Members’ Week was a busy week for the GGF but it was perhaps even busier on the Health, Safety and Environment side.
James MacPherson, Health, Safety and Environment Manager had been forced to move the Health and Safety committee to Monday the 28th of September to account for his paternity leave to ensure the meeting was held in quarter three so the GGF could organise another by year end. Why? Well, the GGF wants to, as soon as possible, increase the value that Members get from the GGF Health, Safety and Environment department and the Health and Safety Committee is a vital part of that.
At the Committee meeting, James proposed a review of the Glass Charter and the GGF Health, Safety and Environment guidance and advice literature, both of which will be decided on at the quarter 4 meeting giving the GGF clear next steps to work on in 2021. You can have your say in the future of Health and Safety in the Glass and Glazing industry by getting involved in the Health and Safety Committee, if you would like to put forward suggestions, please contact James MacPherson, Health, Safety and Environment Manager on email@example.com.
On the 29th September (the day after the Committee meeting), GGF Members’ Week opened, a three day digital event that finished on 1st October, with a Health and Safety webinar in the morning and an Environment webinar in the afternoon to bring the curtain down on the whole event.
Both webinars were relaxed but informative forums, making them as close to a natural conversation as possible. The panel of Health, Safety and Environment professionals covering different sectors and specialisms, made for engaging discussions.
Here’s a review by James MacPherson of both webinars.
A New and Very Different Norm
Our Health and Safety panel discussion, lead with statements from each panellist, and after that things moved into a very free-flowing conversation where Members got involved in the chatbox and their comments were slotted them into the conversation with the panellists to create the desired “relaxed down the pub-style” that we wanted to create.
The conversation was varying and diverse but with one consistent key point that the panellist kept coming back to; our people are our solutions. A lot of the time in our business our staff are one of our biggest challenges. But it was clear from the panellist that included the Health and Safety Executive, and three extremely successful safety professionals; that if we do not engage with our workforce, if you do not enable them to feedback to our decision-makers, if they are not involved in the business then you are unlikely to be as successful as you could be, in both safety and business. Statements like;
“It’s vital and a legal requirement to engage and involve your staff in your health and safety obligations”
“We need to build relationships on trust in our workers otherwise we will never have a true image of working life and the risks”
Our World, Our Future
A great relaxed conversational panel that led to GGF Managing Director John Agnew, and GGF Director of External Affairs James Lee, joining the conversation. It’s clear from that alone that environment is high on the agenda for the GGF.
The conversation covered a lot of high-level detail with John Agnew throwing some questions in that challenged the whole panel. From the impacts of Brexit and with the challenges in 2021, what panellist would like to see from the government, the conflicting priorities in a heritage building and environmental buildings, members got a lot of value from the conversation.
Some really interesting points on the potential impact of COVID-19 on the way that we design and build our buildings. Jade Lewis, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Association raised the point that during the pandemic we have seen that a lot of our buildings that are not suitable for the potential modern-day demands of our lives and our welfare and that this could have huge impacts on the way we design our buildings.
With the panel questioned on what the risk of all of the drivers like Zero Carbon and modern methods of construction, plastic reduction progressing but in a silo and not aligning with each other creating gaps and challenges. The panel unanimously agreed that in the coming years so many things will be driving environmental improvement that it is vital that we apply some systems thinking and be aware of the residual impacts from our changes and improvements.
The panel provided closing statements summarising that Members and businesses have the power to lead the way, to have a voice and they should use it to drive improvements, be the change they want to see.
The GGF’s Health, Safety and Environment department are excited to increase the profile and work in this space and hope that Members help us on this journey. If members want to be involved or have ideas regarding environmental work in the GGF they should contact the HSE Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org
To watch the webinars please click on the links below: