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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
October 25, 2006

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IOSH President Neil Budworth looks back on a hectic year and says that the profession must keep on doing what it does best — helping people.

During my year as President I’ve barely had time to catch my breath, but it has been a wonderful experience and an honour. And I’m confident that as I pass on the baton to Lisa, I’m doing so at a time of real excitement for IOSH.

As I said in my Comment piece in last month’s SHP, I believe the profession has changed gear. We are more influential nationally and internationally than we’ve ever been before, we’ve got more members to spread the word about good health and safety, and we’ve got the added weight of individual chartered status behind us. We’re also seeing our visibility in the media and political world grow dramatically.

We’ve commissioned research, which will give us the means to continue promoting our profession and prove the value that IOSH members bring to the workplace. We’re developing an online occupational health toolkit, which will help practitioners tackle health issues at an early stage and support the work of occupational health colleagues. We aim to launch it at the IOSH 07 Conference next March.

A particular focus of mine has been on young people. I’m delighted that IOSH has been able to take such a leading role on this vitally important subject. The support we’ve been getting from organisations like the LSC, National Youth Agency, British Chambers of Commerce and the TUC, and the interest from the media, shows that we are not alone in our concern.

We’ve launched new virtual branches in the Caribbean and the Middle East and I was fortunate enough to be there at the start of each. What I took away from those visits, was members’ passion, determination to succeed and desire to make a difference.

I see many members genuinely wanting to make a difference in what they do, but not all realise that the best chance of doing this is to get involved. To change things as much as we want needs more of you to get involved. If you don’t, it limits our horizons.

We should never forget what our profession and what health and safety is all about. It is not about technical terminology, it’s not about banning things, as sections of the media would have us believe, and it’s not about ticking the box.

It is about helping people. Every time you advise your employer, a member of staff, a fellow IOSH member, a local community group or sports club, you are helping them remain profitable, stay safe and healthy, advance their career or just solve a problem.

Let’s make sure we are seen as problem solvers and not problem creators: the ‘helpful profession’. That means keeping up to date, listening and guiding people to the solution that is right for them.

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