Ray Hurst

Ray has been involved in safety in one way or another since 1970, when he started as a road safety assistant (later a road safety officer) with an inner London borough. He was a founder member of the Institute of Road Safety Officers and remained a corporate member until they merged with another road safety organisation last year.

In 1978 he changed roles and started work with a district council in Essex as an occupational health and safety adviser. In 1982 he was employed as a safety adviser with Essex County Council, progressing over the following 25 years to the role of Principal Health and Safety Adviser. Ray’s passion for health and safety remains as strong today as it ever was, which is probably because, as a child of 11, he saw his father lose both legs as a result of an industrial accident with the consequent trauma that the event had on him and his immediate family.

A Chartered Fellow of IOSH, Ray took early retirement in 2007 in order to devote more time to IOSH as its President for 2007/08. After finishing his term on the IOSH Presidential Team in 2009, he, in his own words, “got bored with retirement” and began looking for new challenges. In May 2010 he started in a new role as the Health and Safety Adviser for Essex Police. Ray retired from Essex Police in June 2014.

During his 25 years with Essex County Council, he was involved extensively with schools and colleges, along with a variety of other departments, in providing sensible, practical, pragmatic and proportionate health and safety advice, something he is committed to continue to do for anyone prepared to listen.

Ray is a member of IOSH Council and the Public Services Group Committee. Ray continues, despite his retirement, committed to maintaining his CPD.

As to his interest in being the press officer for the branch, during his Presidential term Ray was interviewed extensively on both local and national radio and TV, at one stage even getting John Humphrys on the Today programme to say, "You are destroying the image that has been lovingly nurtured over the years of you health and safety types being killjoys." He still gets calls from local radio stations to comment on H&S matters that have excited their interest.