Conference presentations next week

Whilst teaching term might be winding down before Easter, an academic’s life is far from quiet: conference season starts in earnest. Over the coming weeks, the project team are in action, presenting some preliminary findings from their research.

First comes the Social History Society conference, conveniently being hosted at the University of Portsmouth. We have a project panel in action on Tuesday 31 March, consisting of papers by Paul and Carmen (‘People talking about regulation: public perspectives on the changing legitimacy of health and safety’), Laura (‘Accessing women’s experiences of occupational health and safety in post-1960 Britain’) and Mike (‘“They never bother about safety, never”: occupational health and safety in port towns in post-1960 Britain.’).

No rest for Paul, though, as he heads straight from Portsmouth up to Warwick, to the Socio-Legal Studies Association conference, to present his paper (‘Il/legitimate risks? Perceptions of occupational safety and health in post-1960 Britain’) on Wednesday 1 April.

It’s going to be a busy week for the project, but hopefully we’ll get some useful feedback and thoughts on our work so far from these conferences.

Forthcoming presentations

Mike Esbester has been invited to discuss project research at a specially convened symposium marking the 40th anniversary of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act. The symposium is taking place at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on 8 July, and includes contributions from current and former Health and Safety Executive officials and academics. It aims to think about how the 1974 Act came about, what impact it has had, and how the challenges of occupational health and safety have changed over the last 40 years.


Mike’s paper, ‘Buying in to health and safety? Perceptions of legitimacy of occupational health and safety & the 1974 Act’, will draw on project research and is a first outing for some thoughts arising from the project to date – and, no doubt, it will be a chance to get some useful feedback.


Further details about the symposium and booking (before 27 June) at:



Mike will be in action again a few days later, presenting a paper at the Society for the Social History of Medicine’s conference on the theme of ‘Disease, Health and the State.’ The conference takes place in Oxford between 10-12 July, and Mike’s paper, ‘Il/legitimate risks? The state and Occupational Health and Safety in post-1960 Britain’, will consider how the state has dealt with OSH issues since 1960, particularly in relation to questions about legitimacy.

Upcoming Public Lectures!


Both of the two researchers involved in the CLHSR project are in action in the next month or so, giving public lectures at their respective institutions on the issue of health and safety as communciated to, and understood by, workers and the public.


On Wednesday 6th November, Mike Esbester will deliver a lecture entitled ‘Do it the Safety Way! 100 Years of Accident Prevention’ at the University of Portsmouth (6-7pm, Portland Building, Portland Street, Portsmouth PO1 3AH), exploring the phenomenon of safety education: he will show how and why safety education started 100 years ago, and will decode the messages hidden in safety education, examining what they say about Britain over the last 100 years. See,180226,en.html for details.

And on Wednesday 4th December, Paul Almond will deliver a lecture entitled ‘Health and Safety regulation: ‘Red tape’ or ‘thin blue line” at the University of Reading (8-9pm, Palmer Building, Whiteknights campus, Reading RG6 6AH), exploring why health and safety regulation has never had a higher or more unfavourable public profile than it does now; he will contrast these unfavourable views with a wider desire for protection and accountability and ask how these two versions of safety regulation can coexist. See for details.

We hope to see you at one of these events!