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February 22, 2016

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Judith Hackitt addresses new IOSH branch

Dame Judith Hackitt assured IOSH members of their role in driving the UK’s health and safety agenda forward, as she attended the inaugural meeting of the IOSH Staffordshire Branch.

The outgoing chair of the HSE spoke about the importance of shared learning and networking among occupational safety and health professionals.

Dame Judith, who is due to step down from the HSE at the end of March, said: “Networking is important in any community because it provides opportunities for learning and sharing of knowledge. What matters is what you talk about.

Stafford branch 2

Dame Judith Hackitt and Jonathan Hughes, chair of IOSH Staffordshire Branch

“It needs to be about helping one another to implement the most effective practices. It means being open-minded about new and novel solutions – not immediately dismissing them because your workplace is ‘different’.”

When asked for any pearls of wisdom that could be of use to IOSH members, she added: “Share the good stuff, don’t go back and tell scare stories of how colleagues could find themselves punished, fined or even imprisoned if they don’t implement what you’ve heard about.

“Fear is not an effective means of influencing anyone.”

The IOSH Staffordshire Branch, which has replaced the IOSH Midland Branch North District, had over 120 people in attendance at first meeting, including IOSH President Dr Karen McDonnell and the Mayor of Stafford Borough, Cllr Peter Jones.

Jonathan Hughes, chair of IOSH Staffordshire Branch, said: “On behalf of the committee I would like to thank all of our guest speakers, especially Dame Judith. She delivered an excellent presentation and was very engaging with our members, taking the time to answer many questions from the audience.

“To see such as diverse mix of members in the room was excellent, as was their passion for sensible, pragmatic and a business-centred approach to health and safety management.

“I am delighted that we can move forward as the Staffordshire Branch, and really make a difference to IOSH members through our programme of events, support, and networking, and to the local business community. By collaborating and sharing best practice we can really put Staffordshire at the heart of health and safety.”

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