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August 22, 2007

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Political push powers on

Senior IOSH figures recently met with a number of MPs and peers to push forward our key issues.

Topics under discussion at the informal dinner in the House of Commons — sponsored by IOSH, and kindly hosted by Michael Clapham MP — included the ‘Putting young workers first’ and ‘Get the best’ campaigns, a competence statement on health and safety, the rehabilitation agenda, the new corporate manslaughter legislation and working with the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Peter Hain MP.

MPs in attendance included:

– Eric Joyce MP, the personal private secretary to the Rt Hon John Hutton MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform;

– Joan Humble MP, a member of the DWP Select Committee;

– Mick Clapham MP, the chair of the all-party parliamentary group on occupational health and safety;

– Kevin Barron MP, the chair of the Health Select Committee;

– Bob Russell MP, a member of the Home Affairs Committee, and keen road safety campaigner.

Peers attending included:

– Lord McKenzie of Luton, the health and safety minister;

– Baroness Gibson of Market Rasen, a former member of the HSC, champion of the health and safety needs of women, and current president of RoSPA;

– Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate, a key campaigner on security issues.

The evening commenced with a drinks reception, followed by speeches from Michael Clapham MP, Lord McKenzie of Luton, and Lisa Fowlie — the IOSH President. A debate then took place over dinner, chaired by IOSH’s chief executive, Rob Strange.

Rob said that the event was a huge success that further enhanced IOSH’s standing with a number of key political contacts: “It was the first time the Institution has held an event like this, and it was really successful. Many of the MPs and peers we met are supportive of what IOSH is doing and there are a number of follow-up actions for us to take forward.

“We will be looking to arrange a number of one-to-one meetings with MPs and peers in the near future to explore how we propel IOSH’s Get the Best campaign messages into the political arena.”

Neil Budworth, IOSH’s immediate past president, added: “The Commons informal dinner was a chance for the presidential team and key members of staff to discuss our campaign agenda with a number of MPs and peers in one place. Michael Clapham MP hosted the dinner and gave a good speech, emphasising his support for our young workers initiative.

“I was also pleased to see Lord McKenzie of Luton taking a considerable chunk out of his busy schedule to come to our dinner and hear what we have to say. He’s very keen to work with IOSH, and that bodes really well for the future.”

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