2003 European BBS User Conference
The conference was well attended with around 160 delegates from 60 companies attending. The standard of presentations was very high this year throughout and many delegates commented on how difficult it must have been to pick the finalists. (We're not just saying this to be nice to the volunteer presenters - there really wasn't one single presentation of the eleven that wasn't excellent). The fact that we approached all the main consultant providers prior to the event and encouraged them to send their best clients to competex may have contributed to this. Perhaps the high point came from John Dillon of AWE. John was a colleague of Allan Poole and was invited to present the trophy. His brief speech finished with the observation that AWE were "honoured and privileged" that the trophy had been named after "one of theirs" and that the fully intended to return next time to "win it for Allan".
Conference Themes
As ever the importance of front-line ownership, management commitment and flexibility of approach emerged as perhaps the key themes. Other key issues included the importance of integrating BBS with other systems. See reviews of previous conferences. "Behavioural Safety is Blaming the Victim". Given the level of controversy recently regarding accusations from such as Hazards magazine that "BBS is about blaming the victim" it was interesting to note that two of the finalists made a point of announcing themselves "committed union members" who wholly refute such accusations. Their testimonies reinforced the position that real BBS is about front line involvement, root cause analysis and designing out temptation and risk ­ not exhorting individuals to "take more care" following some fire walking exercise or some such. Further, that BBS committee's and Safety Representative committees can and should work hand in hand. The author has long since grown exasperated requesting a right to reply with the magazine - it was illuminating to find that one of the finalists mentioned above has had identical problems. We'll again invite Hazards to present/ debate their position at the next conference. but frankly we expect the same (non) response and the author gets more and more comfortable dismissing their observations as politically motivated and blinkered polemic. (However, for a thorough and accurate critique of initiatives which call themselves BBS but shouldn't - try Hazards.com!)
Allan Poole Trophy for Outstanding BBS Achievement
Pictured Scott Russell and Karen Shearer from Canadian Natural Resources (Murchison Platform) - Inaugural winners of the Allan Poole Trophy for outstanding achievement. Scott's acceptance speech in full was "I don't know what to say... I really don't ... thank you".
The inaugural winners were Canadian Natural Resources (formerly Kerr-McGee). Their paper was presented by Scott Russell and Karen Shearer. The audience seemed particularly impressed with their "keep it simple and give it to the workforce" philosophy. The runners up were Millennium Inorganic Chemicals, BNFL and Huntsman Polyurethanes. All four finalists were very strong and several delegates commented on how difficult it was to single one out. We must again say a big thank you to Pilkington for providing such a handsome trophy. Scott and Karen have been invited to present it next year - and promise to keep it safe in the meantime.
Certificate of Achievement

Companies called to the stage to receive a certificate of achievement were:-

  • AWE
  • Boddingtons
  • BNFL
  • Candian Natural Resources
  • Chep UK
  • Cleanaway
  • Huntsman Polyurethanes
  • Masterfoods
  • Millennium Inorganic Chemicals
  • Pilkington
  • Scottish Water
  • Seagate Technology
  • Severn Trent
  • Shell
  • St Regis Paper
  • Congratulations to all and we would very much like, once again, to thank all those companies who took the trouble to enter. We must also thank the standards committee who gave their time and expertise so generously:-

  • Neil Budworth
  • Ken Lucas
  • Graham Randle
  • Andy Weyman
  • Ian Whitingham

    We are delighted that all have agreed to continue in their roles for the next conference.

    2003 Conference Papers

    "These talks have been transcribed as accurately as possible. and we have tried to leave them in the words of the speaker rather than try to second guess what was meant by someone who seemed to have stumbled over their words a little. (Obvious examples of getting a little tongue tied were edited of course). This was a simple task as the standard of talks was exceptional this year. I hope they compliment and remind you of the notes and observations you may have made on the day itself ­ and help facilitate the exchange of learning that the event is all about. We must again very gratefully thank all the speakers for their contributions ­ and for again sharing their hard work and experience for the benefit of others".

    Best regards,

    Tim Marsh - Conference Chair 

    Gus Davidson (West of Scotland Water)
    Gus talked about the difficulties of implementation within a peripatetic workforce spread over hundreds of miles. (Download PDF)

    Dr Tony Hayes (Master Foods)
    Tony described an entirely in-house designed system at a food company. (Download PDF)

    David Harrison (Atomic weapons establishment)
    David talked about issues relating to a large, fragmented site which has experienced significant changes in its organization recently. (Download PDF)

    Dr Bob Steer  (Severn Trent Water)
    Bob discussed a successful trial at a small sewage works in the Midlands. (Download PDF)

    Norman Lloyd (Shell)
    Norman discussed the success of the FISH inspired approach offshore and how they are fighting back after a tragic fatality. (Download PDF)

    Des Collins (Boddingtons)
    Des described a process at Manchester's most famous brewery and received numerous "exchange visit" offers. (Download PDF)

    Kevin Crawley (Cleanaway Ltd)
    Kevin described a process at one of the UK's largest waste management companies. (Download PDF)     

    Scott Russell and Karen Shearer (Canadian Natural Resources)
    Scott and Karen's winning talk discussed their sophisticated and workforce owned process. (Download PDF)  

    John Peoples (Huntsman)
    John described the success of a long established process at a polyurethane plant in the North East. (Download PDF)    

    Archie Dryburgh and Rod Everett (BNFL)
    Archie and Rod discussed an impressive process that appeared to have drawn the best from all the major behavioural safety consultants (except RM!). (Download PDF)

    Sean Otley and Sarah Wickes (Millennium Chemicals)
    Sean and Sarah discussed the successful re-launch of a process that previously been successful but had gone a little stale. (Download PDF)