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February 22, 2006

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Getting down to business

IOSH president Neil Budworth is counting down the days to IOSH 06. Here he picks out a few of the high points.

With only a few weeks left until IOSH 06 ‘Health and safety: fit for business’ I am looking forward to the conference on at least three levels: personal, professional, and as one of the organisers.

Personally, it is going to be great to meet with friends who have a like mind and share a common passion. Two days of discussing health and safety, finding out how people have solved those knotty problems, and meeting up with friends.

Professionally, there really is no better event to help you discover new skills and ways of doing things. But I do have a quandary. There are so many sessions I want to attend and just not enough time. I’m sure I’m not the only one with this problem, but it shows the high quality of the programme.

Where do I start? The focus on best practice and the breakout session themes of communication and occupational health are all areas in which health and safety practitioners can develop their skills, and I’m no exception.

There are a few musts for me: as well as the high-profile plenary session speakers who will tell us what is going on at the very heart of government, I don’t intend to miss the behavioural safety sessions and the evidence that Dr Peter Mills has linking health status and productivity.

And, of course, I’ll be there at the end to hear Warwick University Business School’s visiting professor, Duncan Christie-Miller, bring IOSH 06 to a close.

Being one of the organisers makes the event extra special for me. The conference team has included lots of things that I am personally interested in. I have pushed for this year’s conference to be more ambitious than ever, and to try to broaden the scope and appeal to help further our charitable aims. Hopefully, with the introduction of the new low-cost Toolkit session, everyone should be able to get something out of the exhibition and conference, regardless of their financial status.

These accessible practical toolbox sessions for small and medium-sized enterprises have been programmed in response to member demand. And for those who can’t make the whole conference, there are also two spotlight theatres, in which free sessions will run throughout the conference.

If all goes to plan, we should also have technical poster sessions bringing us up to date with the latest research in health and safety practice, and to top it all off, an evening reception at the historic National Maritime Museum.

I look forward to seeing you all there!

Don’t miss out

There’s just over a week left for you to get your tickets to 2006’s essential health and safety event. Look at what you’ll be missing if you don’t attend:

* A host of leading speakers from the worlds of occupational health and safety, occupational medicine, business, politics, and academia, including: Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, minister for health and safety at the DWP (pictured); Health and safety commissioner, Dr Sayeed Khan; Chief medical advisor at the DWP, Dr Bill Gunnyeon; HSE chief executive, Geoffrey Podger; Transport for London’s Richard Stephenson; and Warwick University Business School’s Prof Duncan Christie-Miller

* IOSH’s challenging and pithy public debate, where you’ll get the chance to put your point of view. Speakers debating whether health and safety is fit for business will include deputy chief executive — policy at the HSE, Jonathan Rees.

* Free exhibition and spotlight presentation sessions, low-cost training for SMEs, and much, much more.

If you haven’t made your booking yet visit Tickets for the full conference are priced £545+VAT for IOSH members, £575+VAT for POOSH members and SMEs, and £645+VAT for non-members. One-day tickets are £340+VAT for IOSH members, £365+VAT for POOSH members, and £440+VAT for non-members. The last day for bookings is 10 March.

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