Hazards Forum Highlights 2023

As we prepare for the new year, we are looking back at all that the Hazards Forum has achieved 2023. This end of year roundup will highlight all our significant activities, events and focus on our new individual members and Trustees.

New appointments and members

This year, we welcomed back former Hazards Forum Chair, Dr Luise Vassie in her new role as Head of Operations and Membership. Luise is currently the Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and already a Distinguished member. Through her long association with the Forum, she has been credited for the modernisation of the charity’s governance, the development of its strategy, and an increase in the diversity of the Board. 

We also welcomed Dr Owen Keyes-Evans as a Trustee to the Forum. Owen brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in the health sector, particularly public health. Sadly, we said farewell to Nina Jirouskova as a Trustee. Nina was also a member of our Technical Advisory Committee and the original driving force behind our successful Interest Groups. In addition to this, Nina has been heavily involved in the planning of many of our events and other internal activities. We wish her well as she continues her work in resilience management.

This year, we welcomed a new Corporate Member – Frazer-Nash Consultancy, who are a leading systems, engineering and technology company, working in various high-hazard sectors, including; energy, defence, space, transport, government, healthcare and manufacturing. We are delighted to have another high-hazard organisation on-board and are especially looking forward to collaborating with them closely in the future with joint endeavours in the field of hazards.

Over the last year, we have welcomed two new Distinguished Members, Bill Hewlett and Professor John Wintle, along with Honorary member, John Munnings-Tomes. Growing our community of organisations and individuals interested in hazards and risks has always been our priority. With these new relationships, we are excited to share in their wealth of specific industry knowledge as well as learn lessons from experts that work within their respective organisations.

2023 saw some change for our TAC, which is comprised of representatives from our member organisations, overseeing our technical program of activities. The restructuring of the TAC allowed for the Committee to become smaller but also provided new members for our Interest Groups, which continue to grow and thrive. Our Interest Groups incorporate members of the TAC, as well as representatives from our member organisations. These groups hear from guest speakers, discuss topics of mutual interest, and share lessons, with the aim of turning their deliberations into high quality events imparting information and sharing insights which we report upon and make available on our website for the public benefit.

Events in 2023

Our event programme this year included several workshops, both in-person and online events which we hosted and co-hosted.

In May, we supported the Thomas Ashton Institute Annual Lecture 2023: Work, Health and Wellbeing post pandemic with guest speaker Professor Dame Carol Black at the University of Manchester, UK. This lecture discussed the issues that arose when COVID landed on fertile UK soil, especially as a population of insufficiently healthy persons, with high obesity rates, low rates of physical activity, and the poor living in deprived areas with all the inevitable consequences. These problems were discussed in an attempt to see where we were, where we are now, and what the future of work and the workplace might look like.

Keeping the Lights on During Solar Storms: Space Weather as an Energy Sector Hazard was a joint in-person event we co-organised with the Royal Meteorological Society and EDF Energy at Geological Society, London, UK that took place in June. The event focussed on space weather, through solar flares, geomagnetic storms, and high energy cosmic rays, presents a risk to critical energy infrastructure in the UK, bringing together industry, academics, and government representatives to present and discuss the risks, how industry can utilise space weather services and resilience strategies to protect against extreme space weather and a panel discussion to create a space for coordination of space weather resilience strategies. 

In July we held an AI workshop at the Health and Safety Executive in Buxton, UK. This hybrid workshop brought together presenters from Thales, Office for Nuclear Regulation and University of York, along with other experts in the hazards fields. Our Emerging Technology Interest Group ran the workshop with the following objective – to consider whether (or how) the rapid adoption of AI and the resulting opportunities outweigh the new risks that emerge.

Our in-person Wildfires event in September looked at the modelling and forecasting, implications for infrastructure and built environments and the challenges of emergency response with expert input from a range of specialists. Each speaker presented clear recommendations for what can and should be done to learn lessons, adapt systems and share knowledge to better fight, control and manage wildfires. 

Our second event in September, this time online, was Data and information sharing for safety and environmental benefit webinar, bringing together experts form a variety of sectors, that shed light on how data and information can be shared for safety and environmental benefit, with perspectives from government, the engineering professions and solution providers.

In November, as a Supporting Organisation, we attended the Institution of Chemical Engineers’ Hazards 33 conference in Birmingham. The industry-focused event provided a platform for sharing good practice, current thinking, innovation and lessons learned in process safety, as well as valuable networking opportunities by bringing together the major hazards community to help advance the understanding and application of managing major hazards.

Human decisions and system performance was our final hybrid event of 2023, which took place in December. Through a panel of experts from academia and industry, we discovered how humans make their decisions and how this contributes to overall system performance becomes increasingly significant.

The future of the Forum

Looking ahead, we are already planning to revisit the important discussions from our Wildfires event, with a workshop in February 2024.

Following on from the AI workshop, we are working on another event in the new year which will continue the conversation about assessing AI risk.

We will also continue to support the Hazards 34 conference next year in Manchester, by exhibiting at the three-day event, as well as contributing to some of the sessions.

In other news, this year we will be launching our new members-only Hazards Forum LinkedIn group. If you are a member or part of a member organisation, you can join the group and interact with the wider hazards community.

We are also recruiting members to join our three Interest Groups; Natural Hazards, Engineered Systems and Emerging Technology. If you want to know more, please contact: admin@hazardsforum.org

We will also be offering sponsorship opportunities across all our events and workshops. If this interests you and you are a member or part of a member organisation that wants to know more about event sponsorship, get in touch to find out more.

To keep up to date with all the Hazards Forum’s activities, please go to our website to sign-up to our newsletter.

Scroll to Top
Malcare WordPress Security