Opinion

Welcome to IOSH Magazine online

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Former editor, IOSH Magazine

What you see on the site today is just the start. We intend to grow these pages to become the primary source of management advice, operational hazard control information and career development support for OSH professionals.

We will bring you the stories behind the stories. That means talking to the regulators when they take employers to court, and finding the root failings that others can learn from.

This willingness to dig deeper carries through into in our first sample feature – there are plenty more to come but we and IOSH want to keep some surprises for the first issue of the print magazine, available in hard copy and online flipping PDF version at the beginning of February.

Greencore’s award-winning replacement of its packing lines for sandwiches destined for the shelves of Waitrose and Sainsbury’s is on the surface a case study of new work equipment designed to reduce bending and stretching that was pushing up sickness absence levels.

But beyond that, it’s the story of how intelligent reengineering of a process to improve employee health resulted in cutting by a third the headcount in a section, redeploying employees for more valuable tasks and slashing the company’s agency labour bill.

Look even further and you find it is a reminder of the value of involving the workers in redesigning their own workspace and equipment, to ensure that the tools they end up using day in, day out, make them most comfortable and productive.

We believe there is a real value in spending the research time and effort to get beyond the headlines – and that practitioners are not too busy to read longer articles if those articles give them information that’s truly useful.

We will try to avoid stating the obvious; there is little value in our telling even readers at the start of their careers as health and safety practitioners that wet floors can lead to slips. But we will highlight those points of vulnerability, from control of contractors to road risk, that still catch out dutyholders even when they are trying hard to protect workers and others.

We will seek out information to help organisations shrink the holes in the slices in James Reason’s “swiss cheese” model that can otherwise align and create vulnerabilities.

As IOSH’s executive director – policy Shelley Frost notes in her first column for IOSH Magazine, occupational health and wellbeing have rightly risen as priorities for employers who want to get the best from their workforces and cut the toll of work-related disease; we will reflect that change in emphasis in our coverage, without losing focus on safety.

We plan to celebrate health and safety leadership at all levels, from shopfloor teamleaders to board executives and to pass on examples of best practice in risk management, wherever in the world we find them.

The magazine aims to reflect the broad variety of health and safety practitioners’ activity. Have a look at our Off Duty column which will feature IOSH members engaging safely in some risky pastimes.

Ultimately, we know IOSH members will judge us on whether they find material here that enhances their knowledge and competence as OSH practitioners; supplying that material will be what drives us in the weeks, months and years to come.

 

Louis Wustemann is former editor, IOSH Magazine. He was previously editor of Health and Safety at Work magazine and Environment in Business. He has written, edited and consulted on health and safety, environmental and employment matters for more than 25 years.

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