History Of BSG

The origins of safety groups can be traced back to the Construction (General Provisions) Regulations 1961 which required companies employing more than 20 operatives to appoint one or more ‘safety supervisors’.  For many smaller contractors it would therefore be more cost effective to share a safety supervisor with other contractors. And so gradually the concept of safety groups emerged.

After the regulations were adopted, and with considerable support from a trade federation who provided office space and administrative support at a subsidised rate, the Bristol Safety Group came into being.

  • 1973 The Bristol Safety Group had 8 members supported by 1 safety officer (as they were termed back then).
  • 1974 Membership grew rapidly and a second safety officer was employed.
  • 1976 In 1976 our operation area expanded when we merged with the Wiltshire Safety Group to form the Western Counties Safety Group, supporting 50 members with 4 safety officers.
  • 1977 The first senior safety officer was appointed. The group was featured in a trade magazine as a model safety group.
  • 1986 Michael Setter was asked to become Chairman (a post he would hold until his retirement in 2020) and during the next few years the group expanded rapidly.
  • 1989 The group faced a major crisis. The trade federation who subsidised the group wanted to impose conditions on operations, essentially limiting membership to members of the trade federation. These conditions would have restricted the development of the group and so the restrictions were rejected. As a consequence the trade federation withdrew their subsidy completely and as a result the group had 3 months to find offices, employ administration staff whilst at the same time maintaining operations.
  • 1989 Our first office was at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, occupying 2 bedrooms in a converted dwelling. The next 4 years was a period of rapid growth. The business expanded by merging with safety groups based in Exeter, Oxford and Nottingham.
  • 1992 We moved to offices in Almondsbury, Bristol, which gave us additional space including a training room.
  • 1995 The Board decided that the time had come to change the name of the business to one which had no geographical connotation, as members were based in the Midlands, Wales, South West and on the South Coast.
  • 1996 On 1st February the Building Safety Group Limited was born.  The largest and arguably the best safety group in the UK with some 400 members employing 22 safety officers.  During the year we appointed our first full-time training manager.
  • 1998 In September and after further growth 5 additional safety officers joined the business.
  • 1999 The Board decided that the name ‘safety officer’ was no longer appropriate and perhaps gave the wrong impression.  So it was decided to introduce the name ‘safety adviser’.
  • 1999 We gained our first accreditation in IIP Investors in People.  The journey to gain this award was extremely beneficial by having our HR procedures reviewed by an external body.
  • 2000 The business needed more space and so moved to Woodhouse Manor, Almondsbury, Bristol.
  • 2005 With the increase in training activities, it was becoming increasingly difficult to run the courses in the old Manor House and the opportunity of moving to a new office park where we could lease a unit fitted out to our requirements was taken.
  • 2006 In March our new office at Pinkers Court, Rudgeway, was officially opened by the then H M Chief Inspector of Construction, Health and Safety Executive.
  • 2009 Our pen and paper report system was replaced with a ‘the digital pen’.
  • 2010 On the retirement of Andrew Owst as Operations Manager, the Board decided that it was right that the individual charged with the day-to-day running of the business should be a director of the company. So in June, Paul Kimpton was appointed as our first managing director. Paul had previously been on the board representing a member firm.
  • 2015 Technology had moved on enabling our Safety Advisers to begin using a hand held tablet. This method remains in use today and is being constantly updated.
  • 2015 To celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary it was decided to revamp the safety awards scheme which had been running for many years.  The big change was to move away from a series of events held on a site or in a member’s office, to holding one single event at a suitable venue.  The Williams F1 Conference Centre was selected and proved to be very successful.
  • 2018 Due to ever increasing demand for our training courses and problems with the use of local venues, the decision was made to lease another unit and fit it out to provide 2 state of the art training rooms. A lease was signed for Unit 6 Pinkers Court.
  • 2019 In February the new training suite was officially opened by Luke Hall MP and later that year it was decided to make alterations to Unit 5 (our original office unit) to provide improved office space and a larger training room.
  • 2020 Michael Setter retires as Chairman and is succeeded by Paul Kimpton.
  • 2020 Stephen Bell becomes Managing Director
  • 2021 Paul Kimpton retires and is succeeded by Neil Neil Sherreard
  • 2022 Today, the Building Safety Group (BSG) remains a not for profit organisation which specialises in providing Health, Safety and Environmental advice and training for the construction industry. BSG has over 800 members which operate across 3500 workplaces throughout the country. We conduct over 20,000 site inspections per year for construction companies as well as train more than 10,000 operatives.