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Our Organisation



  • To link together the constituent Safety Groups

  • To circulate programmes and activities of member groups to the other member groups

  • To increase the efficiency of the area groups by pooling information and creating a source where advice and assistance shall be available to member groups on request

  • To organise the annual Conference and Exhibition

  • To promote Conferences, Seminars and Exhibitions and any other appropriate initiatives to further the cause of Occupational Health and Safety within the region

  • To maintain close working links with various appropriate agencies including HSE, Environment Agency

  • To maintain links with SGUK, RoSPA, BSC, IOSH etc.

Executive Committee


Shelagh O'Sulivan (North Manchester

Vice Chairman

John Edmonds (Merseyside)

Secretary (Position vacant)



Mark Burns (Lancashire)
E-mail: markleela@aol.com


Exhibitions Officer (Position vacant)

Mike Nixon retired October 2017


Reservations Officer (Position vacant)

Cathy Nixon retired October 2017





Charles Tracey
E-mail: ctraceyfiosh@aol.com


Mike Kershaw (Merseyside)
E-mail: mkershaw.safety@gmail.com

Susan Moore (North Manchester)

E-mail: susan@glosta-engineering.co.uk


Philip Watson (East Lancashire - resigned Oct 2017) 


James Woolgrove (South Cumbria - resigned Sept 2017)




We are indebted to Eddie Miles for providing the following information:


Previous Chairmanship  

1989 - 1992         C Tracey                 Lancashire
1992 - 1993         B Holt                     Cumbria
1993 - 1994         J King                      Lancashire
1994 - 1995         T K Williams             Merseyside
1995 - 1997         W E J Greville           Lancashire 
1997 - 1998         M Sagar                  East Lancashire 
1998 - 1999         B Wilkinson              Manchester
1999 - 2001         B Baines                  NE/NW Wales
2001 - 2003         M Burns                   Lancashire  
2003 - 2005         M Sagar                   East Lancashire 
2005 - 2006         M Nixon                   Manchester
2006 - 2008         M Kershaw               Merseyside
2008 - 2010         M Sagar                   East Lancashire
2010 - 2012         M Burns                   Lancashire
2012 - 2014         M Nixon                   Manchester
2014 - 2016         J Edmonds               Merseyside
2017 - 2018         S O'Sullivan              North Manchester


The valuable contribution made by those who served as Chairman and whose names and dates of office are not recorded is also acknowledged.


Brief History


The Association came about as a result of the work and wishes of key players in Health and Safety in Lancashire during the late 1950's. It is apparent that Mr Bill Hanley was the chief moving force behind the formation of the NWA and played a leading role in its running until his death. Members of the Preston and District Industrial Accident and Prevention Group (now LOHSG - the Lancashire Occupational Health and Safety Group) played an important role in its formation. 


Conferences (later supplemented by an Exhibition and expanded to a 2 day event) have been held in October every year, till more recently when it changed to a one day event varying between June and September depending on other local events at the following venues:


1959 - 1966                        Floral Hall, Morecambe

1967 - 1968                        Fleetwood

1969 - 1984                        Pembroke Halls, Salford

1985 - 1986                        King Georges Hall, Blackburn

1987 - 1988                        The Crest, Runcorn

1989 - 2015                        Barton Grange Hotel, Barton, Preston

2016 - 2017                        Best Western Country Hotel & Golf Club, Garstang

In 2009/10 the Conference was held in June to avoid clashes with the Health and Safety Event at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton in October. As this started to clash with the SHE Show in Blackpool we have moved the date to September.


From a newspaper cutting in 1958 the Preston Group launched a "vigorous attack" against the prevalence of accidents and injury in local works and factories. Sir George Barnett, Chief Inspector of Health and Safety for the country agreed to give a review of the field of accident prevention at a group event held at the Harris College, Preston In October 1958 - particular emphasis was given to attracting small firms including those employing less than 25 people.


The second Association Conference was held on the 6th October 1959 at which a draft constitution was approved and adopted.


At the formation of the North West Association (NWA) a management committee was set up and a further Conference planned for the following year. A study course (the first of several that included residential courses for apprentices) was also arranged at Alston Hall, Longridge.


This group meeting was an important occasion that attracted and brought together members from safety groups throughout Lancashire and it is likely that its success engendered the thought of running a similar annual event that would attract top national speakers and receive support from safety groups and their members throughout the North West of England. Retrospectively the event at the Harris College can be considered as the first Conference of the North West Association.


Key Personnel involved with the Association activities:


Bill Greville MA (Cantab)

Bill was the Director of the HSE's North West Area based in Preston. In this position, and since in his semi retirement, he has actively sought to build links with the local safety groups and facilitate co-operation with the HSE in the provision of speakers, advice and expertise relating to the Associations work.

Over many years Bill has been a member of the Executive, acted as its Chairman, and served a key role in conference planning. He was appointed President of the Association in 1999. Sadly Bill passed away on 22 August 2015 aged 89 after being ill for some time. His influence and contribution to the Conference planning will be missed. 


William Handley MBE

Bill was the chief influence in the founding of the NWA in1958. He was Safety Officer for Leyland Birmingham Rubber Co, Chairman of LOHSG 1964-1970 of which he became President in 1976. He received an MBE in 1969 for his work in Accident Prevention.

1958 - 1972                Association Secretary

1972 - ~1985              Controller of the Association


Frank Riddell DSA (RoSPA)

Frank was the Chief Safety Officer for WMP Ltd which later became the Reed Paper Group to which he was appointed Senior Safety Engineer. Frank has spent 40 years working for the Association mainly in his retirement.


1970 - 1985                Secretary and Conference Organiser

1985 - 2000                Treasurer and Exhibition Organiser

2000                Appointed Governor of the Association

2000 - 2007                Governor, Treasurer and Exhibition Organiser


Harry Banks MBE

Harry was a Production Engineer with British Aerospace and apart from his association position was President of the Lancashire Occupational Health and Safety Group in succession to Bill Handley. Harry devoted his years in retirement to advancing health and safety mainly working for the association and LOHSG. He received an MBE for his work in accident prevention.

1967 - 1970                Representative for Manchester Group
1983 - 2002                Secretary and Conference Organiser




  • It is of interest to note some of the points made by Sir George Barnett (who had been the Factory Inspector for Preston 25 years earlier) in his 1958 review. He said that the Government had done almost all they could in the way of regulations to cut down accidents and that it was now up to work people themselves to take up the baton. He particularly urged the representatives of the more than 150 firms attending to train and encourage their young employees  interest in Health and Safety.  He reported that 60,000 people were off work each day with industrial accidents and that nationally 20 million man days were lost each year


  • Looking at the programme for the 1982 Conference it is noted that only speakers are listed - no themes or topics. This is interesting and reflects the fact that delegates need and enthusiasm was such that they were prepared to come and listen to experts talk on safety matters irrespective of their content knowing it would be of value to them


  • Another observation is that 50 years ago people were even then emphasising the need to reach small firms and to focus on training young people 


  • Frank Riddell reports that when the H & S Conference and Exhibition was held in Morecambe it was on the pier. Exhibitors stands etc. had to be off loaded at the start of the pier and manhandled to the end. He also reports that delegates in the hall had the pleasure of being able to look down through the flooring planks at the sea below whilst listening to the speakers


  • At the 1967 Conference there was a presentation on Industrial Injuries by an A & E Doctor from Preston. The slides were so gory and dramatic that a number of delegates walked out and the proceedings were stopped. After due consideration it was decided that although the presentation was quite disturbing it was nevertheless most instructive and should continue
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