Time for safety and health profession to “turn outwards”

20 November 2017


The safety and health profession must “turn outwards” as it looks to the future, IOSH’s outgoing President Graham Parker told the institution’s annual international conference today.

Graham Parker

In his opening address to IOSH 2017 this morning, Graham looked back on his year in office before looking at how the profession can continue to protect people at work.

He said:

“We absolutely have to turn outwards, to learn from each other’s experiences and achievements. If this past year as IOSH President has taught me anything, it is that occupational safety and health must be globalist in outlook.

“We live in a much more connected world. For many of us, our workforces are spread across borders. We need a free trade of ideas to improve and protect the working lives of people in every part of the world.”

Graham will hand over the reins as IOSH President to Craig Foyle at the AGM, which follows the close of IOSH 2017, being held at the ICC, Birmingham, UK, today and tomorrow. He will continue to be heavily involved in IOSH activities as Immediate Past President.

During his year as President, IOSH launched its new five-year strategy, WORK 2022.

He added:

“In creating our strategy, we spoke to many people – our members, our stakeholders in business, our staff, and peer organisations in other professions. We studied the trends that are transforming working environments. We took a long, hard look at what we do well as an organisation, and what we can do better.

“We set out three programmes in which we can use our expertise, experience and relationships to create a healthier, safer world of work: enhance, collaborate and influence.

“It is a plan of action that aims to bring our profession together with other professions, business, policy-makers, researchers and many other stakeholders to create a world of work that can protect its people and help businesses thrive responsibly.

“The end of a life is terrible on its own, but it leaves behind an immeasurable amount of heart-break for loved ones, friends and colleagues. When it is avoidable and unnecessary, such a loss of life is all the more unbearable. And let’s make clear our position on this – every work-related death is avoidable and unnecessary.

“Our vision, IOSH’s vision, is for a safe and healthy world of work. And when we say ‘world’ we mean it.”

Notes for editors

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is the world’s leading chartered professional body for people responsible for safety and health in the workplace. We have more than 47,000 members in about 130 countries.

We act as a champion, adviser, advocate and trainer for safety and health professionals working in organisations of all sizes. Our focus is to support our members in their efforts to create workplaces that are safer, healthier and more sustainable.

Our shared objective is a world where work is safe and healthy for every working person, every day. Through our 2017-2022 strategy, ‘WORK 2022 – shaping the future of safety and health’, we will seek to enhance the occupational safety and health profession, build strategic collaborative partnerships across industry and strengthen our influence globally through impactful research and development.

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