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Industry Expert - Christopher Berry - The Goodwood Group

Industry Expert - Christopher Berry - The Goodwood Group

We speak with Christopher Berry, Health & Safety Manager at The Goodwood Group, to get his industry expert opinion...

Could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I gained an interest in safety whilst working at one of the UK's leading adventure & trampoline parks. After a year of ‘bouncing around’ & taking on various safety tasks I was unsure of what was next for me & I was in need of a career path.

I was approached by a previous employer, and offered the opportunity to focus primarily on safety. Without a clear idea of what I wanted to do, I thought "lets see where this goes."

I enjoyed the aspects of safety and reviewing working practices, but I never thought I would go full throttle at it. Fortunately, I had a great mentor who gave me the opportunity to complete various safety courses, and I gained the General Nebosh qualification in 2020.

Out of the blue I came across my current role with the Goodwood Group. Goodwood is a playground for safety professionals and I have not seen any roles that offer as much diversity - Goodwood has a farm, hotel, racecourse, motor circuit, aerodrome & Heritage buildings all under one banner, it has been a great learning curve and a great challenge for a health & safety professional.

Goodwood Estate

What does a day in the life of a HSE Manager look like?

Every day is unique at Goodwood, our motto is ‘Daring-Do’ so I never know what new ideas will land in my inbox.

A quick YouTube search will give an insight of our events, but most of my time is focused on the 365 businesses and their daily running – Audits / Inspections / Risk Assessments etc.

What do you think makes a good Health & Safety Manager?

- Communication - Clear communication & knowing your audience is key.
- Visibility – Feet on the ground, get stuck in, know your team.
- Accountability – Participation, Evaluation, Transparency

What is the most useful tool you use to implement health & safety measures?

Verature – A contractor management system which requires contractors to upload relevant documentation and permit requests.

Contractor management software and compliance - Verature

Do you currently implement any technology to prevent or reduce accidents in your workplace?

Not currently but we are always open to new ideas & software

Are there any health & safety resources you would recommend?

- Verature – Contractor management system
- safeREACH – Incident response management system
- Safety Culture – Inspections, schedules & action trackers

Where do you find new health & safety products on the market?

Networking– If you have a problem, ask opinions & discuss. You will probably find a solution.

Are there any products, gadgets, or apps that you can’t live without (personally or professionally)?

Personally – Apple products, I cannot get enough of them. Although I’ve never owned a MAC.

Professionally – safeREACH, this system has been a great asset & received full buy in from our team. It has been tried and tested on the estate, greatly improving our approach to incident response.

Goodwood Racing

For any HSE Managers out there struggling to get health & safety investment from company owners, do you have any recommendations?

Create a forum with company owners & those in control of budgets where safety critical topics can be presented and discussed in depth.

Do you have any advice for implementing change in the workplace, such as deploying new health & safety technology?

Buy In – There's so much tech out there now but if the workforce does not see the potential, it will not be used.

Ask the team what they need before you go ahead. Slow & Steady – Introduce the system by departments, testing its features and receiving feedback before full integration.

What are the biggest risks you deal with in your role and how do you manage them?

Vehicle Movements – We use various mitigation methods for vehicle movements during our events.

Goodwood Crowd Cheering

Do you think AI will play a part in health & safety in the near future?

AI will play a part in all our lives whether we like it or not. In my opinion AI in safety will have its positives & negatives but I do not have enough knowledge in the area to provide an educated answer. My guess is:

- Reducing the need for workers in hazardous environments
- Inspections of complex areas
– Chimneys, Roofs, Extraction ducts etc.
- VR training
- Potential hazard mapping
- Admin & schedule creation

- Shortcuts
– Employees writing a risk assessment without evaluating the task & talking to the workforce
- Workforce moral decrease
– Fear of being replaced
- Reliance on AI to monitor near misses.
- Reducing workforce interaction and discussion around workplace hazards
- Skill fade
– Professionals may rely on “ChatGPT” for an educated response to questions without research and personal knowledge

We hope you enjoyed this article, you can read and learn from other industry experts from across the globe, and learn from their insights into health & safety in a variety of industries.

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