The Scottish Chamber of Safety

The Scottish Chamber of Safety is the regional body for safety groups in Scotland. It is an advocate for health and safety in Scotland and functions as a liaison between the various groups and individuals who have an interest in health and safety in Scotland.

The Chamber is made up from the various Safety Groups and supporting organisations throughout Scotland. If you require information or on-going support the local groups provide an excellent source of advice and experience.

Find where your local group meets and get involved. Not all groups have their own websites but contact details for all of the groups is available through the main Safety Groups UK website.

Managing Risk: From Assessment to Control. Bringing your Risk Assessment to Life

10:30am 25 May 2021 – Block it out in your diary now!

Effective risk management systems allow an organisation, large or small, to meet its legal requirements in protecting workers by not only identifying risk but putting in place measures to ensure adequate risk controls. Too often risk assessment becomes a tick-box exercise but it’s vitally important that the organisation is mindful of the risks that are identified and takes ongoing action to monitor and manage them. This strong focus on worker health and safety, in turn, benefits organisational performance.

This webinar will feature a panel of experts from HSE including HM Health and Safety Inspectors, and NEBOSH who will discuss current guidance and principles in tackling risk. We’ll be taking questions during the webinar and highlighting resources, products and services that can help you build a successful risk management programme that protects employees from harm.

All attendees will earn CPD points.

BOHS Open letter to Deputy First Minister of Scotland Mr John Swinney

The British Occupational Hygiene Society sent an Open Letter to John Swinney, MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary For Education and Skills to express concern about alarming trends in the latest Office for National Statistics figures on COVID-19 deaths and warn of dire consequences if better protection of workers from COVID-19 infection is not put in place.

We share a copy below, the original can be found on the BOHS website.

29 January 2021

Dear Mr Swinney

Use of Medical Grade Respirators for COVID-19 protection

We write on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society, the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection, and a leading authority on the use of respiratory protection. Throughout the pandemic our members in industry, academia and expert advisory roles have been leading the work to ensure that there is proper protection for workers.

We have been very impressed by the unflinching attitude of the Scottish Government to implementing the best scientific advice for the protection of people in Scotland. It is in this spirit that we take the unprecedented step of writing openly to you in order to address the growing crisis in the protection of Scottish workers.

The data from the recent ONS bulletin relating to COVID-19 deaths and occupations are generally consistent with the growing body of epidemiologic evidence showing the significantly increased risk of contracting COVID-19 from work.

In the light of the most recent data from the Office for National Statistics on COVID-19 mortality by occupation, we are writing to ask you to mandate the use of FFP2 and FFP3 respiratory protection for all healthcare workers, those in public-facing roles, alongside any roll-out of “medical grade” masks to the general public.This should not be done in isolation, but in conjunction with a systematic review of other control measures, including ventilation, engineering controls and social distancing.

Following discussions with bodies such as the Infection Prevention Society and the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, we believe that many of the risks in the healthcare setting arise from the complex non-clinical and support functions within hospitals. We believe that occupational hygiene management should extend beyond normal patient-facing infection prevention controls and address management of COVID-19 in other areas such as receipt of deliveries, catering and cleaning staff and all non-clinical aspects of the workplace.

As highlighted by recent correspondence to the Journal of Occupational Medicine, healthcare workers in Scotland, who are at higher risk of infection than the general public, are still being issued only with fluid resistant surgical masks. This is insufficient, given all the evidence of airborne transmission risks and the data of infection. This is confirmed by the Health and Safety Executive’s own assessment, which can be found at Filtering Facepiece or powered respirators should be a requirement if we are not to put at risk those people who we rely on to support the health of others.

At the same time, our experience of supporting the health service is that even those trained in infection control have struggled to manage fitting respirators. Thus, in addition, there needs to be provision of proper training in wearing, testing of adequate fit and maintenance of respirators to render them effective. In our view, without proper fitting and maintenance, the effectiveness of FFP2 and FFP3 respirators will be compromised.

We also draw your attention to higher mortality rates among workers, other than those in public-facing roles, including those working in manufacturing, production lines and engineering. Clearly, there is a need for more effective communication of the appropriate controls, and we stand ready to assist with this in whatever way we can.

Signed on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society,

Kelvin Williams, Chartered Occupational Hygienist, Kelvin Williams Ltd, President of the British Occupational Hygiene Society

Alison Margary, Chartered Occupational Hygienist, Margary Wade Ltd, President Elect of the British Occupational Hygiene Society

John Dobbie, Regional Industrial Hygiene Director, Past President of the British Occupational Hygiene Society

Raymond Agius, Emeritus Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Dr Rob Aitken, CEO of the Institute of Occupational Medicine

Professor John Cherrie, Principal Scientist, Institute of Occupational Medicine, Past President of the British Occupational Hygiene Society

Adrian Hirst, Chartered Occupational Hygienist, Hirst Consulting Ltd, Past President of the British Occupational Hygiene Society

Adrian Sims, Managing Director, Vent-Tech Ltd, Director, WorkSafe Design Limited, Specialist Member (MFOH(S)) of the British Occupational Hygiene Society

Professor Kevin Bampton, CEO of the British Occupational Hygiene Society

Scotland, it’s time to roll up our sleeves

The Scottish Government are launching the National Covid-19 Vaccination Campaign – Scotland, it’s time to roll up our sleeves

The Covid-19 Vaccine campaign is targeted at all adults in Scotland, and will aim to communicate the importance and safety of the vaccine, and encourage people to get the vaccine when they are offered it. The campaign will run from 21st January to 21st February, and will be live across TV, radio, digital, social, OOH and press.  You can find further information on the COVID-19 vaccines on NHS Inform website: Roll Up Your Sleeves | NHS inform and can find all available leaflets here: Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine leaflets | NHS inform

How to Help

The COVID-19 vaccination programme is the biggest mass vaccination programme ever run in Scotland, and it’s important that as people become eligible they get the vaccine quickly in order for us all to get back to things we miss sooner. For that, we need your help to share these messages. Please support the campaign by sharing these messages with your internet and external audiences, and when sharing on social channels please include the hashtag #WeAreScotland

Stakeholder Toolkit

The Stakeholder Toolkit contains the following information and assets:

  • Information on the vaccination programme
  • Key messages
  • Static social media assets and copy
  • Video assets for social media
  • TV ad
  • Video assets
  • Editorial copy
  • Leaflets

Campaign Assets

You can find campaign assets on the links below:

We will be adding further assets into Dropbox in the days to come:

  • A poster will be made available  by end of day 22nd January 2021
  • A BSL version of the TV ad will be available by the 30th January 2021

Free Webinar on 13th January – Supportive Conversations

Headtorch are experts in workplace mental health, a team of specialists in learning & development and psychology, backed up by clinical and legal professionals.

With proven results, they enable organisations to build a positive mental health culture. Their programmes increase engagement, help to reduce absenteeism and importantly, create a workplace where people thrive.

Join a free webinar on the 13th January at 13:00

  • what stops us having a supportive conversation
  • what qualities and skills lived experience of mental ill-health brings to the workplace
  • being aware of the comfort, stretch and panic zones
  • how to spot signs of stress and mental ill-health in others
  • the skills needed to have a supportive conversation
  • why they work
  • knowing your support options
1st Aid

First aid refresher training and certification extension

Updated guidance for extensions to first aid and other related qualification certificates during the Covid-19 outbreak has been published by HSE.

  • First Aid at work (FAW) and Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020 can be extended until 31st October, or 6 months from expiry date, whichever is later. Criteria set out in the guidance must be met to qualify for an extension. All requalification training for these certificates must be completed by 31st March 2021.
  • Offshore Medic (OM) and Offshore First Aid (OFA) certificates can be extended until 31st October 2020 only.
  • Flexibilities previously allowed in Scotland and Wales have now ended, (as lockdown restrictions are now more frequently targeted at specific geographical areas rather than nations), and the updated guidance will apply to all of GB.

BOHS Conference 2020

The British Occupational Hygiene Society are delighted to announce that OH2020 will be their first ever virtual conference from Tuesday 29 September – Thursday 1 October 2020.

The conference includes an exciting programme with leading experts, interactive workshops, and case studies delivering the latest insights and technological advances in workplace health and occupational hygiene from around the world.

Book now on the BOHS website

Download the conference agenda

Scottish Occupational Road Safety Alliance Annual Survey

Win a £50 Marks and Spencer voucher for participating in a survey conducted by Research Scotland on behalf of ScORSA

The survey will help us to better understand the levels of awareness and the needs of organisations regarding management of occupational road risk. 

If you have a role in managing:

  • company vehicles;
  • ​health and safety at work; or
  • employees who drive for work purposes (using their own vehicle, or a company vehicle).

We ask you take 15 minutes to complete the short questionnaire. Taking part is voluntary and the survey is anonymous.

The winner of the M&S voucher will be selected at random and informed when the survey closes in February 2020. 

3rd December 2019 Quarterly Meeting

The final quarterly meeting of 2019 is on the 3rd December.

Meet at 10:30 for 11:00 City Chambers East, 40 John Street, Glasgow, G1 1JL.

Quarterly Meeting Agenda:

  1. Sederunt
  2. Apologies
  3. Matters arising
  4. Events
  5. Safety Groups UK Update
  6. Safety Campaigns
  7. Website/Communications
  8. Treasurer’s Report
  9. Reports from Groups
  10. Reports from Partner Organisations
  11. Other competent business
  12. Session 2020 Dates

Add all 2019 dates to your diary.

Health and safety statistics

Key figures for Great Britain (2018/19)

  • 1.4 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
  • 2,526 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2017)
  • 147 workers killed at work (2018/19)
  • 581,000 injuries occurred at work according to the Labour Force Survey
  • 69,208 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
  • 28.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
  • £15 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2017/18)

SCoRSA Road Safety Seminar

St Andrew’s Seminar 2019, Tuesday 5th November 2019, Perth Racecource

Perth Racecourse

Hear the latest on changes in drug driving procedures at @ScORSAMorr St Andrew’s Seminar on 5th November, Perth Racecourse. Free to attend for members. Join ScORSA at  – for free resources, advice and network opportunities

Chaired by Dr Karen McDonnell, Head of RoSPA Scotland, speakers will include: 

  • George Henry, National Operations Manager for Road Safety Policy and Education, Transport Scotland
  • Heather Ward – Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University College London
  • Alan Craddock – Head of Transport and Public Services Unit, HSE
  • Anne-Marie Penny – Senior Programme Manager, Road User Safety, DfBB Programme, Highways England
  • George Cairns – Glasgow City Council
  • Inspector Vincent Fisher, Police Scotland
  • Andy Cathro – LOcHER Project
  • Liam Gallagher – City Facilities Management Holdings

Booking form available from