Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH)

Rooting out the rogue traders

The president of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has said that the profession must do more to “root out the rogue traders who sully our good name”.

In a bid to do this, IOSH president Lisa Fowlie today launched a new campaign, called ‘Get the Best’, at the IOSH 07 Conference, aimed at making clear to employers and recruiters what quality health and safety advice looks like.

"As the law stands it’s too easy for anyone to operate as a health and safety practitioner regardless of the skills, experience and qualifications they have. Giving bad advice threatens lives and costs business a fortune. It’s up to us to do something about it – and Get the Best will be our response."

Lisa said that IOSH would continue to lobby government to produce a competency statement on health and safety:

"It’s important that in such a critical profession as health and safety, there is some way of rooting out the rogue traders who sully the good name of the profession. We hope to persuade the government to produce a statement that outlines what a competent practitioner looks like."

There’s also a need for the profession to prove its worth. That’s why IOSH will lobby employer’s organisations and has commissioned research to demonstrate the value of competent health and safety advice in keeping workplaces healthy, safe and sensible.

"Health and safety practitioners still have to prove they are giving ‘The Best’ to their employers. That means committing to giving competent advice, maintaining skills and knowledge through continuing professional development (CPD) and knowing when you’ve reached the limits of your competency."

The Get the Best campaign will encourage IOSH members to get more involved with their professional body, through volunteering and making more use of the benefits they get from being an IOSH member. Lisa added:

"We need more members to get involved, to tell us what they think about IOSH and to help us spread our message. And we also want more members to get more out of their membership – and this campaign will aim to show you how you can!"

The campaign includes a microsite, www.iosh.co.uk/getthebest, on the IOSH website where members can ‘sign up’ to being the best professional they can and to providing sensible solutions.

Lisa concluded:

"It’s time for our profession to move into top gear. Getting Chartered Status really was just the beginning for IOSH – now is when we have to make our hard work pay off to ensure we get the recognition we deserve."