IOSH’s bid to tackle the media’s negative portrayals of the health and safety profession moves to a different level next month when it will sponsor the World Conker Championships.
The aim is to take a light-hearted sweep at baseless media stories, such as the one that claimed conker competitions were to be banned for health and safety reasons.
The event takes place every October in Ashton, Northamptonshire, with players coming from across the globe to take part, and a large media presence is also expected to cover the event.
Ruth Doyle, IOSH’s director of communications, said: “On almost every occasion where health and safety is blamed by the media for ‘banning’ something, it’s not the fault of health and safety. We believe that health and safety has become a favourite excuse for many organisations to stop something they don’t like, or when they can’t be bothered to find a more logical way around a problem. It’s easier to blame it on “elf n safety” than on, for instance, insurance issues, or escalating cost grounds.
“We’re aiming to show that health and safety practitioners are not killjoys, and that we like to have as much fun as anyone else.”
IOSH is also keeping an eye on media stories and asking anyone who spots a health and safety story in media outside the industry’s trade press, to mail it to Paul Marston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The story will either get a ‘bonkers conker’ stamp if it presents health and safety negatively, or a ‘bonzer conker’ if the story is positive. At the end of the year, IOSH will present the media outlets that receive the largest number of each with an award to mark their achievements.