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How Commonwealth is ‘striking a blow’ for ILO

On World Day for Safety and Health at Work (28 April 2023), we celebrate the 10 months that have passed since the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted a safe and healthy work environment as a fundamental principle and right.

With the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) being part of the family of Commonwealth-accredited organisations, we’re doing this by focusing on the Commonwealth’s growing commitment to developing good occupational safety and health (OSH). So, here we profile OSH professionals from 10 Commonwealth players (including the Commonwealth Secretariat, in London) – one for each month since the historic ILO adoption. These profiles show how they’ve each ‘struck a blow’ for the ILO… and an exciting new era for OSH around the globe.

Leading by example – the Commonwealth Secretariat, London

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 56 independent and equal countries. It is home to 2.5 billion people and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. 

The Commonwealth Secretariat has its headquarters at Marlborough House, in Pall Mall, a Grade 1 listed Royal Palace. The Facilities Management section is the main vehicle for implementing health and safety systems and standards at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Read the Commonweath Secretariat's story

OSH torchbearer Emily shines global light on Africa

Emily Esenam Akumahbegan her working life in 2007, as a student nurse. She went on to witness the after-effects of many work-related accidents and illnesses in hospital. Too many, in fact. This early experience inspired her to explore ways in which such suffering could be prevented. It proved the start of an OSH career journey that would not turn back. 

Read Emily's story

Spearheading a safer, healthier workplace for all

Busola Alofe is Managing Partner and CEO of The Bristlecone Experience Ltd (aka TBEXL), the consulting firm she founded in 2022 after 30 years as a global business and HR leader. Busola’s passion for OSH has culminated in an ongoing collaboration with IOSH and the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) to promote OSH and (dis)Ability agendas across Nigeria, working with corporates, smaller enterprises and governments.

Read Busola's story

Safer roads save lives

Safety should be a life-long value that lives in people’s hearts and minds. That’s the firmly held view of Hemantha Dodangoda, Director of Health, Safety and Environment at tyre manufacturing giant Michelin Lanka.

A seminal moment in Hemantha’s OSH career came when he worked for a cement manufacturing company. He’d seen its logistics activity involved in a significant number of road accidents, 28 of which were fatal. This not only had a severe effect on the safety and health of the truck drivers but also the wellbeing of the community. It also had a profound impact on the company’s reputation and performance.

Read Hemantha's story

Investing in people is vital

A HASANZ-registered health and safety professional, Robyn Bennett is President of the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management (NZISM). Robyn is a great believer in the power of training and continuous professional development to drive up OSH professional standards. She likes to quote the Māori proverb: "ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, he toa takitini" – my strength is not as an individual, but as a collective.

Read Robyn's story

Protecting those in fight against cancer

As a Singapore-based Radiation Safety Officer for Varian Medical Systems, a Siemens Healthineers company with 70-plus sites across the globe, Alvin Gan helps protect workers’ lives in South Korea and South East Asia.

Varian delivers radiation oncology treatments and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions through radiotherapy, radio surgery, proton therapy and brachytherapy.

Read Alvin's story

Championing safety on social media

An occupational safety, health, compliance and sustainability professional practising in East and West Africa, Nanis Kanana is experienced in working in a diverse range of industries, including manufacturing, construction, energy and logistics. She is currently the Corporate Health, Safety, Environment and Sustainability manager for PowerGen Renewable.

Read Nanis's story

Taking harm out of workplaces

Lawrence Webb, an IOSH member for nearly 30 years, describes the opportunity to be President of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) as “both an honour and a privilege, a career pinnacle for which I will always be grateful”.

Read our President's story

High energy approach keeps show on road

An experienced health, safety and environmental practitioner working in the energy industry, Shazam Edoo is skilled in enterprise risk management, emergency management, business continuity and OSH management systems.

He relied on all these skills in his role as Health and Safety Advisor at state-owned National Energy Corporation of Trinidad & Tobago Limited, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read Shazam's story


Innovation helps Lagos get to grips with Covid-19

Lanre Mojola is Director General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, an agency of the Lagos State Government that formulates policies, provides advisory services and is the state regulator for occupational safety practices. The Commission’s vision is to make safety a lifestyle in Lagos state.

Read Lanre's story


Jeremy Waterfield
Content Officer
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