Occupational Safety

European Health and Safety Management Forum

Why did I attend and what did I learn

3 minutes11/13/2017

Written by Timo Kronlöf

In Berlin, at the end of September, I attended GLC’s organized HSE Management Forum for the first time. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect because unfortunately, safety seminars tend to repeat the same old things we’ve been hearing for decades; how we measure accidents, how terrible accidents can be, how to be compliant and control our workforce from making a human error and ruining our statistics.

Before moving forward, I want to express my gratitude to the organizers for hosting such a nice event and all the people that I met during those two days. It was a pleasure and I hope to stay in touch.

Why attend an HSE event?

There are numerous different seminars, forums and training programs available. So, you might have the same problem as me: Which ones do we pick to invest our precious time in?

The main points that I take into consideration are:

  1. Program and speakers

  2. Participants

  3. Location

In this case, as I was delivering a speech myself, it’s obvious that the ‘program and speakers’ question made things a bit different for me this time. However, I wanted to know who else would be presenting there and I realized that the speaker lineup was really very interesting, including John Green (HSE Director, Laing O’Rourke), Keith Hole (Head of SHEQW, M.T.S. Cleansing Services Ltd.), Wim Koster (Head of Global Safety, KONE) and Sergey Kharitich (Director, Health & Safety, EVRAZ), just to name a few.

When I decided to participate, I set three main goals:

  1. Learn about the recent trends in HSE

  2. Network with industry professionals

  3. Talk about our start-up’s story and why we think this industry needs new tech to evolve

Overall experience

The event was quite well organized and took place at a central location close to the Brandenburg Gate, which is always a plus. I was well informed before the event and received personal assistance to book accommodation and all the details of attending such an event. As a tech guy, I was especially delighted about the mobile app the organizer provided to help participants to network, follow the schedule, submit questions to speakers and even rate the presentations. That worked for me, and my German colleague Arne Seeger, and it was possible to communicate with the organizers as well.

One of the most important thing around forums like this is the atmosphere. If you want to learn, network and really get to know others in the industry, you need to break the ice and be open. An open and relaxed atmosphere helps with this, and in my opinion, it was successfully achieved. I had a number of good conversations with several people and connected on LinkedIn or just exchanged cards.

On the downside, the biggest minus is also related to networking. Even if the set up was good and the atmosphere was relaxed among participants, there was just too little time for informal talk and networking. Too few pauses and those were too short to really engage in good conversations. The program was packed from 8:30 AM until 6 PM. So, for next time, there’s some room for @GLCeurope to improve: 1 less presentation a day and some networking and breaks instead.

I have no obligation to compliment or market this event whatsoever, but I will definitely consider attending the next HSE Forum in February 2018. Hope to stay in touch with the people I met and good luck for GLC with your future events. If you too were there, let me know what you think about the event and the presentations.

All the presentations are available on GLC’s site at least for now.