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Occupational Safety & Health Middle East Conference

As part of the OSH ME Conference, held in Abu Dhabi on April 2nd, 2014, Barry Holt, IIRSM Director of Policy & Research was invited to participate in a panel discussion on the subject of the Economic Dimension of OSH. The session was chaired by Ms Maya Raydan, presenter of Sky News Arabia, & the other participants were Bill Nixon of Health & Safety Laboratory and Rebecca Kelly, a Partner in the Dubai office of law firm Clyde & Co.

The aim of the discussion was to consider the international experience in motivating organisations to improve standards of health and safety management and looked at the moral and legal benefits for businesses, employees and society as a whole. From the perspective of IIRSM the questions were focussed on our approach to training, including the scheme for providing approval for in-company training and the work we have done in safety leadership. There was also keen interest in the way IIRSM views partnerships with international bodies such as the Abu Dhabi EHS Centre, EU OSHA and the International Commission on Occupational Health.

The issue of occupational health had previously been raised by Barry Holt when invited to comment on where efforts should be focussed in terms of occupational issues. This reflected comments made in her keynote speech by Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE.

A second panel discussion looked at OSH Incident Management with participants from IOSH, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the Industrial Development Bureau, Abu Dhabi, and the American Society of Safety Engineers.

The opening address and welcome was given by Dr Jaber Al Jaberi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi EHS Centre and a presentation on From Stress to Wellbeing – Enhancing Wellbeing in the Workplace was given by Alex Botha, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council. Finally, Mr Omar Al Ashram, Director, Systems & Planning Division of the Abu Dhabi EHS Centre, provided a summary of the proceedings.

For each of the panel discussions there was an opportunity for questions from members of the capacity audience in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. IIRSM was also a sponsor of the event and in a final ceremony a Letter of Agreement was signed by President, Peter Hall and Dr Jaber Al Jaberi.



IIRSM The International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) is a professional body for health and safety practitioners and specialists in related fields who have a health and safety remit. It was set up to advance standards in accident prevention and occupational health throughout the world.

Established in 1975 this not-for-profit organisation offers membership to practitioners in over 70 countries. IIRSM welcomes third sector engagement at every level and actively seeks partnerships with equivalent bodies throughout the world. It has strong links with leading universities and international bodies and works to establish and promote standards of professional competence.

In support of its mission statement: “to provide recognition, information, support and enhancement to our growing membership” IIRSM places the interests of its membership at the centre of everything it does.

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