USHA’s New Chair Spearheads Strategic Development

The new Chair of USHA is Allan Watson from Durham University where he has been the Director of the Health and Safety Service for the last 15 years. Prior to that he worked at both Newcastle and Sunderland Universities.

He has had a long and active involvement with USHA, from setting up and running HASNET to active participation in numerous working and specialist groups including those that developed the auditing system HASMAP and the H&S Management Guidance for the sector.

Allan joined the Board in April 2012 and took over as Chair at last month’s AGM in Hertfordshire.

His priority while in office is to ensure that the new Board appointed at the AGM focuses on the strategic priorities developed from last autumn’s Planning Group meeting attended by members’ representatives from the regions, as well as specialist and project groups.

Allan says “the Executive Board has been given a very clear direction by the Planning Group on what the majority want to see USHA deliver for its members. The revised programme sets USHA’s direction for a 4-year period. In keeping with our agreed planning process the Planning Group will reconvene in two years’ time, at the halfway point, to review progress and if necessary adjust the priorities for the next two year cycle. At the spring conference I outlined to members a summary of the top ten areas that will be the focus for the new Executive Board in the coming months”.

• Specialist and Project Groups – supporting, facilitating, promoting and valuing contributions.
• Communication- improving the quality, timeliness, targeting and accessibility of information.
• Partnerships & Engagement within the HE Sector – developing productive relationships and exerting influence at the right level.
• Production of written Guidance Documents - continuing the production of quality guidance, appropriately targeted, and professionally launched and promoted.
• USHA Executive Membership - reviewing the composition of the USHA Executive Board, aimed at wider representation and clearer definitions of roles.
• Regional Groups and representatives - supporting regional group USHA representatives and facilitating improved 2-way links between the Executive Board and the Regional Groups.
• Resources - consider the future resource needed to take the workplan forward and developing USHA in line with the aspirations of the planning group.
• Website - further work on content, accessibility and security.
• Promoting H&S to students.
• USHA Central Services - resolving the HMRC ‘employment’ issue relating to USHA Central.

Allan added, “Those who were not able to make it to the spring conference and therefore did not have the opportunity to hear about the Association’s work plan or to put their views forward are very welcome to get in touch with me. The key areas for the Executive Board are now set based on the majority view developed through the planning process but part of my role is to ensure that the Board remains open to all shades of opinion. If you have something to say or to contribute on the work of USHA, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Allan can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.