COIE 2018: Risk Mitigation for Workplace Safety, High Security and Building Efficiency

Cortech Developments has confirmed the appointment of Risk Xtra as its Official Media Partner for the 2018 schedule of Cortech Open Innovation Events. Here, Brian Sims previews the content on offer for practising risk and security management professionals in attendance at London’s ExCeL.

The Cortech Open Innovation Event (COIE) Series is designed as a showcase for some of the latest advancements in security, fire safety and building control technology and a platform for demonstrating how interoperability between these systems can reduce costs and risk for end users, while also improving operational efficiency and providing a greater degree of situation awareness.

In short, the COIE Series – which has been running with great success for several years now – aims to challenge today’s practising security and risk management professionals and their colleagues to think about the ways in which they manage key infrastructures and buildings with a view towards enhancing safety, security, interoperability and sustainability.

In a change to the norm this year, the COIE Series will be running over three consecutive days – Tuesday 19th, Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st June – at London’s ExCeL in parallel with Cortech Developments’ attendance at IFSEC International 2018. The daily gatherings are to be held in ExCeL’s South Gallery (Suite 28), Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London E16 1XL. These events are accredited for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and free to attend for all delegates.

Typically, COIE days are attended by consultants and end users from a range of vertical sectors. Organisations whose representatives have been present at previous COIE days include Arup, Futureserv, Rhead Group, Atkins, Babcock International, Anderson Green, the WSP Group, Aecom, Kier, Andrew Reid and Partners, Cundall, Pick Everard, Jacobs, Blyth and Blyth, Crown House Technologies, Sodexo, the Bradford District Care Trust, Northern Gas Networks, Barnsley Hospital and the NHS West London Mental Health Trust.

ExCeL London

ExCeL London

The benefits of attendance are both many and varied. Delegates will be further educated, informed and then better equipped to manage their evolving buildings’ needs. They can keep abreast of the latest advancements in the marketplace in relation to security, fire safety and building control technology, while at the same time discovering new opportunities for sustainable cost reduction.

End users can learn how to implement effective and holistic solutions for their host businesses, and also discover how those businesses might become more sustainable and reduce energy consumption going forward.

Further consideration will be given to the risks and challenges faced when managing multiple technologies across multiple sites, with a specific concentration on prioritisation, escalation, accountability, verification, efficiency and the all-important subject of Return on Investment.

Format of the events

The itinerary for the sessions at IFSEC International 2018 is split into morning and afternoon schedules. Arrival and registration for the morning sessions begins at 11.00 am each day, with welcome introductions delivered by Cortech Developments at 11.20 am. Current industry challenges are then outlined at 11.30 am ahead of live software and hardware demonstrations from 11.50 am.

In conjunction with the COIE Series’ collaborating manufacturers, Cortech will be undertaking live software/hardware demonstrations that focus squarely on the challenges faced by modern day Control Room environments and the personnel within, among them unwanted intrusions and unauthorised access, fire detection issues, nuisance alarms and building energy efficiency concerns.

Jason Blundell: Head of Sales and Marketing at Cortech Developments

Jason Blundell: Head of Sales and Marketing at Cortech Developments

The live demonstrations have been viewed by previous COIE delegates as an educational and thought-provoking showpiece. Indeed, Jason Blundell (head of sales and marketing at Cortech Developments) has informed Risk Xtra of the importance and value of these demonstrations to delegates.

“Increasingly,” explained Blundell, “organisations are centralising their operations and managing technology across multiple sites and buildings. There’s a common need for both visibility and control of multiple systems and equipment. As part of the COIE demonstrations, we determine to show the practicality of the monitoring and control of technology from thousands of miles away. Put simply, distance is no longer a barrier.”

Following on from the morning demonstrations is luncheon and an opportunity for delegates to network and ‘Meet The Manufacturers’ from 12.30 pm. This year’s participating COIE partners who’ll be attending include Intech Solutions, Paxton, Bosch, AMG Systems, Texecom, Geutebruck, Commend, CitySync and Business Insight 3. The idea is to cover all of the key disciplines such as CCTV, access control, intruder detection, intercoms, fire protection, perimeter security, staff safety and Building Energy Management Systems.

Importantly, each manufacturers’ representatives will be available for one-to-one discussions with delegates after the live demonstrations conclude. The morning sessions will come to a close at 1.00 pm.

Arrival and registration for the afternoon COIE sessions at IFSEC International then begins from 1.00 pm, with the welcome and scene-setting speeches at 1.20 pm. Industry challenges are outlined at 1.30 pm followed by live software/hardware demonstrations from 1.50 pm. Networking takes place at 2.30 pm. Each afternoon COIE session is scheduled to wrap up at 3.00 pm.

Topics for debate

Presenters from this year’s COIE Series technical partners include Howard Da Costa, Commend UK’s areas sales manager for the North West region. Da Costa holds a BSc (Honours) degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering gained from the University of Hertfordshire and has wide-ranging experience in the telecommunications industry having worked at Commend UK for over 12 years now.

Communication in emergency scenarios is of vital importance when it comes to assessing and managing a critical situation, from the outset right through to the eventual evacuation/lockdown of a building (or buildings). This will be a clear focus of Da Costa’s delivery at ExCeL.

“We’re living in a time that’s characterised by insecurity,” observed Da Costa. “Extremism and terrorist threats have become regular topics in the media. Killing sprees and other attention-seeking acts of violence have left deep scars on our population. Many people are understandably very concerned, and those in positions of responsibility are no exception to that statement.”

Unlike private citizens, those resident in positions of responsibility (ie managers, executives and security directors) harbour additional and important social responsibilities that come with their roles. They’re called upon to ensure the best possible protection regime for staff during working hours at their place of employment. Further, they’re required to take safety precautions in the interests of everyone within their scope of responsibility.

Da Costa continued: “The challenge, then, consists of finding an appropriate technical system which provides added value in crisis situations. This includes effective support for the most essential crisis intervention routine: assessing situations and alerting security services or the police. Multi-functional intercom and PA systems are ideally suited for this purpose. They’re designed to deal with each item on the emergency and threat response agenda with the latest-generation technology. All systems are different, with their composition depending on the assessment of underlying technical risk management.”

Risk mitigation

Mitigating risk by using mid-market and intelligent access control solutions which meet with compliance and Health and Safety requirements is the subject of choice for Anthony Searle, commercial manager at Paxton.

“The ever-changing risk landscape coupled with evolving threats confronting both buildings and members of staff requires innovative security approaches which can be deployed easily and cost-effectively,” outlined Searle. “Attendees at ExCeL will hear how threats can be de-escalated and managed using off-the-shelf hardware and software integrated to provide dynamic lockdown in buildings. Additionally, we can assist risk professionals by improving the overall understanding of how to design or procure access control solutions which comply with the Construction Products Regulation 2013.”

Business Insight 3’s presenter at ExCeL will be company founder and managing director Glen Higson. Commenting on this month’s COIE Series, Higson informed Risk Xtra: “Bi3 is looking forward to meeting with consultants, specifiers and end users. The COIE Series is a great forum for sharing Best Practice ideas.”

*For further information on the 2018 COIE Series and to register your attendance access the website at www.coie.uk.com, e-mail: info@cortech.com or telephone 01925 750600

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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