About Safety Group West Scotland

Safety Group · West Scotland is the oldest employer’s health and safety organisation in Scotland and second oldest in the UK. Founded in 1937 it is non-profit making, self-supporting and affiliated to RoSPA, Safety Groups UK and the Scottish Chamber of Safety.


Stewarts and Lloyds Ltd, location of the first Safety Group West Scotland meeting. Tollcross Tube Works, Tollcross Road, Glasgow. An oblique aerial photograph taken facing south. This image has been produced from a crop marked negative.
Stewarts and Lloyds Ltd. Tollcross Tube Works, Tollcross Road, Glasgow.

In November 1937, a small number of executives from industrial firms throughout Scotland met in the Offices of Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd, Glasgow. The purpose of the meeting was to hear about the Local Industrial Safety groups that had been formed in England. The object was to discuss accidents at work and find ways of preventing recurrence. Membership of these groups was confined to subscribers to the national Safety First Association’s Industrial safety service (now called RoSPA).

In 1946, local Groups became autonomous and self-supporting, with memberships available to firms whether or not they were subscribers to RoSPAs industrial service. Through the early 50’s local safety groups expanded throughout Scotland and by 1964 there were 150 firms in the Glasgow group and 400 firms associated with Safety Groups in Scotland.

Lord Provost Robert Gray who hosted the 50th Anniversary of Safety Group West Scotland, photographed for the February 1987 issue of Glasgow City Council's newspaper The Bulletin presenting the Glasgow's Sportsperson of the Year 1986 trophy to Scottish badminton internationalist Dan Travers. Image Credit: Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection, Bulletin Photographs.
Lord Provost 1984-1988, Robert Gray

The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 revolutionised industry’s attitudes and helped the group further promote good safety in the work place.

In 1986 the Lanarkshire group was incorporated into the group known as Strathclyde Health & Safety Group. The group celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1987 at a civic reception hosted by Glasgow’s Lord Provost Robert Gray.

In 2001 the Group name was changed to Safety, Health & Environmental Forum (Scotland) to demonstrate the wider range of disciplines in which safety professionals were becoming involved.

Safety Group West Scotland 70th Anniversary

The group celebrated its 70th Anniversary in November 2007 with a Gala Dinner held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow.  Guests included Lord Cullen of Whitekirk, Stewart Campbell, HSE, Hazel Harvey, IOSH, Roger Bibbings, RoSPA and guest speaker Brian Sweeney, Chief Fire Officer, Strathclyde Fire & Rescue.

In March 2015 the group re-branded to Safety Group · West Scotland. This demonstrates closer links with the national Safety Groups UK movement and the locale in which the group operates.

We celebrated our 80th anniversary in 2017, we look forward to welcoming you as a member and continuing for the next 80 years.

Past Chairs

Member-elected chairs of the group serve to provide a figurehead and guide the strategic direction of the group on behalf of the members.

Term Name Company
2015-current Alan Gunn Banyard Solutions Ltd
2013-2015 Norman Stevenson Mackenzie Construction Ltd
2010-2013 David McMahon SHE Software Ltd
2008-2010 John Cairns Strathclyde Fire & Rescue
2006-2008 Claire Allinson Renfrewshire Council
2004-2006 Norman Stevenson
Derek Duffy
Motherwell Bridge
2001-2004 Norman Stevenson Motherwell Bridge
1998-2001 Graeme MacGregor Central Scotland Police
1996-1998 Peter Kerr Tate & Lyle
1994-1996 Iain Wilson Bearsden & Milngavie District Council
1992-1994 Harry Backhouse Iron Trades Insurance Co.
1990-1992 James Caskie Coatbridge College
1988-1990 Donald Campbell Argyll & Bute District Council
1986-1988 Stewart Ferrier Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd
1984-1986 Dan Lavery Commercial Union Assurance Company Ltd
1982-1984 Ken Smith Ciba-Geigy AG
1980-1982 Jack M Johnsone Iron Trades Insurance Group
1978-1980 Michael McGinley Clydebank District Council
1976-1978 Robert Campbell Scottish Development Agency
1974-1976 Firenza J Johnson Johnson’s (Carmyle) Ltd