Financial Services is IOSH's 18th sector-specific group. From the large firms based in the City of London and other global financial centres to much smaller enterprises, it aims to ensure that employee health and safety is at the heart of operations.
The group was officially launched at the offices of Zurich Insurance in Mark Lane, London. At the event, Tony Bough, chair of the group and UK Head of Health and Safety for RSA Insurance, said key to protecting employees is achieving buy-in from senior leaders and decision-makers.
“As in other industries, it is crucial that those at the top of organisations see the benefits of health and safety and actually buy into it,” he said. “From them, it can be cascaded down throughout organisations. Everyone, no matter what level they are at, has a responsibility to work safely.
“Our group can help with enabling this. By bringing together health and safety professionals in financial services, we can draw on the huge amount of experience we have, not just in the UK but globally.”
Members of the group were joined by others from the sector for the launch event on Thursday 7 September.
After an introduction from Mr Bough, Richard Orton, IOSH’s Director of Business Services, spoke about the institution’s five-year strategy, WORK 2022, which aims to ensure the health and safety profession keeps pace with the changing world of work.
Delegates then heard from Steve Brown, captain of the Team GB Wheelchair Rugby Team at the 2012 London Paralympics.
Huw Jones, Vice-Chair of the group, and Health, Safety, Risk and Environment Manager at Zurich Insurance, said it is vital that organisations do not lose sight of the health and safety risks faced by employees, adding that members of the group will be able to share good practice from around the world.
“Health and safety isn’t seen as an income generator,” he said. “However there are huge benefits from getting health and safety right.
“There are many diverse risks faced in financial services. Our new group will really help with being able to share good practice from different organisations which operate in different parts of the world.
“We can work together to ensure that employees can return home at the end of their working day fit and well.”
The group is planning to run a series of events in the coming months. For more information on these events and on the group, click here.