Stuart Hughes, newly-elected IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety & Health) president for 2023-2024, is calling on the profession to develop new ways of tackling the “unacceptably high” number of work-related fatalities, injuries and cases of ill health, by working together with businesses, governments and other professions
With an estimated 7,500 people dying because of unsafe and unhealthy working conditions every day around the world, Hughes said, “We need to challenge ourselves, ask ourselves if what we’re doing to protect people is working as effectively as it can. We need to focus on ensuring we’re doing the right things, for the benefit of society.”
Over the next 12 months, Hughes is looking to work with IOSH and other OSH professionals to advance health and safety standards around the world, develop thought leadership to address key challenges, as well as support efforts to provide opportunities for future generations of professionals.
He points to the International Labour Organization’s adoption of a safe and healthy work environment as a fundamental principle and right at work as being key for this.
“We’re still plagued by unacceptably high numbers of deaths at work, along with serious injuries in workplace accidents and ill health caused by exposure to harmful materials and substances at work,” he said.
“We have a mandate from the ILO and there is a clear link between OSH and delivering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. All of this gives us greater reach and the ability to drive change in collaboration with businesses, governments and other professions.
“So, I’d like to ask all IOSH members to take a moment to consider how they are supporting efforts to make the world of work safer and healthier, and to ask themselves if they can do more to ensure people can go home from work every day safe, healthy and happy.”