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chris42  
#1 Posted : 13 March 2019 09:31:56(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

 A discussion topic - If HSE did what they are supposed to, would we still need IOSH

The IOSH Manifesto includes

Promoting the business case for safety and health

Improving occupational health

Designing-in safety and health

Developing competent workforces

Championing safety and health in corporate social responsibility (CSR)/ sustainability

 

But shouldn’t the HSE do all that? so should IOSH the charity be needed?

Edited by user 13 March 2019 09:34:10(UTC)  | Reason: no I in if in title sounded a bit rude previously

hilary  
#2 Posted : 13 March 2019 09:39:47(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
hilary

I think that we would still need IOSH and various other bodies so the HSE do not have a monopoly on initiatives and force their will however stupid and ridiculous that might be.  IOSH, IIRSM, British Safety Council, ROSPA, etc, work together to find sensible initiatives and sensible solutions (or try to).  Competition and collaboration is good, it keeps things real.

Edited by user 13 March 2019 09:40:37(UTC)  | Reason: lack of clarity in response

jwk  
#3 Posted : 13 March 2019 09:55:27(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
jwk

I have never liked the idea of the regulator being the sole driver of standards. You see it with CQC: awful services happily meet CQC standards but I wouldn't want them to look after my cat, let alone an elderly relative (or me when I get to that stage). Regulators only ever take snapshots, IOSH members should see the full 4K 3D true-colour movie. It's a totally different thing,

John

A Kurdziel  
#4 Posted : 13 March 2019 11:42:10(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Being a lazy so and so I will lift this from a reply I put up on the IOSH Matters bit of the Members Only forum where someone asked the question what is IOSH for?

“Firstly, and probably most importantly IOSH is an independent professional body the represents people who do H&S day in and day out. It is not a government agency nor is it controlled by employers or unions who, of course, have their own agendas.  That independence comes at a price: our annual subscriptions.  They are irritating but as the say goes ‘he who pays the piper, calls the tune’, which means in theory the organisation is accountable to its members.

Of course to be credible it has to set professional standards which is why we have the post-nominals etc to enable individuals and the sector as a whole to demonstrate their competence and integrity.”

 

First some of the stuff that IOSH does is not within the legal remit of HSE: the HSE can only do what they are allowed to do under the Health and Safety at Work Act. So they cannot provided qualifications etc for individuals, nor can they provide training.  

Secondly as I pointed out, H&S needs an independent voice. Although by law the HSE are functionally independent of the government, there is no guarantee that they will always be so. There are cases of similar bodies being pressured by the government to toe the line and not just in the places you might expect. There was a hoo-ha in Canada a few years back when it turned out that the Canadian Nuclear Energy safety watchdog threatened to closed down a commercial reactor that produced a significant proportion of the world’s radioisotopes ( I think it was about a quarter) . The watchdog had repeatedly asked the company running the operation to improve their standards but instead the company talked to it mates in government and as a result the safety board was sacked to protect hundreds of jobs and billions of dollars in earnings.  This could happen here except that organisations like IOSH exist and they would raise this issue and tell the Health and Safety professional’s side of the story.

So we definitely need something like IOSH. The question is do we need IOSH in its present form?

chris.packham  
#5 Posted : 13 March 2019 15:00:47(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

AK says HSE cannot provide training. Maybe not, but HSL, which is part of HSE, does. I regularly receive e-mails about their training days and courses. 

chris

chris42  
#6 Posted : 14 March 2019 13:20:57(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

So, we are saying that the HSE and government of the day can’t be trusted to sensibly be responsible for looking after H&S without an independent reality check from an organisation like IOSH. However, is that not what the HSE and HSC in its day were set up to do? So, my question stands I think, if the HSE did what they were supposed to, then would IOSH be needed.

If the HSE have proved themselves to not be competent to do this and so not trusted, should IOSH step in and do what the HSE / Government of day are not, but instead get them to do what they should.

I was told that if I was to conduct a H&S audit and I say came across some boxes blocking a doorway on a fire escape route, that I should not move them myself. I should go to the person responsible and explain to them why they should not allow their people to do this. That way they learn, but if I did it, they would learn nothing and carry on doing the same.

Is this not the same, if IOSH take on initiatives, then do those that are supposed to be responsible not learn, and in fact let them get on with it as it is easier for them. So, we continue on a downward spiral.

With regard to training this can be done by any organisation, it does not require a charity. Indeed, it is not as if IOSH training is free to the less fortunate or anything.

If you then took this to its ultimate conclusion, then the HSE just become a regulator, and all help and awareness comes from outside organisations like IOSH, funded not by the people and business, but like a tax on those that work in H&S. Realistically for the majority you can’t work in H&S without being a member of IOSH, and so the shortfall in HSE is being picked up by a relatively small group of people (who also pay a second time as part of their normal taxes), for the benefit for all. This does not seem right, does it? Not IOSH’s fault, but not right.

Yes, I have been thinking about this issue from the post in the member forum about the point of IOSH, which just really went into what value people get as a member. But this is not about that, this is the need for IOSH to exist at all / the way it is funded / the work it does/ its current set up. Which is why I have put this on the part of IOSH that is free to all ( a good thing from IOSH – sometimes joe public has a simple question about H&S where they may or may not get an answer on here).

I thought it would be an interesting discussion point, I may be wrong. However that is the point of the forum is it not healthy debate / discussion.

Chris

CptBeaky  
#7 Posted : 14 March 2019 14:41:15(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

Interesting point, however. Could it be argued that IOSH has made a rod for their back, and in fact are profiting nicely from this. If IOSH suddenly ceased to be, wouldn't the HSE naturally find itself filling the void left behind?

The HSE doesn't need to do these things, because IOSH does them (?). I am not saying this is true, but since we are having this discussion, isn't it worth raising as a point? Has IOSH created a job for itself and the HSE let this happen?

A Kurdziel  
#8 Posted : 14 March 2019 15:16:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

If your look at the Robens report then the HSE is already exceeding what it was set up to do. Originally Robens hoped that industrial sectors would come up with the ACoPs and to regulate particular sectors. They only got involved in this side of HSE when industry (apart from the electrical engineering sector) decided not to get involved.

In any profession there are bodies representing practitioners, be they the Royal Colleges for the medical profession or the Law Society and Bar Council for the legal profession. If IOSH was to disappear the HSE could not become the spokesperson for the Health and Safety profession it would have to be someone like the British Safety Council or IRMS etc.

Do I not trust the government? Well no, they have an agenda just like anybody else.  HSE are accountable to the politician who control the purse strings. They can (and have) tightened the purse strings. If you listen to the current debates going on, every so often some Tory will stand up and says “In post Brexit Britain we will have to liberalise our economy” You can be you bottom dollar that the HSE is in their sights. If organisations like IOSH do not exist then the HSE will be quietly neutered.

Yes HSE Sciences Division (formerly HSL) does provided some training but it tends to be quite specialised and usually only done at the Buxton site.  To deliver the courses that IOSH does, would require considerable expansion of its resources. As matter of policy government departments do not get money to deliver services that can be delivered by others.  

Dave5705  
#9 Posted : 14 March 2019 15:27:29(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Dave5705

There are many charities which do the work the government should be doing but don't.  MIND, Cancer Research, Save the Children. 

I would hope that the charities do a better job (albeit badly funded) than the gov ever will, because they are doing it because they are passionate, not because they are told to. I'm not saying any of them are perfect, of course not, but the basic precept is that they do it because they feel they should, not because it's a just a job to be done.

And I'm not saying it's right, but often, without them, the job doesn't get done at all. You don't have to have worked for Barnardos to be a great child counsellor, but most Barnardos child counsellors are great.....

just saying.

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A Kurdziel on 15/03/2019(UTC)
Clark34486  
#10 Posted : 14 March 2019 15:39:41(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Clark34486

Yes

jwk  
#11 Posted : 14 March 2019 16:46:49(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
jwk

Originally Posted by: chris42 Go to Quoted Post

So, we are saying that the HSE and government of the day can’t be trusted to sensibly be responsible for looking after H&S without an independent reality check from an organisation like IOSH. However, is that not what the HSE and HSC in its day were set up to do? So, my question stands I think, if the HSE did what they were supposed to, then would IOSH be needed.

Not as such Chris. Here's a real-life issue based on reliance on the regulator. We had a fatality at my one of my previous employers: CQC had rated the establishment as 5 stars. Turns out they weren't managing bedrails properly, and somebody died. Now, CQC visit a registered service maybe once every three to five years. An in-house H&S person should visit probably once every two months at the most. We would have picked up the lack of bedrail management (as it happens we were under-resourced at the time so hadn't, but resourcing is a different matter) and the death would not have happened.

Now, HSE, however well resourced would not be able to visit all 5.7 million businesses on the UK; in fact we know they can't. So there'll always be a need for in-house or contracted H&S advice. And those H&S people will naturally want to associate with others of their kind for information sharing and the like. Which leads us to IOSH.

If HSE did its job properly we might not need all the things that IOSH does to be done by IOSH. But we would need IOSH, or something very much like it,

John

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Dave5705 on 14/03/2019(UTC)
Xavier123  
#12 Posted : 15 March 2019 09:14:08(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Xavier123

Originally Posted by: chris42 Go to Quoted Post

If you then took this to its ultimate conclusion, then the HSE just become a regulator,

What is 'just' a regulator? Actually quite hard to define - the dictionaries certainly struggle.  The role is almost certainly much broader in the 21st Century than that which I suspect the general public typically believe i.e. mere enforcement. The HSE mission statement is to reduce accidents and ill health and that has long been more than finding fault and taking punitive action. 

Taking a step back, this country polices by consent and that means creating a general environment and culture where the majority of the public are law abiding by choice and expect the same of others - there are many many facets to that but they could never all come from one agency.

hilary  
#13 Posted : 15 March 2019 09:32:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
hilary

"So, we are saying that the HSE and government of the day can’t be trusted to sensibly be responsible for looking after H&S without an independent reality check from an organisation like IOSH."

Yes, that is exactly what I'm saying.  The HSE is a Government Agency.  We put the Government in charge of BREXIT and look how that turned out!

Edited by user 15 March 2019 09:33:36(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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A Kurdziel on 15/03/2019(UTC)
chris42  
#14 Posted : 15 March 2019 09:44:20(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Originally Posted by: Xavier123 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: chris42 Go to Quoted Post

If you then took this to its ultimate conclusion, then the HSE just become a regulator,

What is 'just' a regulator? Actually quite hard to define –….

The HSE mission statement is to reduce accidents and ill health and that has long been more than finding fault and taking punitive action. 

Taking a step back, this country polices by consent and that means creating a general environment and culture where the majority of the public are law abiding by choice and expect the same of others - there are many many facets to that but they could never all come from one agency.

But that is what I was saying, if the likes of IOSH take over the role of educator in all things H&S and the HSE let them, then do they not be “just a regulator” or as you put it those that find fault and then take punitive action.

As noted from # “If organisations like IOSH do not exist then the HSE will be quietly neutered.” So, if we don’t have IOSH, the HSE are doomed to disappear or at least, become insignificant. There was talk of the larger companies self-regulating if they had formal management systems, a few years ago, so this is in people’s minds (well politicians and big businesses anyway).

However, on the other hand it seems that if we do have the like of IOSH championing all H&S causes, then the HSE will be needed less (as they will not be doing this and are just in the punishment side), then the HSE also disappear to almost nothing.

So, dammed if we have the Likes of IOSH and dammed if we don’t. The HSE (Gov) can save money if we do (as it is funded by those in the profession, not those it helps employees and business). Still somehow seems wrong.

Of course if the likes of IOSH become so big, who will keep them real ?

Additionally, if they become big enough, could they take on the role of “just regulator” as well allowing the enforcement element to be privatised.

So IOSH is as they say a necessary evil? And interestingly two of you have questioned if we need IOSH in its present form.

This then begs the next question; what should it look like? (what should it actually do, how should that be funded, how far should it go, should there be a monopoly)

Chris

westonphil  
#15 Posted : 15 March 2019 10:43:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
westonphil

If the HSE did its job properly it would not just be about the HSE as the laws it passes and advice it gives (and seeks) requires the input of many other people, be that advisers, managers, employers, specialists, unions, safety representatives etc., etc.

IMHO the team approach works best overall and that team is the HSE, Unions, Safety Reps, Employers, IOSH etc., Safety Managers, Safety Advisers, Media, Government, Other Professionals etc., etc. There are millions of people who contribute to health and safety and IOSH and it's members are a part of that team.

My own role/part in health and safety is only as important as other people allow/wish/want it to be. For me it is more of a question of do we need the team and my answer is yes.

Regards

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A Kurdziel on 15/03/2019(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#16 Posted : 15 March 2019 13:28:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

“Of course if the likes of IOSH become so big, who will keep them real?” in theory this  is the role of the membership but like most organisations, IOSH consists of “coasters”(like me) who just join up and pay the subscriptions (as late as possible)  and the activists who take IOSH and what it does very seriously.   This minority seems to be setting the agenda. I am not entirely sure what their background is (independent consultancy rather than in house Health and Safety?)  But there seems to be a strong emphasis on providing training etc and especially growing the business, especially overseas.

Xavier123  
#17 Posted : 15 March 2019 15:44:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Xavier123

I'm suggesting that HSE role and IOSH might have a lot of cross over with similar outcomes but driven by slightly different agendas.  And that's no bad thing. Diversity of thought, approach and opinion is to be encouraged and the obvious point of difference is that one group has a big enforcement stick and one group doesn't. That facilitates different approaches. Sometimes those without the stick can get things done that those with the stick can't.

Education, engagement, enforcement etc. are ultimately all but tools in pursuit of a goal. They aren't the goal themselves, or shouldn't be. HSE devise the national strategy and set a tone for safety based upon metrics they create and review and I don't see any other groups stepping up to do that albeit they may lobby for change. HSE are in theory at arms length from the government but the removal of the HSC has certainly blurred some lines. However, for many years one strand of that strategy has always been working with everyone else - 'being part of the solution'. The role of IOSH and others is an implicit part of that strategy.

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A Kurdziel on 18/03/2019(UTC)
boblewis  
#18 Posted : 16 March 2019 21:41:26(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
boblewis

Just who will provide the funds to employ several tens of thousands of people to undertake the workload

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A Kurdziel on 18/03/2019(UTC)
nickpatience1  
#19 Posted : 18 March 2019 13:43:43(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
nickpatience1

If companies/people did what they were supposed to do we wouldn't need HSE, Local Authority enforcement, the Environment Agency, the police, or much of the ambulance service or fire and rescue service.

As an inspector with HSE much of my time was spent where they had no one properly managing health and safety.

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