Occupational health a high priority
The IOSH president-elect, Neil Budworth, high-lighted to Lord Hunt, the government minister with responsibility for health and safety, the “high priority” that OH needs to be given in the workplace.
Budworth attended a working lunch on 12 July with the minister and a number of other OH professionals to look at ways in which IOSH, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and others can work better together to ensure that those with health problems are able to remain or return to work.
The event looked at key areas contained in the DWP’s five-year strategy, published in February, entitled Opportunity and security throughout life. The strategy seeks to set down the DWP’s aims and ambitions, including banishing poverty, providing economic opportunity for all, supporting those unable to enter employment, and delivering equality for disabled people.
“Occupational health is a high priority for IOSH and is an area in which occupational safety and health professionals are keen to continue developing their understanding. The rate of occupational ill-health in the UK is not acceptable and IOSH is keen to do what it can to improve this,” Budworth commented.
“For too long, we’ve just sat by and watched as workers develop a range of debilitating diseases and we’ve then condemned them to the work scrapheap. That is something which has to change.”
At the lunch, Budworth highlighted the role safety and health professionals could play in reducing occupational ill-health, but added there was a need for practical tools to help them. He also emphasised the importance of a systematic approach to health and safety.