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February 22, 2006

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Leading by example

“The only way to get good health and safety standards is through strong leadership,” IOSH president Neil Budworth told MPs, senior health and safety professionals, key players in business, and journalists at Westminster in January.

Neil continued: “220 people lost their lives at work last year, and they were all preventable deaths. It’s up to the government and leaders of industry to show everyone the example to follow.”

IOSH held the reception at Westminster to launch guidance for MPs, Think about health and safety, and the new book Questioning performance by David Eves, former deputy director-general of the HSE, and the Rt Hon John Gummer MP.

“By law, as well as common decency, a company’s activities must not harm the lives of employees nor the public,” David Eves said. “Directors are responsible for the big picture, but if they think health and safety management is best left to experts while they concentrate on the company’s financial success, they do so at their peril.”

John Gummer said: “Customers, shareholders and the wider public know that the profitability and reputation of a company is put at risk when directors do not measure up to their growing expectations.”

Hosted by Michael Clapham MP, an honorary vice-president of IOSH, the event launched the two new books and also gave IOSH an opportunity to talk to opinion-formers and decision-makers in the world of business.

Guests included Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, minister responsible for health and safety, as well as representatives from the HSE, Association of British Insurers, Institute of Directors, DEFRA, TUC, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Parliamentary Estate.

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