David Hughes

David Hughes, development director, Northern Europe, SafeStart, awareness of safety, universal safety skills, workplace safety, safety for children, portrait, profile picture, black and white, SafeStart, SafeStart International, safety habits, workplace safety, occupational safety, improve safety culture, boost safety awareness, reduce human failure, reduce injuries, injury reduction, reduce accident rates, improve company figures, prevent critical errors, implement a positive culture change at your company, promote employee engagement, boost employee commitment, 24/7 safety, safety round the clock, being safe 24/7, safe behavioural patterns, learn safe behaviour, acquire universal safety skills, safety skill for families, safety skills for children, safety skills for everyone, safety training for employees, safety for the whole company, safety training for kids, improve operational efficiency, improve quality, safety-related habits, safety-related behaviour, risk patterns, ensure high performance, critical states, critical decisions, critical errors, how injuries occur, how to prevent injuries, how to prevent accidents
Position at SafeStartDevelopment Director, Northern Europe
Location / CountryManchester / United Kingdom

Safety starts at home!


Leading the Northern European Region

David Hughes is responsible for the SafeStart business in the UK, Ireland and Nordic countries, and he also manages some of our largest global player clients. Working with SafeStart since 2007, he has undertaken every role there is: Consultant, Trainer, Admin Assistant, Account Manager, Project Manager, Content Developer and General Dogsbody.

Everyone Hates Safety!

In a manner of speaking, David gets frustrated by the sometimes polarised nature of the safety consultancy business, especially when it comes to the latest fashions and fads that can prevail from time to time.

Safety for any organisation should be a logical evolution – not a constant series of revolutions that leave people disengaged and suffering from safety initiative burn-out.

The human element of developing personal safety skills and personal ownership of safety is the area that companies have traditionally failed to deliver on, even when they have a strong leadership alignment around safety and robust risk management through physical and procedural means. Typically, companies know that something is missing but often stray down the path of trendy “engagement” or “awareness” programmes, which often use shock tactics or dodgy psychological approaches that lead nowhere and have no lasting effect. This further turns people against safety.

In contrast, SafeStart provides a practical, universal approach to this issue and has proven to be both effective and sustainable for companies all over the globe. People can see the truth in SafeStart because it is entirely aligned with their own experiences.

David Hughes loves safety (just ask his kids!)

Having worked in the safety industry for his entire career (22 years and counting), it is fair to say that he is well attuned to the situations that our clients find themselves in.   But the real difference on a personal level came 11 years ago when he joined the SafeStart family, an event which fatefully coincided with the birth of his first child (of whom there are now three, plus a dog). The impact this has had on his safety behaviours – and, subsequently, how his family communicates about safety and look out for each other – has been substantial.

He says: “When I look back at some of the things I used to routinely do as part of my daily life (like driving too fast or when I was tired), I shudder. SafeStart has helped to make me personally much safer and that extends to the rest of the family too, even if they do tell me to shut up about it from time to time.”

David has even taken the terrifying step of delivering SafeStart to the reception and year-one classes at the local primary school that his children attend. Now that really is taking your work home with you!

Invaluable part of the leadership team at SafeStart

His passionate enthusiasm for safety is also reflected in the range of tasks he takes on every day. Based on his experiences, for SafeStart, David is

  • Trusted advisor to our customers
  • Consultant and trainer
  • Speaker at conferences and client safety events
  • (Terrified) deliverer of SafeStart to under-10s.