Building a Safer Tomorrow: EHS Congress Brings Experts Together
The 2023 EHS Congress will take place in Berlin on May 24-25.
Health and safety is an increasingly important aspect of our lives, especially in an era marked by pandemics and global uncertainty. In June, the International Labour Organization adopted a safe and healthy work environment as a fundamental principle and right. This means that health and safety directors across the world have an even greater responsibility to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for their employees.
The Current State of Safety
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought increased awareness of the value of occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals. It is crucial that we use this hard-won credibility to support and influence all those who can help create safer and healthier workplaces.
Despite our collective best efforts, a report from the UK Health and Safety Executive revealed an increase in the number of work-related injuries and illnesses in recent years. New research has also found that one in four employees in the UK has experienced suicidal thoughts while at work, highlighting the need for a more empathetic and values-driven approach to leadership.
In order to address these issues, OSH professionals must be proactive and incorporate the lessons learned from the pandemic into crisis and continuity plans. With the events in Ukraine and a rise in the cost of living, it is essential that these plans are robust and effective in mitigating any potential disruptions.
One area of particular concern is employee mental health. The World Health Organization has issued guidelines on mental health at work that provide evidence-based recommendations to promote mental health and manage issues like anxiety, depression, and burnout. IOSH's Catch the Wave initiative will have an even greater impact in fostering the right environment, values, and culture for developing and retaining people as the foundation of productivity and profitability.
Despite impressive advancements in technology, from autonomous manufacturing to state-of-the-art safety systems, we still see fatalities that could have been easily prevented. This is partly due to a lack of investment in safer technology and a focus on employee competency. Thankfully, we are also seeing a slow adoption of "lean manufacturing" to minimize waste, maximize productivity, and further improve the safety of workers.
Although the pandemic has brought several safety issues into focus, Jordyn Aitken (Asia-Pacific health, safety, and environment manager at Alltech) believes the issues facing the safety profession will persist even after the end of the pandemic. Business continuity will remain a focus, with industry investing and preparing for future pandemics. Additionally, there will be a continued focus on mental health, with the World Health Organization and International Labour Organization calling for action to address declining mental health in the working population.
Preparing for the Future of Safety
These changes to the safety profession is one of the driving forces behind the EHS Congress, the event that's here to make your job a little easier. This year's event is dedicated to providing Health and Safety Directors with the latest tools, techniques, and best practices to create a safer and more productive work environment for employees.
The conference, taking place on May 24-25 in beautiful Berlin, will feature world-class speakers, interactive breakout workshops, and smart-app powered one-on-one meetings.
As we gather in Berlin this year, let us use this opportunity to share ideas and approaches to further our common goal: creating a safer and healthier world of work. Join us and take part in creating a brighter future.
Written by Aron Tozser