The events of 2020, so far, underline how critical OSH is to working lives in an interlinked, volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.
As 2019 drew to a close, few knew anything like the COVID-19 pandemic might be in prospect. But when its rapid spread began to hint at possible impacts on our world, societies, economies, infrastructure and supplies – as well as its human toll – IOSH members were among the first to act.
This profession plays a central role in business continuity: assessing risks, determining responses and advising on and implementing control measures to protect people in their work environments, whether they be the same ones for key workers, now with extra safeguards to face new hazards, or unconventional home workplaces for those who can work remotely.
The OSH responses we’ve seen have been awe-inspiring, and the assistance and wise counsel that safety and health advisers provide has steadily gained the confidence of managers and leaders.
I am pleased with how IOSH staff, our amazing volunteers and the businesses that deliver our vital training have all adapted to new demands from the pandemic and its fallout.
The work I have been leading at IOSH to transform this institution into an agile, flexible, people-centred and future-fit organisation builds on prescient insights by our Council and Board of Trustees translated into the clear purpose enshrined in our five-year strategy, WORK 2022 – shaping the future of safety and health.
'What we can do is prepare, anticipate and adapt how we work to become more resilient'
Since we launched WORK 2022 in April 2017, we have implemented a programme of activities that Enhance the OSH profession and Collaborate to build strategic partnerships that achieve Influence and strengthen IOSH’s impact globally.
Throughout that time, we kept the horizon in view to ensure IOSH adapts and responds to new needs. Our internal transformation programme also drives us to continuously improve.
The net result is that IOSH is now an organisation capable of adapting and innovating rapidly, serving our members, partners, customers and wider communities internationally, and elevating the OSH profession to the position of respect you all deserve.
The IOSH competency framework has provided a renewed and enhanced basis for OSH professionals to widen and deepen their capabilities and competencies to navigate the risks and opportunities of the future.
Our membership grades review is also progressing well, bringing greater clarity and relevance to members’ pathways for professional development.
Our chair of trustees, Dr Bill Gunnyeon CBE, covers these topics and more on page 48, explaining how the Board is already horizon-scanning to develop answers about the future of OSH, the future of the OSH profession and the future of IOSH. This is informing our next strategy and direction.
In this section of the magazine, you will learn more about how we’re working collaboratively at every level worldwide to understand challenges and trends. One thing is clear about the future: it is unclear – we cannot predict it. What we can do is prepare, anticipate and adapt how we work to become more resilient as an organisation and as individuals.
IOSH is evolving to do this better and continues to strengthen the pioneering progress of our past 75 years.