UK health & safety law changes - Manchester conference

The British Safety Council is holding a half-day conference in Manchester on 26 February.

The conference is to update employers in the north west of England and surrounding regions on important developments in UK health and safety legislation, practice and enforcement.

Aimed at employers, directors and managers in businesses and organisations of all types, sizes and sectors, the conference will shine a light on some of the major workplace risks employers have to manage and seek to improve employers’ knowledge about how best to go about meeting this challenge.  

Taking place from 8.15 – 12.00 at the Midland Hotel in Manchester city centre, the conference will feature expert speakers from the health, safety and legal worlds, including representatives from the Health and Safety Executive, Manchester-based law practice Osborn, Abbas Hunt and St John Ambulance.

In light of the coalition government’s continuing efforts to simplify the UK’s legal framework for health and safety and the ever-present threat of prosecution and heavy fines for those businesses who fail to meet their health and safety duties, the conference will focus strongly on recent changes to the law and trends in health and safety enforcement and prosecution.  
The speakers
Lee Hughes, regulatory lawyer at Osborn Abas Hunt, will explain how an apparent trend to prosecute company directors and managers when taking corporate manslaughter charges against a business highlights the risk of employers failing to ensure adequate health and safety standards at work. Meanwhile, Peter Savage, chief operations officer at St John Ambulance, will explain how, following a legal change in October 2013, employers must now carry out their own checks on the competence of first aid training providers, rather than relying on a previous system of approved trainers run by the Health and Safety Executive.

Paul Cook from the Health and Safety Executive will explain how new guidance on managing health and safety provides an effective framework for identifying, assessing and controlling common risks – thereby protecting employees and others from the risk of injury and ill health. Nattasha Freeman, head of health and safety at property consultancy GBR Phoenix Beard, will provide an overview of key developments in the regulation of health and safety in construction.

Nattasha – who is a past President of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH),­ the membership body for health and safety professionals – will explain recent changes to the legal controls on work with asbestos affecting the construction and refurbishment sectors, and government plans to simplify the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, which place health and safety duties on all parties involved in major construction work. She will also draw on her extensive experience as a construction health and safety professional to outline ways of managing the risks from fire in large occupied buildings.          

Finally, Gary Jewkes and Tony Murphy from Ellesmere Port-based legionella management specialist Wrights Services UK Ltd, will explain their experiences of controlling exposure to the potentially dangerous bacteria at a complex industrial site. Wrights Services UK is contracted to control legionella in water systems at ESSAR’s giant Stanlow Oil refinery in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, and Gary and Tony will outline some of the techniques used to protect employees and the public from the threat of developing Legionnaires' disease.

The conference also provides an opportunity to gain continuing professional development (CPD) credits for Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) CPD schemes.

Neal Stone, policy and communications director at the British Safety Council, said: “In 2012-13, 15 people lost their lives while at work in the North West and 2,337 suffered a major injury, making it vital for employers across the region to effectively manage the risks to their workers’ health and safety.

“The British Safety Council’s half-day conference provides an ideal opportunity to keep abreast of recent developments in health and safety policy, law and practice, understand the legal requirements in this area and learn about best practice from experts in the field.”       

Book now
Delegate fees are £90 + VAT for British Safety Council members, and £115 + VAT for non-members. Delegates who book and pay for their place(s) by 15 January 2014 will be automatically entered into a prize draw to win a Kindle Fire (terms and conditions apply).

To book go to:, (Tel) +44 (0)20 8741 1231, or (email) [email protected]

Full conference programme, 8.15 – 12.00

  • Key developments in construction regulation including changes to asbestos regulation and CDM – Nattasha Freeman, head of health and safety, GBR Phoenix Beard, IOSH past president
  • Update on HSE’s review of guidance including ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ (INDG275rev) – Paul Cook, external guidance review team, Health and Safety Executive   
  • Health and safety legal update including leading cases and major developments –­ Lee Hughes, regulatory lawyer, Osborn Abas Hunt
  • Legionella: identifying, managing and controlling legionella bacteria – Gary Jewkes, managing director and Tony Murphy, safety advisor/QA manager, Wrights Services UK (major contractor at ESSAR’s Stanlow Oil refinery)
  • Changes to First Aid at Work Regulations, what it means for you: the benefit of trained first aiders in the workplace ­– Peter Savage, chief operations officer, St John Ambulance.

Venue details
The Midland Hotel, Peter St, Manchester M60 2DS