Who could fail to be moved by heart-felt descriptions of the consequences of serious accidents at work and the impact of incapacitating mental health issues? What can we learn from these life-changing events that can inform our leadership and management practice right now and going forward? Our passion for people was reflected in our speakers and embodied in our theme for The SHE Show North West 2017 “It’s all about people, behaviour and culture change”.

As a leading industry pioneer in safety, health and environment events, we believe that we must do everything in our power to create an event environment where learning and networking take centre stage. It’s through people that change happens, and at our Blackpool event we had everything from a lively networking drinks reception and dinner, to amazing conference speakers and the best exhibitors all contributing to what was a very special event.

A dancing ex-police woman with your after-dinner coffee, Madame?

Our renowned ice-breaker at SHE Shows is an evening networking drinks reception. The star of this reception was an electric kart built of forklift parts by the sponsor of the reception, Linde MHE! It’s a miracle of engineering and is rumoured to be the fastest electric kart in the world. The Linde MHE team certainly know their stuff!

Our dinners are always occasions to remember. Many people tell us that they have made fantastic connections at the dinner table, with some going on to forge concrete businesses relationships. Sponsored by Honeywell Safety, our networking dinners provide wonderful food, drink and entertainment. Blackpool was no exception, with Jen Coulston-Herrmann entertaining us by describing how her police colleagues caught her on video puddle-dancing to “Chain Reaction”!

A truly gripping and informative main event

With our sponsors, partners, exhibitors and speakers all set up and raring to go it was time for the conference and exhibition day. Well over 300 delegates poured through the doors of the Blackpool Hilton for registration, and our team greeted everyone with a friendly smile and a welcome pack. There was an early chance to have a look at the exhibitors’ stands, all jam-packed with the latest developments in products and services. But no-one quite expected the impact of the speakers taking part in the conference.

Neil Sheehan is a regular contributor to our events and welcomed attendees to the conference. Neil topped and tailed the conference as well as introducing each speaker – thanks Neil!  His own segment focused on safety leadership and the difference between leadership and followership. Neil gave us an insight into various leadership tools and provided useful take-aways to use to enhance delegates own safety leadership delivery. “Good Leadership: safety, honesty and an ethical way of doing business”. Well said, Neil!

It was just a normal day…

This year’s north-west event featured a case study that looked at fatalities that occurred at British Sugar in 2003. It was a harrowing tale, told with genuine emotion by two people directly involved with the tragedy.

Frank Sykes underlined that even large companies can and must do things differently if the situation merits change – and it certainly did at British Sugar. “Health and safety is a practical subject. It’s just part of doing work properly”.

Andrew Beresford of British Sugar had us all on the edge of our seats as he recounted the day in 2003 when a fatality occurred at the company. One of the big lessons Andrew underlined was that a fatality can still happen when procedures are in place and people are trained. “Assess your risks, take ownership for change, audit the change and be role models”. Good advice from someone at the sharp end.

What’s your perception of the birds and bees?

The world’s ‘natural capital’ is critical for human beings, but it’s under threat. This was the clear message from Lucinda Farrington of VolkerStevin, a headline sponsor of The SHE Show. Lucinda reminded us that “We all can, and should, minimise our environmental impact. Implementing measures can reduce business costs too”. The presentation was a valuable reminder of the importance of looking after the environment around us and our organisations.

Jo Raishbrook of Keystone Training, a partner of the event, spoke about how we can learn from seeing the world from other people’s perspectives. He caught us on the hop by inviting a contributor from the audience up on stage. The chap turned out to be a plant, but it was a very effective mechanism to engage the audience. “We think we’re really clever, and we are – sometimes. But our perceptions are just that – perceptions”. You reeled us all in, Jo!

The reality of mental health

Former professional footballer, Clarke Carlisle, was scheduled to share his personal story with us with a view to helping others recognise the warning signs of depression. Clarke was not able to attend the event, and we would like to take this opportunity to wish Clarke a speedy recovery. We hope to see him soon.

Frank Lord of the Samaritans came in at short notice to give delegates a window into his experiences as a Samaritan. Frank left us in no doubt about the seriousness of the mental health issue in the country. The audience was visibly shocked when Frank informed us that there are around seventeen suicides per day in the UK alone. Frank shared a very useful WHO film with us that you can watch here.

The very real dangers of corporate spin

The potentially dry subject of post-incident internal enquiries was eloquently brought to life by our very own “pet” solicitor, Mark Scoggins. Mark has the gift of being able to get an audience going as soon as he steps foot on the stage! Whilst very entertaining, Mark reminded us of the importance of taking care with wording, and separating fact from opinion, in post-incident reporting and to “beware of safety recommendations not being implemented”.

An exhibition of the very best equipment and services on the planet

Before, during and after the conference delegates had the opportunity to visit our exhibitors’ stands in two large rooms. Just about all safety, health and environment product and service categories were represented at the event, and the level of knowledge and experience of the exhibitors proved very useful for delegates.

It was particularly fascinating to see our headline sponsors’ exhibits and to talk to their teams. The team from VolkerStevin took time to explain their “Play it Safe” initiative to delegates. The conversation at Jungheinrich UK’s stand was all about trucks, racking and logistic systems – they even brought a couple of trucks with them! Honeywell Safety’s stand was packed with the latest innovations in personal protective equipment to help keep people safe in the workplace.

See you on the 27th of February 2018 in Newcastle?

The SHE Show North West really was an event with people in mind. Networking opportunities, a conference with key industry influencers and an exhibition packed full of innovative products and services by leading businesses in the safety, health and environment sector gave our professional delegates a varied and enjoyable experience. Join us in Newcastle, for The SHE Show North East, on 27th February 2018 – we promise to make our event in Newcastle every bit as special as the show in Blackpool!

In the meantime, stay safe and healthy and have a look at the innovative products and services available from the sponsors and partners of The SHE Show North West.

Information about our valued sponsors and partners

Honeywell Safety Products helps organisations build enduring safety cultures across a wide range of markets. The company is a leading manufacturer of premium protective eye and face products that set the standard for comfortable, high quality protection at work.

Jungheinrich UK is a leading intralogistics provider in the UK with a team of more than 800 dedicated employees operating from seven locations. With 600 truck variants available the company also provides after-sales support, racking systems and warehouse planning services.

VolkerStevin provides complex engineering solutions across a wide range of sectors including civil engineering, land remediation and regeneration, water and marine infrastructure and flood and coastal protection.

Linde MHE 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.

Keystone Training Ltd is an expert provider of innovative, high impact training for behavioural safety, equality and diversity, leadership development, HR, talent management and sales for large businesses and organisations across the UK.

Shirley Parsons Ltd 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 firms 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.