As the start of our latest SHE Show approached, a blanket of snow fell across the UK. The forecast for continued snowfall, to be especially heavy in the northeast of the country, didn’t dampen the appetite of our speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, partners and our own team to make The SHE Show North East 2018 in Newcastle an event to remember for delegates. The weather wasn’t going to stop us – here’s how we beat the Beast from the East to deliver another successful event.

Culture… positive change, a different space

As experts in the organisation of specialist events, our guiding principle is to deliver a useful and memorable experience for delegates. We accomplish this through an effective combination of engaging conference presentations and an exhibition of the best products and services the industry has to offer. It’s our way of encouraging people to think differently about safety, health and environment and to drive the cultural change required to increase management effectiveness in this key field.

Meet “The Man of a Thousand Voices”

Who better to warm you up on a freezing Monday evening than David Beckham and a whole host of other celebs? Of course, we’re talking about Les Gibson of Britain’s Got Talent fame entertaining us with his own hilarious brand of impersonations. It was a fantastic set by Les and great to see everyone enjoying themselves.

Our networking drinks receptions and dinners, held the evening prior to the Show and sponsored by Washingtondowling and Honeywell Industrial Safety respectively, are fantastic environments in which to relax with and get to know others in the industry. The evening was introduced by Dawn Hemmings who, in addition to delivering her own conference presentation on behavioural safety, would ably keep proceeds going during the evening and throughout the next day’s main event.

From the cold snow to a warm welcome

With a bite to eat, a coffee and a welcome pack on board, delegates had the first of many opportunities to make their way through the exhibition areas to meet the teams from exhibitors and see, first hand, leading-edge technology in the safety, health and environment space. Delegates report that the mix of informative presentations access to exhibitor products, services and teams is a very effective recipe for The SHE Show event. We think so too!


Part 1 – Accident & Investigation

As our conference opened, everyone’s attention focused on the extremely sad story of the loss of Michael Adamson, a 26-year-old worker who died as a result of an electrical incident at work. Michael’s sister, Louise Taggart, bravely recounted the circumstances around Michael’s death. Louise described the errors that were made and reminded us all that “Managers and supervisors must take active steps to ensure their workers’ safety.” We must all do more to keep workers safe.

Frank Sykes, former Principal Inspector at the HSE and a Consultant at Birketts LLP, continued the theme of accident and investigation with examples of some shocking incidents. Frank’s in-depth experience as an investigator, prosecutor and defender highlighted how a fatal accident has many repercussions beyond the death of an individual including the effects on family, organisations and those investigating incidents.

Part 2 – The Law

Richard Clarke, Senior EHS Consultant at Cedrec Information Systems, described some high-profile non-compliance cases and the significant costs to the organisations concerned. Richard pointed out that a positive compliance culture in an organisation is vital. He suggested that “…ISO 14001 can be used to help the process of cultural change by helping to align environmental management and strategy.” When it comes to avoiding non-compliance, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”!

There are few people who can deliver a talk on a serious subject and have the audience in stitches with their first sentence, but Mark Scoggins, Solicitor Advocate at Fisher Scoggins Waters did just that! Mark’s serious theme was that the new sentencing guidelines can result in senior staff being prosecuted, and possibly jailed. A strong and effective safety culture means leading from the top: “Take an interest, and keep a record of that interest.” Good advice from Mark.

Part 3 – Leadership, It’s not about being great…it’s about making others great

Dawn Hemmings, EHS Lead, EMEA at A. Schulman, asked the question whether a behavioural safety programme is the answer when safety performance is sub-optimal. Her thought-provoking presentation certainly had the audience engaged and thinking. Dawn’s advice to help change the safety culture in an organisation is to focus on leadership engagement, employee engagement, an EHS management system and incident reporting. Sound advice from Dawn.

Keith Minnican, Build Delivery Manager at BAE Systems Submarines, discussed the dangers of complacency and how this can breed a reactive safety culture.  Keith made the point that continuous improvement in safety and health can only be sustained by empowering people to think differently about safety and encouraging proactiveness. “Don’t forget individual positive recognition for good safety performance in your organisation.” We couldn’t agree more!

Jamil Qureshi, Director of Consulting Services, Leadership and Cultural Change at Shirley Parsons, gave delegates a very positive presentation on cultivating success mindsets. Jamil’s mantra is that wellbeing and performance are linked: “Don’t worry about everything. Focus on a few key areas. Break the bad habits.” He also touched on how to future-proof a business: “Define your business on what the customer wants, not what you sell.” Good thinking, Jamil!

Next up: Milton Keynes

We can’t guarantee good weather for our next SHE Show, in Milton Keynes in May, but we can promise you another fantastic SHE event with thought-provoking and entertaining speakers, an exhibition with state-of-the-art products and services from the leading manufacturers and service providers and a friendly environment designed with networking in mind. Join us in Milton Keynes for The SHE Show South on the 22nd of May 2018.

The Washingtondowling team, our sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and partners look forward to welcoming you to the show in May. Keep in touch with developments leading up to the event on the Twitter hashtag #SHEshowSouth and on our LinkedIn page. See you there!

Information about our SHE Show North East sponsors

Honeywell Industrial Safety Honeywell Safety Products is the world’s largest personal protective equipment (PPE) and solutions provider.

Our network of manufacturing, support and safety specialists includes more than 10,000 people in 30 countries. We are dedicated to more than providing a product or a service each one of us is committed to protecting human lives.

Our employees work in 40 manufacturing plants, 30 research centers, 25 distribution facilities and 69 offices around the world.

Linde Material Handling is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of forklift trucks and warehouse equipment and has been setting standards for solutions for industrial trucks, fleet management, driver assistance systems and service offerings for more than 50 years.

Information about our SHE Show North East event partners

Shirley Parsons is a professional talent practice specialising in the health, safety, environmental, and quality professions. It is the only specialist agency headed by a chartered safety professional (Shirley Parsons has CMIOSH accreditation).

IIRSM is a professional body that offers recognition, information and support to over 8,000 Members around the world in all areas of risk and safety management. working passionately to deliver practical improvements to occupational health and safety and business risk management.

PPE is the specialist in social media support for organisations in the safety, health, environment and allied industries. The company is a media partner of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and is a member of the British Safety Industry Federation.