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School of Environment and Life Sciences

Steve Sumner OBE

Teaching Fellow in Occupational Health and Safety


Steve Sumner OBE, BSc, MSc, Dip. Occ Hyg, DMS, CMIEH, CFIOH profile

I originally trained as an Environmental Health Officer, but made the move into health and safety very early in my career, firstly as a Local Government health and safety inspector, and finally in a senior national policy development role with the Local Government Association.

I am a chartered member of CIEH and a chartered fellow of IOSH as well as a qualified occupational hygienist.  I hold a BSc, an MSc and three postgraduate diplomas in management studies, occupational hygiene and health and safety enforcement.

I have a wide experience in health and safety enforcement with a number of local authorities and was a senior manager with Bolton Council, where I managed a team of 22 food and occupational health and safety inspectors. I was seconded to HSE’s Local Authority Unit, there I dealt with technical policy issues from asbestos to zoos, but focused primarily on developing positive relationships between business and enforcers through the Lead Authority Partnership Scheme.

At the Local Government Association I was responsible for promoting health and safety improvement to English local authorities in their capacity as duty holders and employers. I worked across all policy areas, but was specifically involved in shaping policy on health and well-being, corporate manslaughter, European Social Partner Agreements and health and safety leadership.  My work brought me into regular contact with Ministers and senior Civil Servant across Government Departments and Agencies. I spoke widely on health and safety policy issues in England and Europe and contributed articles to journals and other publications.

I am currently a Director of my own consultancy, Steve Sumner Associates Ltd, which seeks to provide strategic health and safety advice to both the public and private sector organisations.  I also undertake interim senior manager roles.  I continue to lecture in health and safety at the University of Salford as a fractional teaching fellow, contributing to both under graduate and post graduate programmes.

I have honored with the OBE, and awarded the ROSPA Distinguished Service Award and IOSH outstanding contribution to health and safety in the public sector. I am a member of the ROSPA awards panel and a consultant to ROSPA.

I reside in the North West of England, and outside work my interests include theatre, cinema, fell walking, live music, industrial heritage, and travelling in the USA as often as possible.


health, safety and wellbeing on undergraduate and post graduate programmes

Qualifications and Memberships

BSc Environmental Health University of Aston

MSc Occupational Hygiene University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Certificate in Health and safety Newcastle College of Art and Technology

Diploma in Health and safety Enforcement Newcastle College of Art and Technology

Diploma in Professional Competence in Occupational Hygiene independent study

Diploma in Management Studies Manchester Polytechnic

Charted Member of the Institute of Environmental Health

Chartered Fellow of Institute of Occupational Health and Safety


Asbestos fibres in urban air BSc dissertation 1978

Sulphur Dioxide levels within an aluminium smelter MSc Dissertation 1981

Statistical analysis of lead emission from a recovery plant Diploma in Health and safety enforcement dissertation 1983

Performance related pay as an aid to recruitment of Environmental Health Officers DMS dissertation 1989

Memorandum of understanding between HSE and LAs in the investigation of outbreaks of legionnaires disease 1998

Health and Safety Executive/Local Authority Committee papers relating to the development of the Lead Authority Partnership Scheme 1998-1999

Local Authority Circulars relating to the development of the Lead Authority partnership Scheme. 1998-1999

Managed research project undertaken by Loughborough University into the effectiveness of developments of the Lead Authority Partnership Scheme 1998-1999

Health and safety elements for model standards for zoos via Ministerial Zoo forum

Between 2001 and 2011 whilst employed by EO and LGE, I contributed to or drafted the following publications

A guide to the management of sickness absence

Prevention and management of work related stress

Green Book (employment terms and conditions for local government staff) guidance on health and safety at work

Implications of Green Book guidance, Local Government Procurement Magazine

Is your council revitalized, a guide to implementing the Revitalising Health and Safety Strategy in Local Government, Local Government First Magazine

Engaging Elected members in Health and Safety, Local Government First Magazine

It is all about well-being, an article on investing in well-being Local Government Procurement Magazine

Cyber bullying guidance to schools via DoE Cyber bullying task

Health and safety for elected members, section within the new elected members handbook.

Strategy delivery framework for local government

Well-being in Local Government, series of case studies and road map to well-being.

Numerous articles for the LGE website

Manage the research project and edit the bi- ennial local government sickness absence survey

Implementation in the UK and contributing to the drafting of the European Social Partner Agreement on Work related Stress

Implementation in the UK and contributing to the draft of the European Social Partner Agreement on Work Related Violence