Former MP Sarah Newton has been named chair of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Previously minister for disabled people, health and work, Sarah will replace Martin Temple from 1 August.
'As we move out of the nationwide lockdown and learn to live with COVID-19, the role of the HSE has never been more critical,' she said. 'I am looking forward to working with the HSE non-executive and executive leadership team, tackling the challenges, building on the strengths of the organisation and working in partnership with employers, unions, trade associations, professional bodies, academics and others, enabling Great Britain to work safely and well.'
Sarah was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home Office from July 2016 to November 2017. She was elected Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth in May 2010, and served as assistant government whip from May 2015 until July 2016. Sarah was previously a councillor on Merton Council in south west London.
'As we learn to live with COVID-19, the role of the HSE has never been more critical'
She has served on a wide range of boards and is currently a non-executive director of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust. Sarah was a marketing officer for IBIS, Citibank and American Express. After working for American Express for four years she became director of Age Concern England. She is also founder and initial director of the International Longevity Centre.
Responding to the appointment, IOSH said: 'This is a crucial period for occupational safety and health. As organisations reopen workplaces, it is important that they have measures in place to protect their people from both COVID-19 transmission and other safety and health risks. Occupational safety and health professionals have a key role to play in helping organisations manage these risks and ensuring business continuity and sustainability.
'Through her time as an MP, particularly as a Minister of State, and her work on a wide range of boards, Sarah has vast experience which she can bring to this role. As the chartered membership body for occupational safety and health professionals and world-leading developer of safety and health training products, we look forward to collaborating with Sarah and her team, to support the HSE in delivering its strategy as we continue to work towards achieving our vision of a safer and healthier world of work for all.
'At the same time, we thank the outgoing chair Martin Temple for his work in the role and wish him every success for the future.'
Also welcoming Sarah to her new role, HSE chief executive Sarah Albon told IOSH magazine: 'I’m looking forward to working closely with Sarah as we embark on a new chapter at the HSE. Not only does she bring a wealth of knowledge, insight and experience to us, Sarah has been a real champion for our organisation and mission in the past.
'I would also like to express my sincere thanks to Martin Temple who has helped guide [the] HSE through some interesting periods during his productive five-year tenure with us.'
Thérèse Coffey, secretary of state for work and pensions, said she looks forward to working with Sarah.
'Her insight and experience will be huge assets as we work to safely resume everyday life across the country, helping to build confidence within business and workers as we get Britain back into work,' she said.
'I would also like to thank Martin for his dedication throughout his service over the last five years.'