HMS – Health, Environment and Safety

Most ofEystein 2 us associate HMS with just that; health, environment and safety. If you look up the Norwegian abbreviation HMS in, it is synonymous with health, environment and safety – that makes it easy for people who have Norwegian as their mother tongue to understand. A similar search in English will result in over 100 definitions of HMS. One of the more well-known is the Harvard Medical School. One may first think of Her Majesty’s Ship or be inspired by 007 Her Majesty’s Service, or the more unfamiliar might be the Hybrid Male Sterility and Happy Mask Salesman

Where am I heading with this commentary? K2 is becoming more and more international, and the department has a significant number of foreign staff and students – therefore how we communicate is of the utmost importance.

This years HMS seminar was (unlike the previous meetings) held in English, which was very well received. Communication was a main theme in the group work. In the plenary session, Silke Appel had a proposal that all Ph.D. defences should be held in English. Rebecca Cox called for proper translation of K2Nytt into English – she occasionally had to consult the Norwegian translation to understand the English… However, everybody agreed that K2Nytt is useful, and most employees read it. There were calls for an improved “layout” and easy access to earlier editions of the newsletter.

We also discussed meeting places within the department. Shared meeting places that were highlighted where the scientific K1 / K2 seminars and the K2 HMS seminar. These are good venues to meet departmental colleagues for an informal chat, but they sometimes have poor attendance. Serving wine was suggested as a possible incentive to attend – it apparently worked in Denmark. One of the more specific forums the “Faculty lunch” has been initiated. There is also a plan to resurrect the Technical Forum. The K2 management will summarize all comments from the HMS day and will focus on implementing many of the suggestions.

Two important issues were presented by the HMS department at UiB; the new portal for reporting of adverse events and a new tool for risk assessment. These topics could potentially be very dry, but they were elegantly and inspiringly presented by Johannesen, including a Kohoot quiz, and Bjørn Arild Petersen from the Geophysical Institute (link).

There was also time for good breaks, including Godt Brød for lunch, a grand piano performance and the journalist Linda Eide spoke unrestrictedly on the theme “Ekte begeistring er ingen spøk” (Genuine enthusiasm is no joke). All in all, the HMS day was very successful, including a fire alarm rehearsal, all superbly directed by Irene, Ingvild and Julie. Those of you that did not come missed out on a good day!

Finally, let this seminar be a reminder that we all have responsibility for our occupational health, safety and environment. I wish you all a good weekend.


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