IOSH: manufacturing a safer workplace

Occupational health and safety is one of the corner stones of modern manufacturing, Shelley Frost - executive director policy at IOSH - provides TM with an update on its potential to support industry.

Shelley Frost, executive director - policy, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).
Shelley Frost, executive director – policy, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

As the world’s biggest professional health and safety membership organisation with more than 44,000 members, IOSH is the voice of the profession, campaigning on issues that affect millions of working people.

More than 160,000 people a year undertake IOSH courses and it is the only chartered body for health and safety professionals.

IOSH members hail from a broad range of industries, including pharmaceutical; automotive; as well as firms specialising in the oil and gas supply chain.

For UK manufacturing specifically, the sector accounts for roughly 5% of businesses and 10% of employment.

Unsurprisingly. It’s one of the largest and most diverse representative sectors in IOSH’s membership, so the organisation is keen to recognise manufacturers practising good health and safety, as well as cultivate new members from industry to share resources and exchange best practice.

IOSH has charitable status and advancing OSH standards globally is integral to its core values.

There are no barriers to entry for an organisation or individual who wants to get involved, in fact, you don’t necessarily have to be a member to benefit.

IOSH Feb-March Interview LinkThe charity offers free resources, such as technical guides, and a health and safety helpline.

“We are focused on communicating the true value of OSH and the OSH professionals in their business,” explains Frost.

“Good health and safety management is central to good business management – embracing OSH as part of their business value set and using improvement in OSH competence to drive up business reputation, underpin resilience and ultimately improve business results.”

Company size is something IOSH is ardent does not have bearing on the support received as a member.

Frost explains, “Our members are all individuals, not companies – and membership levels relate to level of experience of the individual – not the size of organisation. IOSH does not differentiate its offering by organisation type or size.

“Our members work in every conceivable organisation type from the one-man-band to global businesses. If an organisation wishes to access things like our Occupational Health Toolkit or our Risk Assessment Route Finder they are available free of charge. ”

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And if that isn’t enough, Frost concludes, “We also continue to deliver our current business support campaign ‘No Time to Lose’ which provides advice and resources for industry on the key causes of occupational cancer including solar radiation, silica, diesel fumes, asbestos and effects of shift work.

“Eight thousand people die each year due to work-related cancer and there are almost 14,000 new occupational cancer registrations each year. More information can be found at www.notimetolose.org.uk

IOSH LinkThe organisation is dedicated to delivering a global framework for OSH competency, and this enthusiasm is set to drive IOSH at full speed into 2016 and beyond.

Frost elaborates, “The next couple of years will be hugely busy and we’re working on some very exciting and transformational projects. During 2016 we will continue to work on a set of online tools to enable the delivery of a global framework for OSH competency.

“We’re working with individuals and organisations to bring to the industry a global standard for OSH measurement providing a common language approach to OSH regardless of organisation size, geography or regulatory framework.”

Within that wider goal, Frost explains in more detail, “We will also be working closely with members on the implementation of the new ISO 45000 standard, which succeeds ISO18001 but adds an important new requirement; that top management has to demonstrate its leadership and commitment, by taking accountability for the effectiveness of OSH.”

So watch this space.

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