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IOSH 2017

IOSH 2017 conference preview - part 1

We interview two speakers from the institution’s November gathering. 

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Lawrence Waterman Managing partner, Park Health and Safety

Why should people attend IOSH 2017?

IOSH conferences are a terrific opportunity to meet people. You don’t just get the chance to catch up with old friends but you also get the chance to make new ones.

Why did you get involved this year and what will you be speaking about?

I’m hosting a debate about the impact of populism, Brexit and even Donald Trump’s election in the US because the political scene creates the context in which we all work. I don’t think any of us have experienced change in the way that it has occurred recently. So it is a fantastic opportunity for a big discussion at conference and beyond it. 

As an IOSH member, how does it feel to be involved in the conference?

It’s always a privilege to be a participant. This year in particular I’m looking forward to leading that debate about the impact of political changes on our professional lives as safety and health practitioners.

Lawrence Waterman, managing partner, Park Health and Safety What one piece of advice would you give to safety and health professionals starting out?

I’m a chartered fellow of the institution and a proud member of many years, but I can remember when I was starting my career. The thing about the IOSH conference is that it’s an opportunity to make contacts and to make friends who will last you a lifetime. So, as well as all those formal papers and organised sessions, never underestimate the value of the networking that you can do at the IOSH conference. It is a tremendous support and boost for your career.

The theme of the conference is “transforming health and safety across the world”. How can that be achieved?

IOSH’s conference is an international one. That’s appropriate because all workers, wherever they are, deserve world-class safety and health performance to protect them. And every business and every organisation benefits from that performance. I think the great thing about an international conference like this is that we all go back to our own countries and organisations really energised to make the next step change.


Jamie Sutherland-Pownall Occupational health and safety specialist, Sellafield

Why should people attend IOSH 2017?

Attending IOSH 2017 is really about getting the global health and safety community together and sharing experiences, knowledge and the things they are trying to change in their workplaces.

It allows us to bring that to one arena and one place, and share it before going back to our own organisations to discuss and try to influence change to make a better, healthier, safer workplace.

Jamie Sutherland-Pownall, occupational health and safety specialist, SellafieldWhy did you get involved this year and what will you be speaking about?

I want to inspire the next wave of safety and health professionals. We need to explore different methods of engaging with these practitioners early in their careers as well as getting new people into the profession.

I’ll be speaking about going into schools, colleges and universities and promoting the career through an initiative like the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) programme that scientists run. I will also look to talk about this with delegates informally throughout the conference.

What one piece of advice would you give to safety and health professionals starting out?

Grab any opportunity of a work placement or to shadow people in non-safety jobs. It’s important to understand the functions that you are trying to make safe and the individuals you are trying to keep healthy.

The theme of the conference is “transforming health and safety across the world”. How can that be achieved?

The modern safety and health professional faces a variety of challenges. But it’s all about the acceptance of risk. Over the years there’s been a big push to get rid of or eliminate risk. But in the real world that isn’t always possible. We need to change our own mindsets as OSH professionals to ensure that, while jobs are being done safely, we accept there are going to be inherent risks in some scenarios.

 

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