I had the opportunity earlier this year (2011) to work with Hastam and receive some mentoring from Dr Tony Boyle during employment with a Community Health Services Trust (NHS). Prior to working with Tony I felt I had a firm grasp of managing health and safety, particularly in the areas of policy development, incident investigation and risk assessment. However, I soon realised that was not the case! Tony challenged me and my colleagues about our understanding of health and safety management, our interpretation of legislation and our application of good practice.

My colleagues and I found that, although we are intelligent, educated and well qualified in health and safety, we weren’t transferring the skills and knowledge we had in order to improve the systems we had in place in our organisation. We followed the corporate culture of policy for policy sake (at least 80 pages!), whilst trying to promote HSG65 through training delivery and completion of audits (what we called audits!). Additionally, our methods of incident investigation were lacking, and our risk assessment procedures didn’t exist beyond providing documents for all types of risk, eg DSE, manual handling and stress.

Working with Tony helped us to look at our management system using BS OHSAS 18001 (not how any of us had been originally trained to use BS OHSAS 18001!), and make massive improvements whilst simplifying health and safety management. I feel my time with Tony was not long enough, and, having started employment with a new company I look forward to some further mentoring. It was a fabulous experience and an honour.

– Fiona Charlton, NHS

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