So much for reputations

Isn’t it supposed to rain in Manchester? Well, not so, it seems, when IOSH
is in town! If it wasn’t warm enough outside the sunshine-soaked International
Convention Centre, then it must have been hot on stage for the President, Paul
Faupel, as he opened IOSH 2002 and welcomed around 600 eager delegates under
the glare of the lights of the auditorium.

Held on 15-16 April, IOSH 2002, Making a difference: influencing attitudes –
changing behaviour, attracted a record number of delegates making it the biggest
and arguably the best annual conference ever staged by the institution.
Celebrity speakers, an extensive exhibition and 28 topical and challenging
presentations provided excellent information-gathering and networking
opportunities.

The pace and tone of the two days was, without doubt, set by the keynote
speaker, Flt Lt John Nicol.

The former RAF navigator and best-selling author of Tornado Down kicked off
the conference with an interesting and sobering presentation that began with a
video, loudly soundtracked by Bat out of Hell.

Nicol left us with the thought that, until he had actually crash-landed,
everything he had trained and prepared for in the RAF was, he thought, for an
event that would never happen.

The underlying theme of ‘change’ and how humans react to it, continued over
the two days of the conference with several speakers recalling their own, often
humbling, experiences to illustrate their talks.

Other presentations included the health and safety implications of the foot
and mouth crisis, the realities of worker involvement and empowerment, a risk
management toolkit for SMEs and how human factors affect health and safety
performance.

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