IOSH 2017 highlights

Transforming health and safety across the world

Speaker and audience at the annual IOSh conference

IOSH 2017 explores the future of health and safety and business

The health and safety impact of modern working practices, mental health in the workplace and the launch of IOSH’s new qualification were among the hot topics at the Institution’s annual international conference.

Health and safety professionals and other business leaders from around the world gathered at the ICC in Birmingham, UK, for IOSH 2017.

More than 700 people attended the event, held on 20-21 November.

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts, examined modern work practices, the subject of his Government-commissioned review earlier this year. He said that while the flexibility offered by some employers is a positive for workers, the “quality of work” on offer is a concern.

Before he joined a panel debate on the issue, Shelley Frost, IOSH’s Director of Strategic Development, revealed the results of a survey into the health and safety of non-permanent workers.

Stephen Martin, Director-General of the Institute of Directors, asked IOSH members to continue to “be business enablers and change agents”.

He went on to say that businesses need to seriously consider the mental health of their employees, adding: “Looking after mental health makes commercial sense.”

He said that without open lines of communication on mental health, people will continue to experience problems. Businesses, he said, need to show that talking about mental health “is as normal as talking about the accounts”.

Meanwhile Geoff McDonald, a mental health advocate and campaigner, told his story of battling anxiety-fuelled depression. He said that workers should be able to “put their hands up and ask for help” on mental health as they can with physical health.

The conference also saw IOSH Chief Executive Bev Messinger launch the institution’s new qualification, the NCFE IOSH Level 3 Certificate in Safety and Health for Business.

Other speakers included former Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, who looked at how teamwork can achieve success in the workplace, while roundtables at the end of the second day explored key issues like ISO 45001, fire safety and IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign.

Watch the IOSH 2017 highlights film

Visit the conference website