IOSH new course will saves lives


There are an estimated 7,500 occupational deaths every day. 86% of these are the result of work-related diseases rather than accidents. The financial cost to business, and the devastating emotional cost to friends and families, is huge. So, what can be done to change this?

IOSH, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, has developed a course which is suitable for all managers to help them to look after the physical and mental wellbeing of their workers, providing them with the knowledge and tools to identify the health risks in their organisation, and learn how to protect the workforce and maintain optimal health.

The new course will be launched at the Safety and Health Expo (SHE) at ExCel London 19-21 June. The course has been developed with input from experienced occupational health nursing professionals and has been condensed into a one-day course to make it widely accessible to managers across all industries and sectors.

Bev Messinger, IOSH Chief Executive, said; “I’m proud to be part of bringing this course to all business managers, reaching beyond the network of occupational safety and health professionals.

“By equipping all managers with the tools to recognise health and wellbeing risks in their environments and how to deal with them, this course forms part of IOSH’s WORK 2022 strategy to make the world of work a safer place.”

In a 2017 survey of medium sized businesses (undertaken for IOSH by Opinium) four in 10 leaders of medium-sized businesses surveyed said sickness absence had a significant, detrimental impact on their organisation’s productivity in the last five years.

Absenteeism due to sickness also has a significant impact on the economy, the organisation and the individual. In the UK alone sickness absence costs the economy £100bn each year. Sickness absence due to mental ill health costs the UK economy more than £8bn per year, with presenteeism (working when unfit to do so) estimated to cost a further £15bn.

Costain’s Chief Financial Officer, Tony Bickerstaff said; “An important part of any manager’s job is looking after the health of their employees. If they can do that I am absolutely sure the employees will perform better, their teams will perform better, and so businesses will perform better.

“The course sets the right tone at the right time. There are a lot of people talking about health and wellbeing in the workplace, but I think some businesses are struggling with how they go about addressing it. I think the positioning of this course, to help line-managers gain competence in this area, has got to be a good thing for them and a good thing for their companies.”

The one-day course will be delivered by a network of IOSH approved training providers and is for anyone who manages activities of employees. The course covers four key areas:

  • A healthy company – what it means to commit to the health of the workforce
  • Health risk management – how to protect the workforce from health risks
  • Fitness for work – how to manage the effects of health on work
  • Wellbeing – giving information and tools to maintain optimal heath


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