Christophe Murbach (M13) is launching the INNsafety : The Safety Innovation Showcase event in Paris on 29th November, with the aim of boosting innovation in occupational health and safety issues.
ESSEC Alumni: How did your career lead you to tackle occupational health and safety issues?
Christophe Murbach: I started my career in organizational structure and management system consulting and developed an interest in safety and environmental topics after carrying out audits and witnessing numerous at-risk situations across diverse working environments. Safety issues concern everybody. The shift in attitude towards risk acceptability over the last few decades coupled with a growing interest in social and sustainable development mean that occupational health and safety has become a key issue for businesses. I am particularly interested in the relationship between safety and business performance – the most successful companies are often those with the best safety performance!
EA: What are the modalities and aims of the INNsafety event?
C. Murbach : The purpose behind INNsafety: The Safety Innovation Showcase is to improve the wellbeing and safety of employees by giving safety professionals quick and direct access to innovation. The event connects Health & Safety leaders who are looking for answers to their safety challenges and companies that have designed innovative solutions and are searching for business application. INNsafety will enable start-ups to share their approaches and potentially meet future clients and partners (100+ representatives of big firms) on November 29th in Paris (La Défense). Our sponsors (L'Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Sanofi, Danone, Plastic Omnium, Saint-Gobain and Unilever et ERM) will also review all the applications, which is already an opportunity to increase candidate visibility.
EA: Can you give us a first glimpse of the type of innovations that will be presented during the event?
C. Murbach: We have put a call out for start-ups and tech companies to participate in the event and the final selection will take place in early November. We are looking for complex equipment, technologies, software or other key innovations that can make a significant contribution to safety. This can range from the prevention of collisions, falls and musculoskeletal disorders to ergonomics, behavioral and leadership training through virtual reality. For instance, a French start-up has developed drones that can be used to rescue people at risk of drowning. I think this innovation could have a role in industry too – for isolated workers, specific interventions or locations, or quick support or rescue.
EA: What will be the next steps after the event?
C. Murbach: Our ambition is to establish a world-class industry 4.0 safety event focused on the sharing of innovation, experience, and value. The aim is to accelerate access to the best ideas and practices that will make a real difference for workers and businesses.
EA: Is this event a first in France? In the world?
C. Murbach: There are many events around the world for start-ups, mainly to access funding or in areas other than health and safety at work. However, having an event that brings key leaders and experts in workplace safety to start-ups or technology companies is definitely a first.
EA: How does France position itself on occupational health issues?
C. Murbach: France has long considered workplace safety mainly as a State and regulation issue. However, times are changing, driven by an evolution in both culture and business with an increased focus on sustainable development and corporate social responsibility and the influence of practices from other geographies. Companies are reinforcing their role as leaders of workplace safety. They see it as an opportunity to assert technological and cultural leadership – protecting and retaining employees, leadership culture, improving quality and productivity.
EA: How can ESSEC community support your project?
C. Murbach: The ESSEC community includes numerous entrepreneurs and innovators who surely know start-ups or tech companies that would be keen to apply to INNsafety. Please spread the word! This is a good way to promote ESSEC’s fundamental values of humanism, pioneering, responsibility and excellence.