For the first time, Saiosh was invited to attend the annual conference of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health in the United Kingdom (UK). Saiosh CEO, Neels Nortje, represented the local institute

Saiosh attended the IOSH 2018 Conference that took place on September 17 and 18 at the ICC, Birmingham, England.

The IOSH 2018 conference offered an exciting, relevant, up-to-the-minute insight on the world of work from both national and global perspectives. It was aimed not only at occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals, but was also invaluable to all those who endeavour to create a safer, healthier and better world in which to work.

The programme covered a wide range of topics including:

• How to be an influential safety and health leader in multidisciplinary teams.

• How recent changes in legislation are impacting on businesses.

• Raising standards in worker protection by enhancing technical skills and capabilities.

• Enhancing and improving safety and health in an organisation to reflect the changing world of work.

• Networking with like-minded colleagues to share expertise and experiences.

At the IOSH dinner and awards function are Dr Vincent Ho, IOSH President Elect (left); and Neels Nortje, Saiosh CEO.

Following the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in London, Dame Judith Hackitt, stated in the opening address that she was “truly shocked” about standards in the built environment when she started her review following the incident.

She said it is vital that a culture change is implemented as soon as possible, part of which must involve the construction industry having the same sense of care for those using buildings as it does for those involved in constructing them.

“When I looked from the outside into standards in the built environment, what I encountered was truly shocking. The system for fire safety in high-rise and complex buildings was weak and ineffective. Companies were looking to do things as cheaply as possible, and are focused on getting around the rules.

“Unless we fix the system, we have no way of guaranteeing that there won’t be another catastrophic event,” she concluded.

A notable panel discussion was on asbestos management. This was very much related to the current situation in South Africa, as we currently have Draft Asbestos Abatement Regulations out for public comment.

The session aimed to present effective ways to reach and protect high-risk workers. This includes small businesses in trades from roofing and plumbing to construction, as well as young people entering work.

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