David Richards, Head of Marketing at OSH Forum event partner DriveTech, discusses the challenges facing the H&S industry, trends, opportunities – plus BREXIT and Royal babies…
Tell us about your company, products and services.
DriveTech, part of the AA, is the world leader in fleet risk and safety management, and driver training. We are also the UK’s largest provider of driver offender retraining courses. With 25 years of successful experience, DriveTech now offers fleet consultancy, driver assessment and training services in over 95 countries and over 30 languages through over 50 partners. These products and services improve driver safety, reduce fleet running costs and ensure compliance with legal obligations and duty of care responsibilities.
What have been the biggest challenges the health & safety industry has faced over the past 12 months?
I think the implications of the new health and safety sentencing guidelines in February 2016 are still reverberating around the industry in general and fleet risk management in general. The recent significant increases in Health and Safety fines cannot be ignored.
And what have been the biggest opportunities?
Over 1,792 people were killed on Britain’s roads in 2016. We still have a long way to go to achieve ‘Vision Zero’.
What is the biggest priority for the health & safety industry in 2018?
It’s hard to look beyond the nearly 1,800 people killed on the roads and 24,000 plus seriously injured in 2016 – latest published figures.
What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2018? The continuing driver towards ‘Big Data’; I prefer to think of it bringing together data from a number of different sources, currently managed independently, to drive better and more insightful management decision making.
What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?
Smart phones – as the world moves away from desktops to mobile devices, we will see more information at our fingertips which is great… unless you’re driving!
In 2020 we’ll all be talking about…?
Brexit, Donald Trump, the Tokyo Olympics and, possibly, royal babies?
Which person in, or associated with, the health & safety industry would you most like to meet?
Nils Bohlin, an engineer at Volvo, who invented the modern three-point car seat belt in 1959. He’s saved thousands of lives.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the health & safety sector?
I’ve personally never met a health and safety professional who isn’t passionate about what they do.
You go to the bar at the Occupational Safety & Health Forum – what’s your tipple of choice?
I’ve just discovered the ‘Dark and Stormy’ – it’s rum, ginger beer, and lime juice in a tall glass, full of ice. Wow!
What’s the most exciting thing about your job? Working for a company dedicated to saving people’s lives is pretty exciting.
And what’s the most challenging?
Like 99% of people, never enough time!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
My dad once told me “Take all your holidays. You’ll not only get a break from your colleagues… they’ll get a break from you too!”
Peaky Blinders or The Crown?
As a Brummie by birth, it has to be Peaky Blinders.