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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
September 25, 2007

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Ain’t no stopping us now

In his last piece before leaving the presidential team, immediate past president Neil Budworth reflects on his time in the ‘hot seat’ and says that, while we’re getting there, the push for influence and respect must go on.

As I write this, my last comment piece in the Safety & Health Practitioner, I realise I am pretty much the luckiest man alive.

I have a great job, one in which I believe and one in which I know I make a difference every single day. I have a great family, who supported me through my presidency and will continue to do so. And I’ve been fortunate enough to be the president of IOSH at a pivotal time in its history — when we really started getting heard.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with talented and committed people during my term of office, and I’ve met so many incredible individuals among the IOSH membership, all of whom are committed to the same cause as me: a world of work free from injury, illness, and death.

But we’ve still got a long way to go to achieve that. The most recent fatal injuries statistics from the HSE revealed an increase from 217 to 241 deaths, which was a bit of a blow for this profession. But it shows the level of the challenge we face, and it shows we still have some way to go to get where we know we can. We need to make our voice heard even more; we need to become more influential still.

Amazing achievements

We’ve done some amazing things in my time on the presidential team. The Wiseup2work material and the Workplace Hazard Awareness Course (WHAC) aimed at young people are superb. Similarly, the Occupational Health Toolkit brings to life a concept that has the potential to fundamentally change the way we deal with work-related illness. Both of these activities could make a massive difference to the lives of many people.

So, as I prepare to step down, I want to say thank you: to the members, the committee members, the volunteers, the council members, and the permanent members of staff, all of whom have been fantastic during my term.

I want to pay a special tribute to those I have worked with on the presidential team, all of whom made big sacrifices to further the work of IOSH. I want to thank them for their friendship, guidance and support, and to pledge my support to Lisa and Ray as they move forward.

We have changed gear and are making an impact, but we’ve still got further to go. By pulling together and speaking with one voice, we’ve shown we can get there.

But this isn’t a complete goodbye — you haven’t got rid of me yet! I am still chairing a working party looking at how we can further improve our branch network. It is already good, but how do we make it great? I’d welcome any ideas. Please e-mail them to [email protected]

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