Small Talk....with Hannah Milward
Why do you work in Health and Safety?
As an ‘ex nurse’ I survived some very dodgy work situations.. In a workplace where there is a strong duty to care for patients and their families, there was very little care for employees. In fact, personal safety risks, harassment and bullying were on my mind daily. These days, I work in health & safety (with organisations but also in the wider community) to make the world a better place.. Hopefully with more compassion and empathy. I believe that physical, mental, emotional ‘safety’ is a fundamental human need. We spend a great deal of our lives at work, the treatment and care we receive impacts everything and everyone outside of the workspace as well as within.
What do you see for the future of the health and safety profession?
I feel that the horizons of health and safety will broaden to encompass a more holistic approach. As more leaders begin to realize that humans do not ‘park’ their personal lives and emotions at the office door, (which is humanly impossible) and that safety must include negating negative impacts of bullying, harassment and violence as well as compliance around standard and well recognized issues (like confined spaces or working at height). A lack of focus or disengagement due to trauma may be invisible, but is equally as dangerous as fatigue due to shift work. I see the health and safety world and the wellness sector merging more and more. This really excites me!
What is an initiative you have been a part of or seen that you think really impacted safety culture?
I have developed a software as a service system that supports potentially vulnerable workers from many sectors.It has received great feedback from businesses and supports not for profit’s at our cost price, meaning workers that would otherwise be left without a safety system in place, can now have their safety and wellbeing acknowledged. http://www.verisafeworld.com/