World Suicide Prevention Day 2019

The 10th September was world suicide prevention day.

One person dies every 40 seconds from suicide, by the time you’ve finished reading this. Every life lost represents someone’s partner, child, parent, friend or colleague. For each suicide approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected.

Suicide doesn’t stop the pain, it just passes it on.

Suicide was the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years, after road injury. Among teenagers aged 15-19 years, suicide was the second leading cause of death among girls (after maternal conditions) and the third leading cause of death in boys (after road injury and interpersonal violence). The most common methods of suicide are hanging, pesticide self-poisoning, and firearms.

To reduce suicides, the most effective interventions are restricting access to means; educating the media on responsible reporting of suicide; implementing programmes among young people to build life skills that enable them to cope with life stresses; and early identification, management and follow-up of people at risk of suicide. 

Michael McGinley MBE

Michael McGinley MBE

It is with sad hearts we share news that Michael McGinley MBE, SCoS Honorary Chairman from 1989 to 1991, passed away peacefully at home on the 22nd August 2019.

Michael was born in 1925 and became an electrician. While working for Goodyear at the Drumchapel site he was asked by the general manager if he would like to become a safety officer. Excited by this new challenge he never looked back. Every moment of his working life from then on was safety focused and he loved every minute.

Mike became a committee member of the Strathclyde Health & Safety Group in 1969. He held every office position including Treasurer, Vice-Chair, Chair and Secretary until his retirement in 1989. He was secretary of the committee which oversaw the amalgamation of the Lanarkshire and Strathclyde Groups in 1986 to form the precursor of the current organisation. He was appointed Life Vice-President of SGWS (then Strathclyde H&S Group) in 1990 and continued his interest and involvement for many years after.

In 1985 he joined the executive committee of SCoS, becoming Vice Chairman and then Chairman in 1989. He was presented with the Distinguished Award for Services to Industry (Occupational Health and Safety) by RoSPA. It was during his tenure as SCoS Chair that, in 1990, aged 65, he was awarded an MBE for his contribution to safety.

Michael is survived by Anne, his wife of 71 years. He was a beloved father, father-in-law, grandfather and great grandfather. Those who knew him best described him as a man of deep faith and integrity. The medical staff, who cared for him in recent months, all used two words to describe him – gracious, gentleman.

SCoS Conference 2019

On October 30th, 2019, Health & Safety professionals from across Scotland will gather at The Lighthouse in Glasgow for an exceptional conference focused on improving the mental health of our workplaces.

Featuring a keynote address from Martin Temple, Chair of the Health and Safety Executive, including Kris Kelly from SAMH, Saskia Garner from Suzy Lamplugh Trust & Claire Walsh of BAE Systems.

Tickets are available from https://conference.scos.org.uk/.

3rd September 2019 Quarterly Meeting

The next quarterly meeting will be on the 3rd September.

We meet at 10:30 for 11:00 start on the Ground Floor of 220 High Street, Glasgow, G4 0QW.

Add all 2019 dates to your diary.

Guidance for Fire Safety in Specialised Housing

Ash Denham, Community Safety Minister, today launched a consultation on fire safety guidance. The Guidance has been drafted to deliver on the sixth recommendation from the Review of the Fire Safety Regime for High Rise Domestic Buildings in Scotland

The Review’s other recommendations relate to fire safety in high rise domestic buildings and were agreed by the Scottish Government Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety that was set up following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower. The sixth recommendation “Introduction of Scottish guidance concerning Fire safety in specialised housing” is not specific to high rise domestic buildings but also agreed by the Ministerial Working Group.

We encourage all Scottish Groups with an interest in Fire Safety to read the guidance and submit their comments.

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.

SCoS Awards 2017

The SCoS awards are a great opportunity to recognise, celebrate and communicate the success of Scottish organisations and their contribution to improving health, safety and environmental issues.

The Awards have three main prizes, held by the winners for a year:

  • The Lord Cullen Cup – award for first place in recognition of outstanding contribution to improving health, safety & environmental issues in Scotland.
    • The Albert Porter Rose Bowl is awarded to the first place organisations associated Safety Group.
  • The Silver Punch Bowl – award for second place entry.
  • The Stevenson Shield – award for third place entry.

Every submission will receive a certificate of merit in recognition of their organisations effort.

Awards Schedule

  1. Entries must be submitted by 24th February 2017
  2. 31st March 2017 – Entries judged by panel
  3. 30th April 2017 – Winners notified
  4. Winners are being notified, check back for details.
    • Lord Cullen Trophy – Freyssinet
    • Albert Porter Rose Bowl – SGWS
    • Stevenson Shield – Binn Group
  5. 3rd May 2017 – SCoS Seminar and Award Ceremony at Health & Safety Scotland, SECC, Glasgow

HSE SCoS December Meeting

Save the date – Tuesday 1st December
10:30 (for 11am start) – 14:00

HSE Offices,
Belford House,
59 Belford Road,

Limited space, only 20 places available.
Lunch will be provided.
Agenda to follow with details of Speakers.

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Save the Management Regs ACoP

Unfortunately, the Government plans to cut important guidelines that help employers to comply with health and safety laws. Organisations use the ‘Management of Health and Safety at Work Approved Code of Practice’ (ACoP) to manage risk and prevent accidents, injury, illness and death in the workplace. But the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) wants to replace this with non-approved guidance that lacks the same authority and assurance. This would be a mistake that could potentially cost lives, SCoS and many others strongly urge the DWP to improve and retain this much-valued ACoP.

IOSH have posted an e-petition on the Government’s website and if it reachs 100,000 signatures, it triggers consideration and a possible debate in Parliament. Such a debate would draw attention to the issues and supporting MPs would get the opportunity to make the case for retention. To help secure 100,000 signatories, we’re encouraging our membership and all interested parties to sign-up. More information about e-petitions is available on the parliament.uk website.

SCoS would like to encourage all groups and any interested family and friends to sign this e-petition. Signing is quick and easy and can be done by visiting http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/46262. It just requires your name, address and email address, please take two minutes to support this petition.

Health Risks at Work – do you know yours?

In 2007 while speaking at the SCoS Conference in Hampden, Stewart Campbell ex Director of HSE challenged the Scottish health & safety community to continue their position at the forefront of health & safety, they must help improve health and wellbeing. After the conference, Claire Walsh SCoS, Robert Aitkinson SCHWL, Karen McDonnell RoSPA, Bob Rajan HSE, Norman Stevenson SCOS, John Cairns SGWS, Sarah Jones HSE formed a working group to produce a toolkit of simple easy to implement items for the

In May 2012 the toolkit was passed on to SGUK to roll out across the rest of the UK.