Paul Smith MA CFIOSH
Paul Smith’s career spans enforcement, consultancy and the power industry. A former Health and Safety Executive inspector, he’s now a specialist writer on safety and health topics.
Articles related to Biography
This series of perspectives on safety culture is likely to be especially valuable to organisations that manage potentially high risks. The papers were produced under the leadership of Toulouse-based Fondation pour une Culture de Sécurité Industrielle (Industrial Safety Culture Foundation) after consultation with industry stakeholders. In turn, this was supported by a two-day seminar in 2016 at which academics were invited to present relevant work.
The main focus of this book from the American Society of Safety Professionals is ISO 31000:2018, Risk management – Guidelines. We don’t hear a great deal about this international standard in the UK, but its key elements are setting the context, assessing risks (sub-divided into identification, analysis and evaluation) and risk treatment – all underpinned by a framework of communication and consultation, recording and reporting, and monitoring and review. The similarities with the UK approach greatly outweigh any differences.
John White is a mountaineer, nature lover and former national park ranger. He sets the scene for this book by describing an accident he had, to show how complacency, distraction and poor risk perception can endanger life.
Modern cars have a staggering amount of technology built in. Anti-lock braking systems, traction/cruise control and computer-controlled fuel injection are now standard features. Advanced aids, such as head-up displays, reverse assistance, lane assistance and automatic emergency braking are being fitted to more models. But this is just the start; driverless cars have been tested over hundreds of thousands of miles and it’s probably a matter of years before the phrase “hands free” refers to the entire vehicle.
Traditional approaches for managing safety, health and wellbeing (SHW) are increasingly suspect in a fast-changing world dominated by globalisation, new technology and an ageing workforce. So warns this new book, which argues that society will meet these challenges only if employers, policymakers and other stakeholders adopt an integrated cross-disciplinary approach.
It’s a sad fact that almost anyone who deals with the public is at risk of verbal abuse and physical violence. It is impossible to work as a teacher, police officer, firefighter, doctor, nurse or care worker without facing this hazard. It’s also no coincidence that these occupations report some of the highest rates of sickness absence due to stress.
Stress is a primary cause of sickness absence in the UK, with 12.5 million working days lost to it and the associated conditions of depression and anxiety in 2016-17, according to the Health and Safety Executive. Yet many managers view it as a vague, uncertain and difficult area – or worse, dismiss it entirely.
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