IOSH update: Uniting to combat ill health at work

A new website was announced last month by seven organisations involved in occupational health and safety. It will provide up-to-date information for health and safety professionals.

The Wiseup2work site is expected to go live in April. It will provide general guidance for practitioners and tell them where to go to get more expert advice, with links to information from a variety of different fields, including occupational medicine and nursing, ergonomics, hygiene and physiotherapy.

“Safety and health practitioners want to play their part in helping to implement government strategy,” IOSH president Neil Budworth said. “But we feel we haven’t got the tools to do this, and we don’t have the expertise in the area of occupational health.

“The aim is not for safety and health practitioners to ‘take over’ the work of ergonomists, hygienists, doctors or physiotherapists. Quite simply, we do not have the knowledge to do that. But what safety and health practitioners do have is strength in numbers, and we can do much more to help look after the health of people in the workplace.”

At present, there are 29,000 IOSH members (with about 22,000 of those based in the UK), compared with only 4,000 OH nurses.
The British Occupational Hygiene Society, the Ergonomics Society, the Society of Occupational Medicine, the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, the Association of Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners and the Society of Occupational Health Nurses, and IOSH met last month to discuss the creation of a website toolkit.

“The website will help practitioners identify when an employee has a health problem, and what options are available for referral before they actually have an occupational ill-health case in front of them,” said Budworth.

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