The results of the IOSH/MDH survey, The value of health and safety, has revealed that OH does not figure as highly as it should in the working day of occupational safety and health (OSH) practitioners.
More than half (52%) of the 1,760 respondents said OH issues occupied less than a quarter of their time at work. Under a quarter (22%) allocated between a quarter and half of their time to OH issues.
IOSH chief executive Rob Strange said: “In view of the huge OH challenge facing the country, it is disappointing that OSH practitioners are not able to devote more time to this important issue. Any barriers to involvement, such as a need for further training or competing demands on time, need to be addressed.”
However, the survey revealed that OSH professionals saw OH issues as key areas for more investment by their organisations. Nearly 65% said more should be invested in work-related stress, while 59% cited investment in musculoskeletal disorders (including RSI), and 29% cited noise. A quarter also felt that more investment was needed in rehabilitation.
The survey also asked what individual chartered status – due to be handed out by IOSH for the first time from November – would do for health and safety professionals. Half felt that it would lead to increased employment opportunities, and around 40% felt that chartered status would put OSH professionals on an equal footing with other professionals.
Another area covered was the issue of a smoking ban, although more than half felt that it would have no effect because they already had bans on smoking in their workplace. The most likely effects included better employee health (45%), and helping those who wished to stop smoking (30%).
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