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February 21, 2007

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Course launch raises the roof at Lord’s

IOSH launched its new Managing safely course at a wind-swept Lord’s Cricket Ground in January — and a host of senior figures from business and industry were there to give the course their backing.

Although the freak gusts might have taken the roof off part of the cricket ground, it couldn’t blow away the enthusiasm speakers and delegates at the launch had for the new package, with its original animation, DVDs, board games and quizzes. Most agreed, in fact, that it was taking health and safety training to a new level.

Of all the speakers at the launch, it was Ken Woodward OBE who really stole the show. Ken, a former production operative at Coca-Cola Schweppes, spoke about the accident that left him blind, his battle to come to terms with his blindness and his passion for safety campaigning.

Ken said that education of all managers in health and safety is critical: “My accident was my fault. I had goggles that I could have put on but chose not to because they were uncomfortable. Because I didn’t do that, everything else happened. It cost Coca-Cola £2.6 million, but more importantly, 35 people had to receive counselling and one person has never returned to work.

“Health and safety is about communicating and listening, but we have to be trained to listen,” Ken added, “Two weeks before my accident, another guy suffered burns to his face and two months before, another employee noticed the pipe was red hot, but he didn’t report it to management.”

Hugh Robertson, from the HSC, said that the image of health and safety is another issue: “One of the problems many of us in the health and safety world often find is the belief by managers that health and safety is about rules and regulations — it’s seen as the reserve of anoraks.

“The rules and regulations are simply a safety net. That is why training packages such as Managing safely are so important — it emphasises the importance of ownership of health and safety at all levels”.

Mary Chapman, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, added: “Health and safety awareness is a vital part of our toolkit. A course like Managing safely is an excellent way for managers to gain understanding of their managerial responsibility. I’ve been involved in training for 12 years and training is most effective when it is interactive.”

Tracey Wright, IOSH’s marketing manager, demonstrated the course at the launch. She said: “Managing safely is a practical course, it’s very hands-on and that’s the way we wanted it to be. We want delegates who complete the course to come away confident so that when they go back to their place of work, they can put it into practice. The course is not about making managers safety experts.”

For more information about Managing safely, visit www.iosh.co.uk/enjoylearning or contact Alexandra Davis on 0116 257 3187, email [email protected]

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