Making safety make sense for business

Posted by Hazel Duhy on in Sector Group News, Business Support Group, Member News.

Making safety make sense for business

A health and safety management consultancy based in Seascale is celebrating as local business awards recognition coincides with a doubling of expert resource to meet growing demand from Cumbria-based clients.

Elsa Mason has been operating as DMA Safety Management (a BECBC member) from her office in Seascale in West Cumbria since 2006. She’s worked with businesses with as few as 5 employees as well as large organisations of 20,000, consistently working to improve compliance, safety performance and overall business efficiency. Elsa’s experience includes health and safety in the defence, construction, nuclear and manufacturing sectors as well as leisure and tourism so she is familiar with highly regulated environments with changing legislation, significant hazards and clear risks to reputation and business if things go wrong.

“Whether it’s construction or inshore fisheries, nuclear decommissioning or a new hotel, health and safety is a constant challenge and one that needs to be regularly reviewed and refreshed,” says Elsa.  “It makes business sense to look after everyone involved in a business and to keep them healthy and safe but it’s commercially critical for many businesses too.  In nuclear decommissioning, for instance, if a contractor doesn’t have adequate systems and safeguards in place and can’t demonstrate a safe working culture, they simply won’t win work.”

But not all SMEs can afford to have in-house health and safety expertise and even the bigger organisations find that they need additional resources for key projects.  This is where DMA has found a niche close to home in West Cumbria, offering the range of services that an in-house department might offer, recognising the priorities of a particular sector or business and delivering improvements and changes without the costs and hassles of  running a team of employees.  

And DMA Safety Management is now both Elsa and her husband, Dave Mason, who is re-joining the consultancy after key roles working in larger international organisations.

Dave is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and brings years of health and safety experience to the partnership.   He was Global Head of Safety for RS Components for four years, working in cultures as diverse as the USA and the Ukraine, and then spent several years with Travis Perkins in the UK so he has seen health and safety performance from all sides and also knows that businesses are looking for pragmatic approaches that will bring tangible improvements, not just paperwork.

“At its roots, health and safety is there to stop people being hurt and to save lives,” says Dave, “but getting it right will also contribute to a better business with increased efficiency and process compliance. We help clients put together a strategy that focuses on the risks in their business, targets things like risk assessment and clear and consistent operating procedures and then, most important of all, invests in their workforce so that people understand the risks they face and know how to deal with them in the right way.”

Dave re-joining the business coincides with DMA Safety Management being shortlisted for the Microbusiness category of the BECBC Business Awards.

“I’ve been involved with the Business Cluster for several years,” says Elsa, “ and it’s been an important way of making contacts and exploring opportunities. We’ve just finished a major project with James Fisher Nuclear, for instance, and are looking at how we can support a group of SMEs in meeting the tough requirements of the nuclear sector as well as changing legislation.”

As Dave Mason concludes: “We want to play our part in ensuring that the Cumbrian supply chain is ready for the opportunities that are heading to the county.  We’re in a strong position not only to help SMEs keep their people safe and healthy, but also to enable them to win contracts for the future.”

For further information about DMA Safety Management, see


Photo: Dave Mason has joined his wife, Elsa, as a partner in DMA Safety Management, a successful health and safety consultancy based in Seascale.