26 September 2023

SMS Environmental Presents at IOSH Conference

IOSH Tyne & Wear Branch held its Current Trends in Asbestos and Legionella Management Conference last week (21 September), focussing on legionella and asbestos awareness, common control methods and risk mitigation.

Held at the Nissan Sports & Leisure Complex in Sunderland, 120 health & safety experts gathered to hear from industry greats including our Managing Director, Gavin Harris, and Technical Consultant, Jemma Tennant. 

The first part of the session featured a presentation by Chris Parr, Group QHSE Director, Lucion Group: Asbestos: Moving Beyond Complacency’. In his talk, Chris explored the intersection of fiscal austerity and diminishing industry quality and unveiled potential connections between financial constraints and the erosion of industry standards (drawing on personal narratives).

SMS Environmental took to the stage in the afternoon for ‘Legionella Control and Compliance: Ensuring Contractor Competency and Mitigating Risk’.

Known for her leadership roles with the Water Management Society Council (WMSoc) and the LCA Management Committee, Jemma Tennant is a prominent figure in the water treatment sector, having also been a founding member (and Chair) of the Scottish Legionella Focus Group during her time leading Edinburgh City Council’s Legionella Team. 

During the presentation, Jemma provided the audience with basic legionella awareness and transferable common application tips. She also championed thorough record-keeping, noting that it is pivotal for safety and compliance, and safeguarding against potential litigation: “the faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory”.

Gavin Harris gave a detailed look into the responsibilities around controlling legionella, focusing particularly on legal duties and the viewpoint of enforcers. He discussed the crucial role of selecting competent contractors and the tools and accreditations available to help in reducing risks associated with poor contractor competence; particularly as it’s one of the biggest challenges our industry faces today.

He also highlighted the importance of maintaining high standards and shared a case study to illustrate how SMS Environmental ensures robust escalation procedures are in place and communicated to all our customers...

Gavin has over 20 years practical and research experience in the field of water treatment and control with specific expertise in application of the HSE’s ACoP L8 and NHS Estates Health Guidance HTM 04/01. He acts as a consultant for health care trusts, county councils, universities, government departments and housing associations and has been instrumental in fostering a positive health and safety culture within SMS Environmental.

Did you know that SMS Environmental offers its own legionella training courses that are City & Guilds Assured? We pride ourselves on both the quality of our training events and the range of bespoke courses we provide. What’s more, all courses are flexible, covering everything from basic onsite training with a brief introduction, and legionella awareness, to more in-depth management of legionella control. To book onto an upcoming session, or to find out more, please click here.

Some images, taken from the session, can be found below.

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