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Monday 13th January, 2020 - 9.45AM-4.30PM

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The Birmingham & Midland Institute, Birmingham 

As part of BIG's role in promoting excellence in science communication we are pleased to announce our upcoming skills day.

What will happen at this Skills Day? 

An entire day of trawling through dull risk assessments, plus a didactic death-by-PowerPoint speculative update on post-Brexit health and safety legislation...

...Or we could do this BIG-style with Matthew Tosh and get stuck into real, tangible risk assessment processes to help you in your work.

How do you even begin to evaluate a risk? Learn from Matthew's transformative approach which saw him move from a restrictive classroom environment to highly-explosive, fire-infused live shows and events.

The day will be a mash-up of worked examples, collaborative discussions and individual working. Whilst the day will have processes as its core focus, including what to do if an incident occurs, we'll examine ways of documenting your risk assessment. More importantly, you will have an opportunity to focus on your own activities and give yourself a bit of a H&S health-check in a supportive, expert-led environment. This is more than a day dedicated to updating your risk assessment(s); it is about empowering you and moving you towards an even clearer, more positive relationship with H&S personnel, clients and event colleagues.

Who is the day for?
  • Anyone who has to create or read risk assessments;
  • People who are new to risk assessments; or
  • People who are experienced, but want an update on current best practice in risk assessments. 
Your Trainer

Matthew Tosh, Freelance Pyrotechnician and Science Communicator

Matthew has a solid track record for managing safety and risk for science communication events and stage show tours. Favoured for his meticulous detail and solutions-focused approach, Matthew is regularly engaged to compile risk assessments for individual presenters, one-off shows and tours. He also reviews risk assessments, primarily for the Cheltenham Science Festival and the Lablive Christmas lectures series 2014-2019. He has won repeated commissions for his proactive approach at bridging the gap between what a performer wants to do and the Festival’s legal H&S obligations.

In May 2016, Matthew was engaged as Health and Safety Manager and Senior Pyrotechnician for Greg Foot’s national theatre tour Caution: Safety Goggles Required! The show featured pyrotechnics, ballistics, firearms, explosives, flamethrowers and audience volunteers on stage. He has since overseen location health and safety for a number of TV and film shoots where close-proximity fire and pyrotechnic effects have been in use.

Elsewhere, Matthew conducts venue assessments for the professional fireworks and pyrotechnics industry, to help identify what is possible at a particular site. He subsequently compiles venue-specific risk assessments to inform the display design.

For Matthew, it is all about finding solutions to make things happen safely.


£45 for BIG members including lunch and coffee

Non-members will need to join BIG first at an annual cost of £30 and then come back to register for the day as a member.

To register for the day click here

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