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IOSH Joins United Nations Global Compact

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has reinforced its commitment to building a sustainable future by joining the United Nations (UN) Global Compact.

Member organisations of this voluntary pact – the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative – agree to align their strategies with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

They also commit to taking action to advance the most urgent societal goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the blueprint for achieving a better world for people and planet.

IOSH will engage and participate as a not-for-profit organisation in all Global Compact initiatives involved its area of expertise – occupational safety and health (OSH).

Bev Messinger, Chief Executive of IOSH, said: “Organisations need healthy workers, among other factors, to be sustainable.

“IOSH is committed to being an exemplar of sustainability to support the health, safety and wellbeing of workers across the globe.

“We are proud to play our part in this agreement, which advocates a principles-based approach to business that benefits society and protects people and provides a platform for collaboration.

“We will benefit from networking access to thousands of companies and non-business participants located in more than 160 countries, representing nearly every size and sector.

“This will further extend IOSH’s reach to help achieve its mission of a safe and healthy world of work for all.”

The Global Compact is a non-binding UN pact to encourage businesses and non-business participants worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies and to report on their implementation.

It highlights the link between principled practices and profits and shows how businesses, large or small, and regardless of their industry, can make a difference to society – by offering fresh ideas and solutions to contemporary challenges to create a better world.

IOSH will offer its expertise to help foster sustainable development in a variety of ways, including:

  • supporting the principle that OSH is a fundamental right for all workers and advocating for the respect of internationally proclaimed human rights
  • implementing partnerships on corporate sustainability regarding OSH
  • participating in events that raise awareness of OSH
  • sharing its guidance and free resources with Global Compact-participating organisations and workplaces worldwide.

The Institution will also continue to champion and support the SDGs in the 50+ target areas relating to OSH. These include good health and wellbeing, and decent work and economic growth.

OSH also has a perhaps surprising role to play in one of the most highly publicised sustainability issues – SDG 13: climate action. Increased temperatures, air pollution and UV radiation exposure are among the impacts of climate change and they all pose a potential hazard to workers. Good OSH will be the solution to preventing and reducing the risks.

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Alison Barlow
Content Officer
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