Safety & Health Expo 2019, which returned to ExCeL London on 18-20 June, registered impressive growth – a 3% increase in visitors compared to 2018, and a 2% increase in the number of visitors per exhibitor. This means Safety & Health Expo has grown for a third successive year.
The event welcomed a wide cross-section of the health and safety profession, with 28% of visitors working as heads of department or C-suite executives. These visitors offered significant purchasing power – a combined total budget of £7.2 billion – highlighting the importance of this event for businesses looking to meet and showcase products to major buyers.
Event Director Chris Edwards commented, “The substantial increase in footfall we saw this year and the high-quality of visitors Safety & Health Expo attracts, really demonstrates how significant the event remains for the health and safety profession. We’re proud of the way it has continued to grow in scope and scale, remaining at the forefront of the industry as it evolves.”
Connecting the profession
Driven by its remit to lead the way in health and safety, the show helped connect visitors and suppliers with its Networking Forum and the 1-2-1 Meetings Service. The high quality of visitor and the improved ratio of visitors to exhibitors made Safety & Health Expo even more important for networking, discovering the latest thinking and innovations, and engaging in the right conversations with suppliers.
One visitor told us “Coming to Safety & Health Expo has given me brilliant networking opportunities, and seeing the variety of suppliers has given me the chance to learn so much and meet great people at the same time”, while another said, “For me, Safety and Health Expo is the leading exhibition in health and safety, and as a manager in this area, it is so important for me to attend and meet with the suppliers here to get the best knowledge.”
Some of the best praise came from managers and business leaders. A director commented, “The show broadened my knowledge of the health and safety profession. The show was professional and very rewarding. Everything on display highlighted areas of improvement for us”, and David Rowland, Head of Marketing for exhibitor Effective Software said “Without doubt, this year’s Safety & Health Expo was the best yet.”
“the event welcomed a wide cross-section of the health and safety profession, with 28% of visitors working as heads of department or C-suite executives”
A platform for product launches
Safety & Health Expo showcased the latest solutions, products and services on the market. From testing and monitoring services to training and safety tech, companies used the event as a platform to launch new products in front of an engaged audience of thousands of potential buyers. Some of the industry’s biggest companies launched products, including Acre, Rebo, Reactec, Eurofins Workplace Drug Testing, PDC Scaffolding, RRC International, Birkenstock, Logical Safety, Mats4U and Alcumus.
For instance, SHE Software officially launched Insights+, its innovative new business intelligence tool, Blackline Safety launched its Push to Talk function, a new feature adding new functionality to its devices, and Bolle released its new SILEX range of safety glasses. Meanwhile, Barbour EHS – the industry’s one-stop shop for information from HSE, British standards and trade associations – showcased its new-look customer library and complete rebrand.
Medical and safety technology provider Dräger showcased new products aimed at reducing carcinogenic risks in the workplace, including the x-pid 9000/9500, a selective PID gas measurement device ideal for users who frequently test for hazardous toxic substances.
Training Register, launched by Hands HQ, aims to transform how safety managers maintain the training competencies of personnel. It automates the training compliance check for each person when added to a job, providing a dashboard overview that makes it simple to identify exactly how to remain compliant.
Weatherall Equipment and Instruments launched its new GX-3R 4 and 5 personal gas monitors – the world’s smallest, featuring Bluetooth connectivity and lone worker features such as man down and panic alarms.
With its first-of-its-kind algorithm, Sphera’s brand-new Sphera Safety Score, designed for companies to compare safety performance against industry peers and best-in-class performers, highlights the innovation we have come to expect from Safety & Health Expo exhibitors.
A world-class seminar programme
Safety & Health Expo offered a world-class ¬programme of CPD-accredited seminars, case studies and panel discussions from some of the industry’s leading figures and thinkers. Taking place across several theatres, the agenda touched on key issues such as investigations and incident reporting, legislation, mental health, technology, and more.
Among the highlights were a seminar on protecting an aging workforce led by occupational therapist Jennifer Webster, a session by RoSPA on their game-changing Management of Occupational Road Risk approach to road safety, and a discussion by the British Safety Council on the critical ISO 45001 standard. In addition, the Health and Safety Executive’s Martin Temple gave a wide-ranging overview of the most important developments within the profession at the Keynote Theatre.
Visitors were also inspired by three keynote speakers: BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGovern, who spoke about her career journey and the value of vocational training; Winter Olympic ski jump underdog Eddie the Eagle, whose presentation touched on risk and danger; and England rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson, who focused on mental wellbeing – and his personal struggles with his physical and mental health. These three talks, taking place across the three days, drew packed crowds, and were a major highlight of the event.
Workplace Wellbeing Show
An increased focus on mental health and workplace wellbeing was reflected in the brand-new Workplace Wellbeing Show and its dedicated seminar theatre. This feature was designed to address the new strategies being employed to cope with stress, mental illness and the general wellbeing of employees in the modern workplace.
It’s a fraught topic, and many presenters touched on the lack of understanding and education surrounding mental wellbeing. For instance, a panel discussion addressed the importance of self-education and leadership to cultural change, in order to give mental health ‘parity of esteem’ with physical health. Companies, they said, need to better assess their existing wellbeing strategies to ensure employees’ mental health is valued, and resources are easy to access. Another presentation stressed the importance of nutrition as part of internal cultural change.
Laing O’Rourke’s Silvana Martin explained how giving in-depth training to 173 mental health champions, and 91 mental health first aiders to provide employees with access to consultations during working hours, encouraging sharing and communication among its staff; Siemens also highlighted communication, demonstrating how the simple power of talking can improve the conversation about safety and wellbeing.
Sarah Hatch, Director at Essential Safety told us “I’m really impressed with how many informative speakers that are here, and I’ve really been enjoying the keynote speeches”, while another attendee said “attending the Workplace Wellbeing Show revealed relevant conclusions that I thought were very important.”
Highlighting innovation with new show features
The new Safety Technology Zone helped guests explore the implications of the most innovative technology on the market, including drones, AI, VR and wearable devices – new, disruptive health and safety solutions set to transform the workplace over the coming years. Speakers highlighted smart solutions, including using data to predict where incidents are likely to take place, and using VR to experience risks without exposing anyone to harm.
Safety & Health Expo also introduced the PPE Attack Zone, where PPE was subjected to visual tests in real-world scenarios designed to help users and buyers discover how high-quality equipment can surpass industry standards and meet their safety needs. Participants included HSE’s GRIP scheme, SpanSet, 3M, Bolle Safety, PK Safety, GfG Gas Detection, Rob Shaw Associates and Derma Shield Skincare – among others.
The second day of the show was a day of celebration, with the SHP Rising Star Awards recognising some of the industry’s top young performers. Robert Jukes, HSE Manager of Wax Lyrical, was named as SHP’s Rising Star UK, and Cynthia Maua, Environment Health & Safety Officer, PTC seconded to Kenya Breweries took the SHP International Rising Star Award. The awards seek to recognise the role that young professionals are playing in health & safety and acknowledge a new generation taking the profession forward.
Meanwhile, Karl Simons, Chief Health, Safety & Security Officer at Thames Water was named SHP’s Most Influential Person in Health and Safety for 2019, highlighting his work embracing technology in health and safety and challenging the stigma surrounding mental illness.
The show was also proud to welcome London’s Air Ambulance as its charity partner. A spokesperson for London’s Air Ambulance commented, “Thanks for the wonderful opportunity of being charity partner for the Safety and Health Expo for the second year. It was amazing to talk with the visitors about our life saving mission in the capital. Corporate partnerships are the lifeblood of our charity.”
New dates for 2020
Next year, Safety & Health Expo will continue to evolve to reflect the changing health and safety landscape. And to better line-up with the industry calendar, Safety & Health Expo 2020 – alongside its three co-located shows – will take place at the earlier date of 19-21 May 2020 at ExCeL London. The new date, which has been welcomed by the profession, aligns Safety & Health Expo with the decision-making process and brings the event in line with health and safety legislation updates.