The SOHSA Conference 2015, was held on Tuesday, 13 October 2015 at 9:00am, and discussed the health aspect of health and safety that is often given less attention that the more obvious, and immediate, effects of other safety concerns. 

On the 13th October, the Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association (SOHSA) held their annual conference at the Tapton Masonic Hall, Sheffield. Now, in its 94th year, the association is renowned for securing leading industry speakers for the event - and this year was no exception. The theme this year was “The Silent H” - focussing on managing occupational health hazards rather than simply traditional "safety", as current chairman Ben Tranmer explained: “putting the H back into Health and Safety”.

"Putting the H back into Health and Safety"

The committee were ambitious but committed to delivering diverse content and managed to squeeze no fewer than eight speakers into the day’s agenda. The conference was supported by a number of exhibitors on the day and headline sponsors Arco and Mental Health First Aid England.

Click here to read the full after-event news release.

Delegates Delegates Delegates Delegates

Conference Sponsors

Arco<br/>Experts in Safety MHFA England      

Event Documents


From 08:00
- Registration, Tea, Coffee and Networking -
Introduction to the Day
Ben Tranmer
SOHSA Chairperson
Keynote Address
Tracey Boyle
President Elect British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS)
Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection
Alan McArthur
3M Personal Safety Division

Dr William Thomas
ISHEM Limited

- Tea and Coffee Break -
Debbie Pettit
Stress and Mental Health
Andy Flockton
Mental Health First Aid England
- Buffet Lunch, Exhibition and Networking -
Occupational Exposure
Damien Eaves
British Occupational Hygeine Society (BOHS)
Tracey Black
DEB Limited
Bob Bridge
UK Asbestos Training Ltd
Closing Address
Ben Tranmer
SOHSA Chairperson



For years health and safety practitioners, regulators and organisations have concentrated on the safety aspect of health and safety. This should definitely not be rebuked – as now, following the forty year anniversary of the implementation of the health and safety at work act in 1974, significant achievements have been made in the reduction of injuries and deaths due to work activities – including a 85% reduction in fatalities and 77% reduction in non-fatal injuries.

However, less has been achieved in regard to occupational health – with figures suggesting up to a 85% increase in ill-health and only a 45% reduction is musculoskeletal disorders.

Facing substantial rises in mental ill-health diagnoses – with increasing rates of depression, anxiety and stress all on the rise - and a host of other ill-health issues, perhaps it is now time that focus and attention is given to that silent ‘H’, that is occupational health.

Speaker Profiles

Dr William M. Thomas BSc PhD MCIWEM FWMSoc

ISHEM Consulting

Bill Thomas is a Director of ISHEM Consulting and responsible for the development and delivery of safety, health and environmental consultancy services for several major blue-chip clients.

Bill obtained a BSc in Microbiology with Chemistry and completed a PhD at the UK Water Research Centre. He has over twenty five years’ experience in water quality and environmental consultancy and is a recognised expert in the field of Legionella control. He is a past Chairman of the UK Legionella Control Association, and is a member of the Executive and Technical Committees of the Water Management Society.

Bill has been involved in Legionnaires Disease outbreak investigations in the UK and overseas. He has also been engaged as an expert witness in civil and criminal litigation cases. Bill is retained by many corporate clients to advise internally on policy and best practices in risk assessment and control.

At the conference Bill will provide an update on the new HSE ACoP L8 and guidance on Legionella Control and reflect on the outcome of the HSE intervention programme and future implications for owners and operators of cooling towers and other high risk water systems.

Debbie Pettitt, Posturite ltdDebbie Pettitt

Posturite Ltd

Debbie Pettitt is a Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and holds a Diploma in Remedial Gymnastics and Recreational Therapy as well as a City and Guilds 7307 teacher training qualification. She has vast teaching experience in anatomy and physiology, the treatment of injuries and First Aid and delivers a range of training including DSE, Manual Handling and First Aid. In addition to her training, Debbie also carries out workstation and specialist assessments.

Andy Flockton

Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA)

Andy is currently a self employed MHFA instructor. He is an associate of NEMHDU and part of MHFA England’s national training team as well as being part of the Workplace team. Andy previously worked as an Occupational Therapist in the NHS for over 24 years in a range of mental health specialties. He has a special interest in recovery and increasing mental health capacity in mainstream services and with mainstream employers. Andy received a MHFA Champion Award from MHFA England in 2010 in recognition for developing MHFA in Hull and East Yorkshire since 2007.

Damien Eaves

Chartered Occupational Hygienist
BOHS and Validate Consulting

Damien is a Chartered Occupational Hygienist (1 of 150 in the UK) with over 12 years experience in consultancy supporting H&S professionals with expert advice and monitoring of chemicals, fumes, dusts, Noise, LEV, Legionella, HAV's and training.   He set up Validate Consulting Ltd in 2011 which is based in Chesterfield and supports businesses large and small across the UK.  Damien holds Diplomas from both the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) and also the Institute of Acoustics.  He is currently on the Education Committee of the BOHS and conducts introductory lectures in Occupational Hygiene, to universities around the UK. 

Tracey Black

National Field Sales Manager 

Tracey Black is National Field Sales Manager for occupational skin care manufacturer Deb Ltd.   Tracey has over 10 years training experience in the cleaning and hygiene and occupational skin care sectors and is a CIPD qualified trainer. 

Tracey holds a CIEH Level 3 in Health & Safety and has completed both the Food Hygiene Certificate and the BOHS Control of Dermal Exposure at Work Course - giving her a broad understanding of the context of occupational skin care within health and safety and across a wide range of business sectors.  Based locally to the SOHSA group, Tracey has been a supporter of the SOHSA Group for 3 years.

Bob Bridge, Managing Director - Bridge Safety and Training Ltd, UK Asbestos Training Ltd - UKATABob Bridge BSc (Hons) MSt AifL TechIOSH

Managing DirectorBridge Safety and Training Ltd
UK Asbestos Training Ltd - UKATA

Bob is a health and safety professional with a particular interest in asbestos issues. His background is in construction, but he has provided health and safety consultancy and training services since 2010.

Bob became a UKATA Director in 2012 and earlier this year was elected chair of the Standards Committee.

Exhibition and Sponsorship

A limited number of sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are available. If you would like to apply to exhibit at or sponsor the Annual SOHSA Conference 2015 on Tuesday, 13 October 2015 at 9:00am, please complete and return a Exhibition and Sponsorship Application Form without delay.

Promotional Material

#SilentH - SOHSA Conference 2015 - Postcard Flyer