IOSH Networks Conference

30 November 2012

RIG Chair Kevin Bywater and Vice-Chair Alan Plom were among more than 100 members from IOSH groups and branches who attended the IOSH Networks Conference recently.  This was a good opportunity to meet people from other Industry Groups and Branches as well as IOSH HQ staff to share experience and ideas – looking to the future, as well as the past. 

This was enabled through a series of workshops which focussed on improving the IOSH website, events, e-communications, surveys and building ‘resilient’ committees. The event also featured talks from IOSH figureheads, as well as Head Office departments, who discussed progress this year and plans for 2013. During the two days, members were also updated on how the Institution was progressing with its public affairs work, membership, the Networks and International Committee and the Development Fund. Last but not least was a chance to ask the IOSH executive directors team some burning questions.


A highlight for the RIG reps was the announcement of the IOSH Excellence in Communications Award.  Both of RIG’s entries - for the Rail Crossing video and RIG’s microsite - made the final shortlist of 6 nominations (from a total of 22 entries).  . 

Rail crossing video – IOSH’s Head of “Campaigns and Creative” Caroline Patel said “This innovative film brings an important issue to life and shares simple safety rules in a clear accessibale way.”

It was also noted by the Judging Panel as an example of how to effectively continue communication even after the production of a successful tool. They also commented that RIG has consistently upheld promotion and created new business links and overall development of IOSH through the continued advertisement of this video. 

The video can be viewed via the RIG Homepage at : RIG Web Site   

If any of your staff, clients or members use unmanned ‘user-worked’ rail crossings, why not use this short instructional film as a training tool within your business or Group?  The unique full-scale mock rail crossing at Cannock Chase featured in the video is also still available for use for in-house training or Networking events.  Contact Alan Plom, RIG Events Champion, via Alan Plom.

RIG Microsite – RIG’s Committee was also praised for consistently developing our microsite and continued effective communication, not only to external audiences and our members but also by liaising effectively with IOSH HQ staff. Apparently we have been “a pleasure to work with” (which is nice to know!) and continue to achieve high statistical results in terms of returning visitors and views of our pages. In particular, our consistent updating of new articles and news items “reflects our goals of broadening (our) communication”.

We can only continue to do this by receiving snippets about interesting events or newsworthy items relevant to the wide range of interests of our membership.  Please contact our Web Champion John Ireland at John Ireland  .

‘Working Safely in Rural Industries’ event - this entry by North Wales Branch also made the final 6.  RIG also helped to develop and promote this event too, so we were well-represented.

This event, held at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor’s land-based education site at Glynllifon Campus, near Caernarfon in July, was similar to one of HSE’s “Safety and Health Days” (SHADs).  It was praised for reaching members and non-members working in the agricultural sector. College lecturers gave practical demonstrations on the safe handling of livestock and using tractors, quad bikes and chainsaws. Delegates included health and safety professionals, farmers and landowners across Wales.

The North Wales event was promoted in several high profile newspapers and magazines and the Judges observed that the wide coverage achieved distinguished this from other entries.  The sheer volume of supporting material the Branch provided with their entry also highlighted what a brilliant example of communication this was. 

“On-Farm Health and Safety Charter for Wales” – In commenting about the North Wales’ Branch event, the Welsh Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Alun Davies, referred to the importance of the Welsh Government being one of the signatories to the “On-Farm Health and Safety Charter for Wales”. IOSH RIG is represented on the Welsh Government’s “Knowledge Transfer Strategy Group” and we hope to soon have a representative on RIG Committee from Wales soon.

 For more information on the “On-Farm Health and Safety Charter for Wales” see: Farm Health and Safety

For more details on the IOSH North Wales Branch ‘Rural Safety’ event, see: North Wales Branch IOSH

In the final count, the overall winner of the IOSH ‘Excellence in Communications’ Award was the Retail & Distribution Group, for their Webinar programme that took place this year. RIG is considering holding a webinar-based event in 2013.  Further details will be announced asap.

You can read more about each of the final 6 Finalists at: IOSH

More Information on the RIG entries - Micro Site

More Information on the RIG entries - Rail Crossing

More Information on North Wales Branch Event  

Kevin Bywater and Alan Plom at the conference

Networks Conference 2012