Keeping the HSEQ industry healthy through innovation

INNOVATION. A crucial element to ensure continuing success within any organisation and particularly relevant as we still strive to overcome the challenging conditions in the North-east’s energy industry.

It’s fair to say that few of us anticipated how severe and enduring the downturn would be.

It has been vital to find new and better ways to work together for the common good. Collaborating to deliver smarter solutions.

The effects of the energy industry downturn have certainly been felt across the Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) sector.

At a time when business decisions are based on the question “how can we reduce costs?” there is an ever-growing need to ensure that the safety of those who work in the energy industry is never, ever, compromised for the sake of saving money.

Individual HSEQ providers have strived to work outwith the constraints of traditional methods or thinking, developing new technologies and practices to allow their clients to achieve efficiencies while retaining excellent safety records.

Even the smallest organisations have risen to the challenge with new solutions to old problems. No more “business as usual”.

One difficulty that these smaller niche specialists face is making the industry aware of their service offering.

Exhibiting at major HSEQ shows is often prohibitively expensive.

Meanwhile, the energy companies who desperately need their expertise remain oblivious to what is available to them locally.

Pondering this problem two years ago with one of our own suppliers - safety print specialist XIC - we stumbled upon the idea of a joint open day.

Inviting local health and safety related companies to get to know one another.

Potential clients could also attend.

By the time we had drawn up a list of potential attendees, it was a clear that the idea - and the enthusiasm surrounding it - warranted more than an open day.

The list of interested participants instead became the exhibitor list for the North-east’s first Safety Expo in May 2015.

The inaugural one-day event was deemed a major success.

Over 130 people came through the doors of AquaTerra’s headquarters to browse exhibition stands and view demonstrations – all dedicated to showcasing safety-related products and services.

Despite continuing low oil prices, the second Safety Expo in May 2016 welcomed double the number of exhibitors and a rolling programme of demonstrations and guest speaker presentations.

Additional opportunities for knowledge-sharing and learning took the form of free eye screening and participation in a real incident investigation.

In keeping with the ethos of the event, exhibitors paid only a nominal fee and visitors attended for free.

The aim? To make the Safety Expo as accessible as possible to those whose time and budgets were undoubtedly under pressure.

In terms of results, exhibiting companies have reported a number of positives including new business wins and new working partnerships.

Meanwhile, AquaTerra and XIC have been approached to take the Safety Expo concept further afield.

The first Safety Expo Tayside takes place at Dundee & Angus College on Thursday, October 27, 2016.

Innovation. Collaboration. Let’s keep going.