16 April 2017 - Dubai, UAE: A fresh approach to protecting the world's workforce is set to be unveiled by the largest professional body for occupational health and safety. The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) will present its new five-year strategy, charting how the profession can continue to progress up to 2022, at its annual Middle East Conference in Doha, Qatar on 27 April 2017.
IOSH has chosen the Middle East as the launch-pad for this new strategy because of the region's growth and increasing drive to cut workplace accidents and work-related illness.
It comes after a recent survey commissioned by the Institution, which revealed that business leaders across the region are identifying worker protection against injury and ill health as vital to safeguarding their business' reputation and resilience and improving productivity.
Meanwhile the number of members of IOSH's Qatar Branch has increased from 86 to nearly 500 in the five years since it was launched. These members work across a range of industries to keep the number of people injured at work or becoming ill to a minimum.
Robert Murphy, Chair of IOSH's Qatar Branch, said: “It is clear there is a real determination in Qatar and the wider Middle East to prevent employees from being harmed. Businesses are recognising the benefits that good health and safety bring to them, including having more motivated workers. Major organisations in Qatar are also working hard not only to promote better health and safety at work but to improve standards of living away from the workplace as well. Our branch and IOSH as a whole is determined that we keep this trend going.”
The IOSH-commissioned survey, conducted late last year and questioning 250 decision-makers across the Middle East, revealed that 91 per cent believe investing in the health and safety of their workforce is essential to ensuring their business has a good reputation, 85 per cent felt that their employees' health and safety is a top priority at board level, and 88 per cent feel that all employees have a responsibility for health and safety.
This year's conference is being held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday 27 April. The strategy will be introduced by Dr Bill Gunnyeon, Chair of IOSH's Board of Trustees.
Meanwhile IOSH Training and Skills, lead sponsor of the conference, will announce details of new additions to its portfolio of world-leading health and safety training products, including the first Arabic-language versions of their courses.
There will also be speeches from Ali Sikandar, Head of Digital and Social Media at Qatar Foundation; Ajay Sharma, British Ambassador to Qatar; and Joseph E LaBaron, the retired US Ambassador to Qatar; Paul Williams from Qatar Rail; James Quinn from Multiplex Middle East; and Musallam Al Khaifi, from Electricity Holding Company.
The event will be followed immediately by IOSH's Qatar Branch AGM.