Very few people have had much to celebrate this year, and for many celebrations have either been muted or cancelled due to lockdown restrictions. That does not mean, however that hitting great landmarks does not go unsaid.
This autumn one organisation hit 90 years old, and really does not deserve to go without such recognition.
Believed to be Britain's longest running and oldest safety group, the Lancashire Occupational Health and Safety Group (LOHSG) was founded way back in 1930, and has been running ever since.
It was established by a handful of businesses including the English Electric Company, Leyland and Birmingham Rubber Company, Leyland Motors, Siemen’s Lamps, and the Wood Milne Company, who were all becoming increasingly concerned at the growing rate and severity of accidents in their factories during the years following the end of the First World War.
Originally founded as the Preston and District Industrial Accident Prevention Group, LOHSG grew throughout the last century, and now works across the north west helping anyone with an interest in health and safety in the workplace, or even who has health and safety as part of their job in any sector.
In normal times, the group meets monthly, providing members with the opportunity to network, discuss issues affecting them, and to listen to a presentation about a wide range of health and safety themes. In the current pandemic, meetings have gone online, and the group's committee is currently devising a programme for 2021.
In order to help it move forward and stay focussed on current issues affecting health and safety in business, today I am pleased to announce that at their AGM I have been elected to the voluntary role of Publicity Officer.
I am proud to be becoming a part of the group's long and distinguished history.
Together with the rest of the committee, we aim to encourage people working in the sector to join with us, develop their skills, make contacts with those with similar roles and responsibilities, and help the group be as successful in its 100th decade as it was in its first, with a current focus on issues of the day.
At the AGM, the group’s Honorary President, Robert Cunningham, himself a member for sixty years, gave everyone in the health and safety profession some very wise and uplifting words of encouragement.
He said, “We could feel that not a lot has been happening in the world of health and safety this year - very little by way of meaningful legislative change or new standards - but for those of you on the front line, carrying out your roles, I’m sure it has never felt more challenging.” He went on to add, “The role of the Health and Safety Professional has never stood still. Many of us are now better informed about microbiological hazards and transmission than we ever had to be. Our training and our experience equips us to deal with the unusual and unexpected and to learn quickly about whatever is facing us. This is standing us in good stead under the current conditions. “This has been an enormous opportunity to demonstrate our skills and genuinely make a difference. We are being looked to for leadership and action and for sensible and consistent input into risk-based decision making. Our value is being truly recognised.”
So if you are based in the north west, and reading this, you are likely to be the ideal member the group is looking for. If you want to join or to find out more about the group, speak to me, or visit https://www.lohsg.co.uk/
Happy 90th Birthday, Lancashire Occupational Health and Safety Group.