The delegates came from the Social Service of Industry (SESI) and Federation of Industry of the State of Ceará (FIEC). They were given a tour of The Grange, before hearing from IOSH’s policy, membership and commercial departments.
While at The Grange on Monday 19 September, SESI explained that they are looking to advance safety and health within Brazilian workplaces. They are currently implementing a new project called SESI Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) Centre.
They then had presentations from three IOSH representatives – Kate Field, Head of Information and Intelligence; Dina Alkhalidi, Head of Customer Engagement; and Gisela Derrick from the International team.
Gisela said: “It was interesting to hear how both occupational safety and occupational health are managed in Brazil, from an industry confederation perspective, as well as the impact their financial crisis is having on their OSH national structure and ultimately on their working population.
“It was encouraging to learn how proactive they are in creating innovative mechanisms to improve and counteract that situation, by partnering with various institutions from around the world. Equally motivating was their appetite for exchanging good practice in various areas, including OSH training, industry capacity building as well as rehabilitation mechanisms to help people return to work; which took them to Finland after visiting us.”
Gisela added: “A take away was the commonality on trends like ageing workforce, return to work and how they, as well as other countries, are dealing with the challenge of econometrics – in other words, looking for the best ways to measure the return on investment in OSH from a business perspective.”
SESI was created in 1946 to promote quality of life for workers and their dependents. It focuses on education, health and leisure, and aims to stimulate socially-responsible management in Brazil’s industrial businesses. It has promoted workplace health to 3.4 million people, delivering programmes including flu vaccinations, physical activity and healthy nutrition.
The visitors came from the State of Ceara, in the north-east of Brazil. During their European trip, they also visited the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and attended the International Conference for Sustainable Development in Rome. Links were also established with the Health and Safety Laboratory in the UK.
Speaking about the reason for the visit, Beatriz Bezerra, International Coordinator for FIEC, said: “The main objective of our visit was to view best practices worldwide and we identified IOSH as one of the best in Europe.
“SESI has been improving, innovating and creating programmes and projects in the areas of security and health for the industry.”
Referring to the RD&I Centre, she added: “We are searching for innovative methodologies to bring more effective solutions by creating an infrastructure that will have as its main goals reducing absenteeism, promoting employee’s health and productivity, reducing healthcare and sick leave compensation costs and increasing industry’s productivity and competitiveness.”