Our growing team of experienced assessors comes from different backgrounds including extensive and senior experience in the Oil, Gas and Chemicals sectors as well as construction experience and senior HSE inspection. 

All Assessors have significant and relevant experience of major hazard safety and assessment/audit skills. The out-of-sector experience and perspectives in major hazard environments will be crucial and useful in terms of sharing learning and approaches from sectors where leadership and culture in relation to major hazard safety are more advanced and mature.  

Robert Biggs

Robert started work with Bison Concrete Ltd in 1971 and worked as a design engineer on a wide range of precast concrete developments. He spent seven years in the Greater London Council’s District Surveyors’ service, which culminated with his appointment as District Surveyor for Hackney (Head of Building Control). Robert was one of the last two statutory District Surveyors appointed under the London Building Acts. Following the demise of the GLC, Robert entered local government service, becoming Head of Engineering, Director of Regulatory Services and subsequently Director of Environmental Services, all at Hackney LBC.

Returning to the private sector in 2001, Robert’s set up his own business and is now Managing Director of Robert Biggs Associates Ltd. His company specializes in building engineering and management consultancy and has particular expertise in building regulations, carrying out plan checking (including structural checking) and site inspection services on a wide range of building types. In addition to this the company assists organisations with their business plans, human resource and health and safety policies and with quality assurance accreditations.

Robert is a former Trustee of the Shoreditch Town Hall Trust (a Trust set up to refurbish and manage the old Town Hall). He is a former Board Director and Chairman of the National Considerate Constructor Scheme and continues to take an active part in Scheme affairs. He is currently Chair of Trustees of the CABE Benevolent Fund.

Robert is a professional interviewer for the CABE (including CEng), assists the CICAIR in AI Appeals and audits and is a member of the CICAIR Appeals (deputy Chair) and Monitoring and Re-approvals (Chair) Committees. He is a member of the Construction Industry Products Environmental Manual editorial panel and is a contributor to Lexis Nexis Knight’s Guide to Building Control Law and Regulations.

Neil Edmunds

Neil is a Chartered safety professional and Mining Engineer. His career started in the UK coal mining industry holding various operational management positions.  He moved into SHEQ and sustainability at a senior (Director) level in the Offshore Oil and Gas sector, including 5 years with the UK regulator, moving to the rail sector and then Construction.

Neil’s expertise has been developed in building and enabling teams that are solutions orientated to enable and support performance improvement, business growth and continuity. Coaching and influencing business leadership teams to take ownership, personally and collectively, developing clear accountability (for SHEQ) at Board level.

He represented his previous employer (with the COO) in the MHCLG Early Adopters’ team. Neil was particularly active in the working group setting the foundation and direction for the Building a Safer Future Charter.

Andrew Gibson

Andrew is a Chartered Chemical Engineer with over 30 years operational, engineering and leadership experience working for large oil and gas exploration, energy and chemicals manufacturing companies including Monsanto, BP, Chevron, and Centrica.

His most recent roles include Head of Health Safety Environment and Quality, Head of Production and Head of Asset Performance for a large offshore gas storage and terminal operator. Andrew has extensive experience of designing and using process safety management systems in hazardous environments, incident investigation and safety leadership. He is also a visiting academic at the University of Hull.

Lorna Hagan

Lorna is a Civil Engineer with 19 years of site engineering, quality management systems and leadership experience within the construction industry. She has worked on some of the biggest infrastructure projects in the UK and has been involved with delivering projects within the nuclear environment.

Her ethos and positive approach to collaborative working is always present. Lorna is an advocate of digital driven solutions to support and modernise the construction industry. She is a ISO 9001 Lead Auditor, Chartered Quality Professional and previously worked as Head of Quality, managing a large portfolio of civil engineering projects.

She is a qualified education and training instructor, and provides training and consultancy services through her business ConstructionTuition Ltd.

Mark Lawton

Most of Mark’s career was spent in the Health and Safety Executive where he worked for 35 years undertaking a wide range of enforcement, policy and managerial roles.

Initially as a field inspector, Mark regulated many different industrial sectors including general manufacturing, health services, construction and chemicals.

He then moved into policy roles working on legislative and non-legislative topics such as development of new regulations and guidance in various industries.

His last six years was spent managing a team delivering policy and strategy for interventions and stakeholder engagement in the onshore chemicals major hazard sector. i.e. chemical manufacture and storage, refineries, LPG installations etc.

A significant element of this work was engaging with industry to develop an initiative to improve senior leadership on major hazards. This included managing the development of a leadership inspection initiative and working with industry on guidance.

Darren Oliver

Darren has more than 20 years’ experience in Oil and Gas operations, he was latterly the Operations Director for Centrica Storage Ltd (CSL) with accountability for the Easington onshore gas terminal and Rough Gas Field offshore platforms.

Darren has a passion for process safety, he successfully implemented CSL’s behavioural safety ‘Culture of Care’ programme, driving significant improvement in operational safety and cultural maturity throughout the business. In previous roles of Terminal Manager and Offshore Asset Manager he was a safety case duty holder and holds has a deep understanding of the legislative framework for operating in a major accident hazard environment.

Darren has a demonstrable career and reputation for delivering effective solutions in a positive and constructive way, doing so with authority, integrity, safety leadership and technical expertise. Darren has previously held several board positions with significant experience of leadership in complex, high hazard environments.

MaryAnn Rae

MaryAnn has a natural drive and passion for always putting safety first. She is motivated by helping people within all levels of organizations to ‘play their part’ to help build, maintain and improve their safety culture.

An Independent QHSE Consultant with over 20 years’ experience working in Major Hazard environment of Oil and Gas production, both On and Offshore. Prior to this for 15 years she was an RGN & Nursing Officer in the British & Oman Army. She retains professional qualifications of NEBOSH certification, NEB Diploma in Safety Management and is a Lead Auditor for 9001/18001.

To make a positive & urgent safety culture change, MaryAnn believes we have to go beyond compliance to regulations. As a Champion Assessor she is looking forward to being part of a team that will work with the construction industry and stakeholders to assist them to its goal of ‘Building a Safer Future’.

David Topliffe

David is a chartered chemical engineer with 37 years’ manufacturing experience in the chemical industry, mainly with Shell, centred on managing the operations of ‘Major Accident Hazard’ facilities.

Alongside senior executive leadership positions, he has served as a Non-Executive Director within Joint Ventures, an NHS hospital, and of the Chemical Industries Association where he chaired the Responsible Care Strategy Group for 12 years. Under his leadership, a strong focus was placed on Process Safety Leadership and a ‘Responsible Care Verification’ (peer-review/assessment) scheme was devised and implemented across the chemicals sector.

He now serves as a Building a Safer Future Charter Champion Assessor and is Chair-designate of Construction Product Information Ltd.

Amongst a number of voluntary roles, David is a Debt Adviser within a community-based Debt Advice Centre. Leisure interests include rowing and golf.

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