Without the aid of blinkers

February 25, 2019

Business entrepreneur Kevin Parkin: Finalist to the top 100 manufacturing businessmen 2017, made four major references to Health and Safety (H&S) in his presentation to the Sheffield Manufacturers Group last week.

Mr Parkin, famous for turning around some large, hopeless and failing businesses, started off his presentation by stating that the number one thing when taking over a failing business is to sort out the health and safety before any other aspect of the business.

He professed abandoning all meetings other than one single weekly meeting, (apart from board meetings) time limited for all key players to mandatory attend and follow a tight knit agenda, starting with…. health and safety, before all other items.

Throughout the 30 minute presentation there were plenty of other references to H&S; housekeeping to improve the manufacturing culture (as well as H&S), eliminating clutter where lean manufacturing overlaps H&S, signs not just to enforce but to justify as well. (Such as explaining why it was a good idea to wear a seat belt when operating a forklift truck etc.). References to worker engagement and good face to face communication, as opposed to box ticking exercises. In fact the whole presentation was leaning towards the simple fact that health and safety is inextricably linked almost like a vein running through all other aspects of

 

business.

I was left with the overall reassurance in my long held views that health and safety is really about, and a reflection of, good management. It’s about being systematic, organised and communicative. It also confirmed that there is so much access to good, practical information regarding health and safety from supposedly non- health and safety sources. If only some of my occupational peers could see the bigger picture and wake up to such reality and common sense.

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