Those involved say it will ‘create a platform to offer a unified 360-degree perspective on critical safety and health issues for the first time’. The British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), British Safety Council, British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF), Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM), Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 12 May to create the Occupational Safety and Health Stakeholder Alliance. The National Examination Board for Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) and the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors (CIEHF) have since added their signatures.
Collectively, the Alliance’s members’ competencies ‘span the full spectrum of occupational health and safety (OSH) considerations’ – from education and regulation, to policy creation, professional standards, and thought leadership. It will provide a unified voice for the OSH industry, ‘drawing on members’ collective expertise to inform and support OSH decision-making across government policy-maker, corporate, and professional levels’.
The Alliance said: “Our members are delighted to be announcing the formation of the Occupational Safety & Health Stakeholder Alliance, a truly historic initiative with the potential to have a far-reaching positive impact on occupational health and safety management in the UK. It is a non-exclusive group that welcomes wider involvement in the delivery of its aims.”
The group says it will both ‘leverage members’ influence to deliver joint messaging and facilitate continuous progress on crucial OSH issues’, and work to increase ‘the visibility and value’ of the health and safety profession, and its wider set of disciplines and practices.
Beyond safety, it says health – and specifically mental health — will be an immediate area of focus. The Alliance said: “Workplace-related mental health issues account for more than 50 per cent of all workplace ‘incidents’ according to the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE statistics). The UK is less well advanced regarding the mitigation of mental health issues than many of its EU counterparts. The consequences go far beyond the direct impact on individuals and their employers, including an already-stretched NHS.”
An early priority will thus be ‘to prioritise, identify, develop, and implement measures to equip the OSH profession to more effectively mitigate the risk factors giving rise to mental health issues in the workplace’.