The HSE UK Congress was one of our best events to date and we are delighted to bring you the first in a series of questions that were posed to the challenger panel we assembled for the event. Members include Duncan Spener from IOSH and Lawrence Waterman from the British Safety Council.
The opportunity for open discussion and debate is often one of the benefits many find from the congress and this series of upcoming questions demonstrates that.
– [Participant] Do you really think our voice is loud enough, strong enough, and that we are present enough in the wider public debate? And I think one of my examples is, Grenfell felt very silent when that happened.
Don’t want to jump on the back of tragedies, but we need our voice to be out there. I’d just like to know what the institutions are doing to make that happen.
– [Facilitator] Can I ask that you just keep your answers short? Because I want to make sure we get through the questions. Anyone want to respond to that?
– [Duncan] Okay, I’ll go first, then. I think the answer to that is that we have to keep endeavoring in this area. I think that as a profession, we need to embrace debate much more than we have done in the past. I think, traditionally, there has been a strong feel amongst many professionals that we have similar standards, and have similar views, and come up with similar solutions, and so on and so forth.
And actually, in a rapidly changing world, with so many different challenges up ahead of us, that’s probably not going to be possible. So what we need to do is we need to generate debates. We need to reflect upon what we do, and ask a really serious question, whether that’s the right thing to do? So if you look at people abroad at the moment, you know, in developing countries in particular, what they’re doing is looking at people like us, and taking the best of what we do and then taking the ideas on further.
We need to be part of that, you know? It is like saying, “What’s the difference between the Victorian built underground in London and the MTR system in Hong Kong and Toronto?” They came second, we went first, but look how much better that is. So we have got to start to learn much more from each other, and generate that debate, I think.