic:  Driving – Reducing the Risk

With about 25 members in attendance, Sue Smith from Humberside Fire & Rescue Service, representing Safer Roads Humber (SRH), gave an excellent presentation on driving safely.  She informed the group that fire engines urgently driving on blue lights and sirens could be going to a road traffic collision rather than a fire, hence Sue’s involvement with SRH.  Many accidents are due to SMIDSY (Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You) as it appears on police reports.   Sue presented many tips on preventing “accidents” and, as a highlight, gave members a chance to experience a high speed crash using SRH’s virtual reality headsets – a superb experience, very realistic and scary.

You can contact Sue and the SRH team to discuss a visit to your organisation at  Also checkout

Stress – John Richardson – 10th October 2018

The presenter, John Richardson of John Richardson Training identifies stress as both an employers’ and an employees’ issue.  This seminar discusses organisational responsibilities and options whilst considering the significant upside in addressing stress in your workplace.  John is an experienced, thorough, motivational speaker (some of you may remember his tiredness/sleep seminar a couple of years ago) and is willing to discuss issues that may have cropped up in your organisation.  Well worth coming along … and a free cold buffet to start with!

*This seminar is all the more relevant following the publication of a Mind report on stress in the workplace which reveals that half of all employees (and that includes senior managers) have experienced a mental health problem in their current job.  To tackle the issue, The Duke of Cambridge has teamed up with several mental health organisations to launch a free resource aimed at improving staff wellbeing – check out the Mental Health at Work ‘gateway’.  The resource is much-needed, it would seem. As many as 300,000 people lose their job each year due to a mental health problem. Furthermore poor mental health at work costs the UK economy between £72bn and £99bn.

*Separate research by Mind found one in three employers do not know where to look for information and guidance, and Heads Together research shows that just 2% of people were prepared to talk to HR about mental health.  But being a supportive manager can make a huge difference.  Managers who felt their employer supported their mental health, or actively learnt about supporting team members with mental health problems, were far more likely to feel confident in promoting staff wellbeing.

This follows on from an earlier survey that 38% of NHS staff feel unwell due to work-related stress – more info here    The NHS is not alone – stress is one of the most commonly reported cause of occupational health in Britain, accounting for 40% of all work-related ill-health causes, and 49% of all working days lost due to ill-health in 2016/17.

*Acknowledgement – paragraphs taken directly, more or less, from the Mind website.

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ALL WELCOME BUT PLEASE CONTACT THE SECRETARY IF YOU INTEND TO ATTEND (to ensure adequate food supplies or special requirements, thinking vegetarian or gluten-free).  Secretary’s email address:

Report on the last HOHSG meeting – 2nd May – AGM & Group Meeting – Topic: Fire Protection Post-Grenfell

Report on the last meeting 2nd May – AGM & Group Meeting – Topic:  Fire Protection Post-Grenfell

19 members attended with Tony Bolder giving an overview of fire safety legislation and possible reasons why the Grenfell situation was allowed to occur.   Tony is an authority on fire safety and is very familiar with high-rise dwellings (check out his CV – very impressive).  He is also involved in the Hackitt review and is providing feedback on the final report which should be published in mid-May.  HOHSG members can now view Tony’s presentation as a pdf through the Members’ Menu – if it doesn’t appear to start with, check your Downloads icon (any problems, contact

Following the AGM, we are pleased to announce that Denis Fowler from York University has joined the Committee.  Unfortunately due to work commitments  Mandy Masters (Rix Shipping) and Dale Robinson (safety consultant) have resigned along with Graham Kettlewell (retired, Hull College) who wants to spend more time with his family.

Note from the Editor:  The Hackitt Review was published on Thursday 17th May and perhaps surprisingly did not recommend the banning of combustible cladding.  According to the i newspaper it has drawn considerable criticism, not least from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) which said:  “This review should have been a defining moment.  We are extremely concerned that it has failed to act on the urgent need to immediately protect life safety.”   And the MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, considered it unthinkable that flammable [sic] cladding has not been banned.   The Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has put out a statement urging the Government to act swiftly on the Hackitt fire safety recommendations – more details from IOSH through this link.  However, the media had already reported that Prime Minister, Theresa May, has pledged £400m to remove and replace dangerous cladding from tower blocks – 11 months after the Grenfell disaster.  Her spokesman said it would take two years.

Report on the last meeting 18th April – Seminar & Safety Awards

26 members and guests attended the Seminar given by Eddie Woods of Karrdale Ltd entitled Your Zero ™ – “the principles we share and adopt are built upon a belief / community base rather than solely a cultural / behaviour base”.   Eddie presented the idea that team working frequently gives way to the hunter-gatherer approach in this era of short-term employment contracts.  However, training in Your Zero enables high standards of safety to be achieved by taking responsibility for one’s own safety and reminding others around you to adopt good work practice e.g. reminding colleagues about good manual handling technique.  If you do this often enough good work practice ensues.  Tool Box Talks also have a similar effect.

Eddie Woods introduces the topic Eddie has sent us his handout which can be viewed in the Members’ section under Presentations.

Note that Your Zero is a registered trade mark of Karrdale Ltd

Eddie Woods at the flip chart

At the Awards presentation, trophies were given to Veolia Environmental Services, Saltend, for its comprehensive programme of risk assessment, training and addressing vehicle risks; to Daifuku Logan for its zero accidents strategy; BAE Systems, Brough, for its excellent safety record; and Hull Building Safety Group for sharing good practice and a co-ordinated safety blitz.

St Stephens Shopping Centre and Sangwins were commended for their entries.


Humberside Occupational Health & Safety Group is a not-for-profit organisation for companies (large and small), consultants and self-employed wishing to stay abreast with current health and safety legislation and best practice.  You can also join as an individual or student with an interest in H&S.  So, find out how other companies in the Humberside region comply with their Health and Safety responsibilities by coming to our meetings.  And as a member you have access to all HOHSG documents, minutes and presentations.  However, you get so much more from attending the meetings and seminars and talking to the topic presenters and other members of the group.

We hold a series of meetings and events throughout the year.  You can see a full list under the Meetings Tab above.  New potential members can attend one meeting for free before deciding whether to join or not.

Sick Building Syndrome

Is SBS still an issue in the office?  It was in the 90s but has greater awareness made it a thing of the past?  If your office employees are suffering from allergy-type symptoms and higher than expected sickness absence then maybe it’s due to SBS.  According to the i newspaper (25/8/16) it is caused by “volatile organic compounds” or VOCs such as acetone and formaldehyde coming from paint, furniture, photocopiers, printers and even dry-cleaned clothes.   But research by Dr Vadoud Niri of the State University of New York has shown that plants can absorb a lot of these VOCs.  Dr Niri tested the bromelaid (the best all-rounder), Dracaenia (best for acetone), jade plant, spider plant and Caribbean tree cactus.  All proved effective so why not invest in a couple of these unpaid workers for duty near the photocopier – it might clear the air.

Members’ Forum

Just a reminder to HOHSG members – you can raise any health, safety and environmental issues you may have anonymously – just log in, go the the Members menu, select Members Forum from the drop down list and “Create New Topic”.


MEETINGS – 2019 – exact dates and topics to be advised.

When –  unless otherwise stated below, we meet on the first Wednesday every other month from 1:00pm for refreshments and networking.  The meeting proper starts at 1:30 and usually finishes about 3:00/3:30.   Meeting dates are adjusted to avoid Bank Holiday weeks and school holidays.  We also hold seminars in April and October.

Where –  Sewell Studio, Geneva Way, off Leads Road, Hull HU7 0DG

Meeting date



9th January

Group Meeting

Driving – Reducing the Risk

6th March

Group Meeting

Asbestos Management


Seminar  (9.30-11:30/12) followed by Awards & buffet lunch


AGM & Group Meeting


Group Meeting


Group Meeting


Seminar (1.30 start)


Group Meeting



Group Meeting

Mental Health & Occupational Wellbeing