Alison Wright-Reid

Spotlight on a Broadcasting and Telecommunications Group Committee member

How did you become part of the BTG committee?

Truthfully, I can’t remember - it has been a while.  In my defence, I have been involved with branches/groups/national committees for much of my career, serving as BOHS president and as chair or member of groups such as Radiations, Telecommunications, Sound Advice, Safety Management, Safety Sciences, Women in Management, Chartered Management Institute Audit Committee, etc.

What benefits do you feel that the BTG brings for you?

We have similar specialist concerns, but our different perspectives develop everyone’s understanding. Working together, we can make more of a difference to the sector.  And, it is so much easier to answer the directors’ question “what does everyone else do?”

What do you do in your “day job”?

I manage health and safety, business continuity and crisis management for Ofcom (the regulator and competition authority for the Communications sector). All the “make it not go wrong, but cope when it does” workstreams.

How would you describe the way you do your role – in 5 words?

Surprising with relevance and simplicity.

What do you find the most interesting part of your role?

All the “but” bits: people are endlessly creative when it comes to rationalising “interesting” but unsafe working practices, or carpeting over processes which aren’t as robust as they should be.

What part of your role presents the most challenges?

The broccoli effect: tell anyone that a thing is good for them, and its appeal plummets. You have to make it fun; make it easy; make it comfortable.

What’s your health & safety “soap-box” subject?

Mind and body interact, for better or for worse. Hunch over a keyboard/steering wheel peering at a screen and your brain believes you are angry and under attack.  Let people dash around in a crisis, and their primitive brain will take over.

What is your one piece of advice for any safety professional?

All the people we protect are customers who pay for our attention (wanted or unwanted) with their time and conviction.