Inaugural South Wales Best Practice Group

On Monday 25 November a small group of SAFETYnet members, as well as SAFETYnet Lead Associate Vicki Cutler and SAFETYnet Advisory Group member Derek ‘H’ Hillier from Merthyr Valleys Homes, came together at the Orbit Centre in Merthyr Tydfil to talk about all things safety.

The first best practice group for South Wales included a talk from Steve Owen and his colleague Ryan from South Wales Fire & Rescue Service around home safety and the three key areas of prevention, detection and escape. The group discussed ‘Safe to Stay’ strategies and issues around ‘fake’ electrical goods, including mobile phone chargers which are poorly made and less safe that genuine articles (always look for the CE mark).

We also heard from Stacy Thomas, Director of Homes & Places at Merthyr Valleys Homes, who gave a presentation about health and safety in an asset management strategy and looked at the elements that build a safety culture within an organisation, as well as walking through key drivers to ensure that "safety is at the heart" of everything we do.

Chris Brown from InSource Consulting also joined us to talk about Legionella and the ‘causative chain’; domestic water risk assessments; relevant issues; as well as answering attendees' questions.

We rounded off the day with a presentation from H, health & safety Manager at Merthyr Valleys Homes, who discussed personal safety, including recognising potentially unsafe situations, the ‘flag’ system, and the dangers of sending in ‘pairs’ to known unsafe properties. All was rounded off with networking, an open Q&A forum, and, of course, lunch.

Everyone agreed that the best practice group meeting was very worthwhile and we're looking to continue the group with meetings to be held on a quarterly basis, with different topics, as chosen by the attendees. We're also hopeful of expanding the number of attendees – remember it's FREE for SAFETYnet member organisations.

Thank you to all of our speakers and attendees to make this a great first meeting. Watch this space for the next group meeting, which we hope will be around March-time.