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International Health & Safety recruitment specialists, Allen & York, take a look at the evolution of the Health & Safety market and the changing, dynamic role of the Health & Safety Manager. Highlighting the potential career opportunities for Health & Safety professionals in 2012, this article provides a valuable insight for all safety practitioners.

The role of the Health & Safety Manager has evolved over recent years, from what was once a very functional position; acting as an enforcer of regulations and reporting accidents, without having to take on too much responsibility for long term accident prevention. Now, and in more recent years, prevention has become the key responsibility of the Health & Safety Manager and organisations are increasingly seeking Health & Safety professionals who have a strong ability to engage workforces and stakeholders to achieve a better safety performance throughout the whole organisation.

Stuart Vivian, Head of Health & Safety Group at Allen & York, comments; “Many of the businesses we work with are increasingly looking for health and safety professionals with strong communication skills, who are not only able to enforce


the company’s safety policy, but also ‘sell’ the benefits of a more safety aware environment and embed this within the organisations culture.”

Motivated by the real business benefits; whilst not exempt from regulatory enforcement, Health & Safety Managers now have to play the role of educator and communicator; encouraging good examples of health & safety practice from the board level down. The Health & Safety Manager therefore now has more opportunity to lead, with the responsibility of driving cultural change by winning the hearts and minds of directors, managers, workers and contractors with the business.

Research by the HSE has shown that involving workers does have a positive effect on health & safety performance. Trust, respect, co-operation and

good communications skills are therefore all key attributes of a modern Health & Safety Manager.

So, where are the Growth Opportunities?


We at Allen & York are seeing a continued demand for Risk & Safety professionals, within Oil & Gas and the Renewable Energy industries particularly. Greater supervision must occur in offshore oil/wind production, as well as natural gas drilling sites and oil operations in order to prevent the types of global environmental crises we have seen recently.

Günther Oettinger, Commissioner for Energy at the European Commission said: “Today, most oil and gas in Europe is produced offshore, often in harsh

geographical and geological conditions. Given our growing energy demand, we will need all the oil and gas from beneath our seas. But we need to prevent accidents like Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico from happening. Securing best industry practices in all our offshore operations is an undisputable must.”

The European Commission believe that the likelihood of a major offshore accident in European waters remains unacceptably high, consequently the commission has proposed a new law which will ensure that European offshore oil and gas production will respect the world’s highest safety, health and environmental standards everywhere in the EU.


As the renewable energy industry continues to grow, we are glad to see that there


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