Article Report Safety

AGS Safety WG – Update

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Roseanna Bloxham, AGS Safety Working Group Leader, has provided an update from the Groups most recent meeting, which was held virtually on 20th May. Here is an overview on the top topics which are currently in discussion:

Version 1 of our guidance document on safe working practices was released in May 2020. This is an active working document and will be updated and re-released as government guidelines change and new industry processes are developed.

The group have worked hard to produce this guidance quickly in light of the COVID-19 crisis with the outside assistance of Paul Nathanial. I am extremely grateful for all the hard work they have put in, but we understand it is work in progress.

COVID-19 was a new risk to the industry meaning there was little guidance on how we should continue to work. The AGS Safety Working Group felt it was important to aid their members at this time by producing an outline document that shares ideas for measures which could be introduced.

COVID-19 is likely to have an ongoing impact to the industry as a whole. At present it is unclear how large this impact will be and how long it will last. The main focus of the Safety Working Group is to provide our members with guidance and information to help keep them working and safe during this time.

If any readers of AGS Magazine have any comments or thoughts for future versions of this guide, please do send comments across to for consideration.

Trial pitting is currently an ongoing discussion for the group. There are a number of guidance documents associated with trial pitting within the industry with conflicting views. In addition, the questionnaire sent out by Steve Everton in October 2019 highlighted that there are discrepancies within companies regarding safety when trial pitting, and no obvious quick and easy solutions. Given the scale of the topic a separate sub-group has been formed to tackle the issues in greater detail. The initial aim of the group is to review existing AGS guidance associated with trial pitting.

Safety surrounding trial pitting is complex, whilst this process of investigation has been around for decades with little evidence of falls into pits, there is a big ‘what if’ hanging over the process. The AGS Safety Working Group feel it is important to investigate potential ways to target this ‘what if’ to pre-empt and prevent harm to their members.

It has been noticed by the group that a number of guidance documents on the AGS website are over 6 years old and may have been overlooked. The group has decided to put a focus on reviewing these older documents and either bring them up to date in line with current guidance or re-write them and withdraw as necessary.

In addition to the topics mentioned above, the Safety Working Group hold regular, ongoing discussions related to mental health and undergraduate involvement and training.