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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
October 24, 2007

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We must maintain momentum

IOSH president Lisa Fowlie reflects on her successful and challenging year in the hot seat.

It’s been a long and challenging year and the journey continues in my new role as immediate past president, as I hand over the chain and wish Ray all the best for his coming term.

IOSH has had a most successful year. We have changed the perception of the profession from “boring, grey, middle-aged white males with clipboards” to “vibrant colourful members, who passionately believe that the health and safety of individuals is paramount to achieving an active life”. This has even resulted in the presidential team being metamorphosed into superheroes who play conkers to conquer the myth that goggles must be worn, or such activities banned.

Together we have worked hard and engaged hard to get our voice heard, and our profile raised and recognised. We’ve lobbied associated bodies, key stakeholders, parliamentarians, government, employers and recruiters — to name a few — to get them to hear the health and safety profession’s message, thus presenting our campaigns to a wider audience than ever before.

And we are delivering the outcomes, too! Just look on the website and see the excellent results; the Wiseup2work site, including the Workplace Hazard Awareness Course (WHAC); the occupational health toolkits for stress and musculoskeletal disorders, to which we’ll soon be adding skin and respiratory disorders; the Conkers campaign, including media awards for good and poor reporting; the new research database; and our guidance documents. There’s been so much that we can be rightly proud of.

There was also our Get the Best campaign, which we took to the party conferences. We will continue to lobby for a clearly defined statement on competence in health and safety. Competent advice from the right people, for the right job, at the right time, is crucial for prevention. I actively encourage you to support the campaign, and I invite you to sign up on the ‘Count me in’ website.

There are ongoing reviews of our branches and Specialist Groups to find out how we can make our networks even more effective. And there’s also the development of the EurOSHM designation by the European Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organisation’s (ENSHPO), which will help our members be better recognised in Europe.

I hope the president’s blog provides an insight into the work I’ve undertaken in the role, and the scope of interaction across branches, with the media, with partner organisations, and internationally. It is hard work, but incredibly rewarding. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the range of activities and interactions with passionate, like-minded people, and it has been a pleasure to be on hand to recognise individuals, such as Pete Glasswell, for his pioneering work in the development of the WHAC course.

The wheels are firmly in motion and we’re moving towards top gear. People really do want to be healthy and safe, but they also want to enjoy living. We can provide the advice, support and assistance to keep life worth living, and reduce the pain and suffering to an individual’s family and friends caused by injuries and ill health.

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