The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health may not exactly roll off the tongue, but it plays a crucial role in protecting workers all over the world. IOSH - as it is more commonly referred to - is a membership organisation with a difference, one leading the way when it comes to health and safety practices in the workplace.
100,000 people look to become IOSH qualified every year, demonstrating just how large the organisation is in the health and safety training field.
The body itself is a British based institute founded in 1945. It was setup in a bid to promote health and safety standards and does just that through a combination of methods.
In the first instance, the establishment provides training courses for employees of all levels and sectors, no matter their location, to help businesses improve their health and safety culture. Qualified IOSH members are supported in efforts to improve work place processes, all whilst the IOSH lobbies governments and helps to shape relevant health and safety policy.
IOSH is the world's largest chartered health and safety organisation, boasting 44,000 members across 100 different countries.
The IOSH code of conduct is held up as the bible when it comes to facilitating a ‘safer and healthier world of work’.
IOSH provides courses for all levels, as well as sector specific equivalents. Which certificate a learner takes is largely dependent on their level of responsibility. Regardless of the level however, the core content remains largely consistent – encompassing both theory and practical elements.
At a top level, learners will be asked to identify risks in a manner not all that dissimilar from the hazard perception segment of a driving test. In this case however the dangers will be biological, environmental or physical in nature.
In a bid to assess the severity of workplace risks, passing delegates are charged with deploying a point scoring system, one previously outlined in course material- allowing them to assess the potential health and safety challenges within their workplace.
Participants are also shown procedures conducive to the ongoing safety of those around them – amongst these; regular inspections, clear signage and emergency drills, all of which contribute to the future protection of the workforce.
On completion employees meet the basic health and safety criteria for their role, achieving a qualification that is internationally recognised in the process.
IOSH Working Safely
IOSH Working Safely is aimed at all workers and provides a basic guide to health and safety in the workplace. It gives learners an awareness of hazard and risk and how their everyday behaviours contributes to the health and safety of others.
The course can be completed in a single day. This option is the go-to for staff in any health and safety or physical role and is comparative to a level 1 award for health and safety in a construction environment.
The assessment takes the form of ten multiple choice questions and three hazard spotting exercises, amounting to 30 minutes in total.
Please note IOSH Working Safely may also be completed online with 4-8 hours’ worth of learning. To discover more about this course and the options available to you, click here.
IOSH Managing Safely
IOSH Managing Safely is for those with management or supervisory responsibilities and is designed to help them tackle the health and safety issues they're accountable for.
It's a 3-day course with a 45-minute exam made-up of 25 questions. Learners must also complete a further risk assessment project which should be completed within the following fortnight.
On completion, it is hoped managers will have garnered the requisite knowledge and confidence to implement positive changes to their working environment.
Please note IOSH Managing Safely may be completed online with 16-32 hours’ worth of learning. Many providers will also be happy to set up multiple licenses for entire workforce to take the qualification, and work with you to set goals and time frames to ensure all members of staff pass. To discover more about this course and the options available to you, click here.
In addition to IOSH Working Safely and Managing Safely, the institution delivers sector specific training – including the likes of IOSH Managing Safely in Aviation and IOSH Managing Safely in Construction.
The courses themselves are delivered by recognised providers, of which Astutis is one and we are proud train thousands of employees every year.
For convenience, training can be delivered at a centre or in your own place of work. Those who prefer online learning are also catered for, with immediate access to course material merely a few clicks away.
Pricing will vary depending on the provider and your preferred method of learning.
Those who successfully complete an IOSH training course will be presented with a certificate within two months. The certification is valid for life and is evidence that the individual – and by extension their employing business – are taking health and safety seriously.
Anyone who becomes an IOSH member is granted access to the likes of conferences, exhibitions, networking events, online forums and a telephone helpline – all with a view to promoting universal health and safety in the work place. Refreshingly, advice and encouragement are readily available for all who seek it.
On a broader scale, IOSH are known for far more than their training courses. Members are revered for organising high-profile campaigns that shed light on issues relating to safety in the workplace. In recent years efforts have been made to draw attention to potential causes of cancer, as well as the debilitating effects of dust.
Such movements often lead to the IOSH petitioning governments from all corners of the globe. Interestingly, those in power are typically receptive, calling upon members to advise or commission research on their behalf.
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Hazards is in summary, a hugely significant body and one fundamental to the upholding of health and safety standards all over the world. Without it, you could argue many of us would be far more vulnerable to workplace accidents.