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A journalist with 13 years of experience on trade publications covering construction, local government, property, pubs, and transport.
November 22, 2017

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IOSH president: “We had a long, hard look at what we do well – and what we can do better”

Outgoing president of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), Graham Parker, has said the industry must ‘absolutely’ turn outwards for ongoing success.

Parker, who took the reins last November, and is due to be replaced by Craig Foyle, made the comments in the opening address of the annual IOSH conference in Birmingham this week.

He said that the sector should ‘learn from each other’s experiences and achievements’ and that his year as president had taught him that it was important for occupational safety and health to be ‘globalist in outlook’.

He said: “We live in a much more connected world. For many of us, our workforces are spread across borders. We need a free trade of ideas to improve and protect the working lives of people in every part of the world.”

During Parker’s time as IOSH president, he helped launch its new five-year strategy, WORK 2022 and will continue to be involved as immediate past president.

Long, hard look

He said: “In creating our strategy, we spoke to many people – our members, our stakeholders in business, our staff, and peer organisations in other professions. We studied the trends that are transforming working environments. We took a long, hard look at what we do well as an organisation, and what we can do better.

“We set out three programmes in which we can use our expertise, experience and relationships to create a healthier, safer world of work: enhance, collaborate and influence.

Speaking passionately about the sector, Parker said IOSH’s vision was for a safe and health world of work, ‘and when we say “world” we mean it’.

He said: “The end of a life is terrible on its own, but it leaves behind an immeasurable amount of heart-break for loved ones, friends and colleagues. When it is avoidable and unnecessary, such a loss of life is all the more unbearable. And let’s make clear our position on this – every work-related death is avoidable and unnecessary.

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Dominic Cooper
Dominic Cooper
6 years ago

I thank Graham for his service this past year, and am pleased he addressed peoples workplace deaths. Not much was discussed on it, or serious injuries at all at the #IOSH2017 conference this past couple of days. Some at the conference may have thought I was being a pain, as I kept trying to raise the issue of serious injuries & fatalities (SIFs) using twitter. C’est la vie! What we did hear was a lot on stress, mental health and well-being. These are all areas of the workplace already well served by other professional bodies such as the medical profession,… Read more »

Elizabeth Skelton
Elizabeth Skelton
6 years ago
Reply to  Dominic Cooper

Given that poor mental health is one of the leading causes of workplace absence and can be a contributory factor to accidents I believe there is a role for a H&S professional as part of a multidisciplinary team and do think we need to be well informed about it and support colleagues. However I do agree that we need to keep all the plates spinning and not let serious injuries go down the agenda. I wasn’t at the conference so can’t comment on content but for the last few conferences that I have been to I have found that there… Read more »

Ray Rapp
Ray Rapp
6 years ago

Health has always been the Bridesmaid in our industry. However, it is moving to the front of the cue. I think the difficulty has been due to inter alia a lack of support, knowledge and skills. Mental health is a especially difficult aspect to manage, despite a civil precedent some years back which gave mental health injury the same status as a physical injury. Not so sure about ‘free trade of ideas’ because this globalisation thing really gets my goat. There is so much to do here in the UK, but it seems all the kudos in IOSH is about… Read more »