As I prepare to take on the role of IOSH chief executive at the beginning of August, it’s not surprising that people are asking me what my aims are.
My answer is simple: to build on what has been achieved over the past few years.
A huge amount of progress has been made through the WORK 2022 strategy. I genuinely believe we have enhanced the OSH profession and grown our influence around the world.
This has been achieved under the leadership of Bev Messinger, with support from the Board of Trustees, Council, presidential team, all other volunteers and members and IOSH’s staff.
This year has signalled a change in leadership. However, that does not signal a change in direction.
I am determined we continue the great work that has been achieved and continue to make the world a safer and healthier place to work. One of the priorities will be the development and then implementation of the new strategy, which will succeed WORK 2022 next year.
The world has of course changed significantly over the past 18 months. The pandemic has had a major impact on how people live and work.
But what hasn’t changed is IOSH’s unwavering commitment to supporting our members. From the outset of the pandemic, we have provided guidance and support to help members manage the risks faced by their businesses, and I’ve been blown away by the approach of staff and volunteers to create resources such as reading material and webinars.
This guidance has been updated to respond to changes in advice from governments and health authorities, and we will continue to ensure we are right behind our members.
There are many more challenges that lie ahead of us in the years to come but, as I discuss in my interview in this issue, within every challenge lies an opportunity.
This makes it a very exciting time for me to move into the chief executive role, but also for those working in the OSH field, whether they are seasoned professionals or just starting out in their health and safety careers.
On that note, I hope to continue the work to ensure a pipeline of new professionals. It is a profession that offers great flexibility in where and how you work, and one that makes a real difference to people’s lives.
Vanessa Harwood-Whitcher | Director of professional services