Our landmark first conference in West Africa has launched a momentous year in IOSH’s history. The conference in Lagos, Nigeria, was an incredible event. We hosted more than 800 occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals and VIPs, including government ministers and senior business executives.
From April this year IOSH will celebrate the ‘Pioneers of Progress’ who have guided the OSH profession on its journey over the past 75 years. And this is an increasingly global story.
The level of media interest our conference generated in West Africa was remarkable and showed the region’s appetite for better work and a focus on enabling that through great partnerships. This is something which is often taken for granted in other parts of the world.
In Nigeria and Ghana, we’re working with governments and agencies who are adopting new national and state-level strategies to evaluate risks, educate, engage and enforce more effectively. They’re choosing to partner with IOSH and our members in the region who already exemplify good professional practice and are championing safety and health at work.
IOSH vice-president Kayode Fowode and IOSH’s national co-ordinating committee for Nigeria, for instance, have dedicated much time and effort over recent years to advancing our profession in that part of the world. Their involvement in our Nigeria conference played fundamental roles in driving its success.
The event represented an excellent way of supporting our emerging network of OSH professionals in Nigeria. It also demonstrated that we are pushing at an open door, answering a desire for change and improvement. By riding the wave of interest and commitment generated at our conference in Lagos, there are real opportunities now for IOSH members and OSH professionals to be change-makers.
I joined the event via video from New York and in May I will attend our next West African conference in Ghana, in person, building on the memorandum of collaboration we signed last year with its Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations. Then I will travel to the SAIOSH Conference in South Africa. This will sustain momentum in Africa.
IOSH members and OSH professionals, wherever they are in the world, are united by a common purpose: to prevent harm and ill health. They all enable challenging, complex and potentially hazardous ventures to take place safely, which helps us all to move forward. Think about how you champion change and improvement. Are you influencing to improve?
This magazine is also on a journey of change, development and transformation. The issue you’re reading now is the final one in its current format.
Just like IOSH and the OSH profession, IOSH Magazine will, from the next edition, take on a new shape and renewed purpose to better serve your needs. It will deliver richer content that links more clearly to IOSH’s strategy, share more news of progress and development, and offer in-depth features that help you on your professional journey.
Look out for greater detail in the introduction to the March/April relaunch edition of our magazine.