The Safety Reps' Rep

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One of our Tea Shack News contributors sat down with Bob Egan, a man whose no-nonsense approach to safety impressed the HSE so much, they created a job to get him on board.  


Have you met Bob Egan?  As part of his secondment to HSE, Bob will be encouraging workforce engagement with safety by building the bridge between those in boiler suits and those in three-piece suits.  Bob has a really important job to do in helping the industry make the most of the fantastic resource it has - its workers.  He's giving them a voice and he's listening to it!

Bob recently joined the HSE as Head of Workforce Engagement and will work alongside HSE inspectors to improve the link between the HSE and the on and offshore workforce.  An elected safety rep (ESR) for six years, Bob has seen his fair share of good and bad ways to treat safety reps, so he'll be doing all he can to share the good and prevent the bad.  He'll be attending events and workshops to find out from ESRs their concerns about safety, before feeding them back to HSE, getting the workforce concerns in the heart of the organisation.  Wherever you find youself sitting, on or offshore, everybody knows the value of maintaining the assets; this continues production and ensures workers are protected.  Bob will be working to make sure everyone is engaged in making this happen. 

In particular, Bob will be encouraging the workforce to really focus on major accident hazards, and the hazards people face with every activity offshore.  Many workers are offshore for more than 500 hours each trip, living, eating and sleeping on a petrochemical plant surrounded by water.  Offshore workers are exposed to potential risks each and every hour there, and then on a chopper for 2-4 hours every few weeks.  Bob firmly believes the industry needs committed and visible safety reps to keep the focus on major accident hazards, now more than ever. 

A firm believer in the power of workforce engagement, Bob trusts that a safe, efficient and sustainable industry will only be achieved when people are fully engaged.  He'll be asking worksites if the Step Change Workforce Engagement Toolkit is used and if not, what is used instead.  He'll be looking at what individual companies do with the survey results and how they implement any changes.  According to Bob, engagement is not laying down the law and hoping others follow suit.  Nor is it carrying out tasks the way they've always been carried out because they haven't caused a problem so far.  Engagement is a two-way, consistent process that needs to be carried out by both parties. 

Bob will be providing regular updates on his work to Tea Shack News.  If you want to speak to him about major accident hazard management or workforce engagement, email him on


I read this article with interest, I was and still am committed to safety but being a safety representative cost me my job !!