Health and safety in the workplace should be seen as an investment, not a cost, a conference has heard.
Occupational safety and health professionals were told they have a “leading role to play” in building sustainable organisations across the world, an Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Vice-President told an Asia-Pacific conference.
Dr Vincent Ho was highlighting IOSH’s work, support of occupational safety and health initiatives globally and branch networks in the region.
Drafting global standards
He spoke of IOSH’s involvement in the drafting of ISO 45001 – the new global standard for occupational safety and health – and its work to improve corporate reporting and develop health and safety skills and competence through free tools like the IOSH Blueprint framework.
Such actions, he said, were part of IOSH’s aim to help drive improvements and ensure more individuals, businesses and communities benefit from decent, safe, healthy and sustainable work.
IOSH believes leadership, worker engagement and competence are key to improvement and that transparency is vital for showing what actions organisations are taking to prevent modern slavery, protect human rights and create a ‘race to the top’.
Investment in the future
Many of the health challenges, including healthy ageing and extended working lives, are long-term and affected by decisions made today, he said.
It’s therefore important health and safety management is regarded as an investment and not a cost, Vincent told the delegates.
In conclusion, he said that the ‘big global challenges’ – economic, demographic, social, technological and environmental – all rely on socially responsible employers and governments, and skilled and effective workers, for their successful resolution.