The new President of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is calling on her profession to demonstrate how it can continue adding value to businesses through creating “inclusive, healthy and psychologically safe” workplaces.
Louise Hosking believes health and safety professionals need to move beyond technical know-how and demonstrate modern leadership skills to ensure the world’s workers are prioritised.
She was officially confirmed as IOSH’s new figurehead at its annual general meeting yesterday (16 November), replacing outgoing President Jimmy Quinn. She will serve in the role for 12 months, representing IOSH in webinars and events around the world.
On taking over the role, she said: “It is an absolute honour to become IOSH President, especially at such a crucial time in the history of the Institution and the profession as a whole.
“As President, my main theme is focusing on people, sustainability and putting the heart into health and safety. The world is continually changing as we live with the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change, so our profession must move with this to support the people they work with.
“By putting people first and by caring about how people feel, we can create inclusive, healthy and psychologically safe organisations which create teams that trust each other. And with trust people will innovate and bring their best selves to solve the world’s greatest challenges.”
Louise takes over as President as IOSH’s new campaign on social sustainability, Catch the Wave, is launching. She is a keen advocate of the campaign, which showcases the business benefits of being socially sustainable and looking after the workforce. IOSH will also launch its new five-year strategy during her term as President.
As well as supporting IOSH’s campaign, Louise is an advocate of the use of positive language in OSH, preferring to focus on best practice of prevention as well as negative events.
“From here, cultural transformation can be achieved throughout organisations which make businesses more efficient, engaging and exciting places to work and do business with,” she added.
She is also a passionate equality, diversity and inclusion champion and is co-founder of the OneWISH coalition: Women & Inclusion in Safety & Health, which brings networks together from around the world to encourage diversity of thought.
Louise runs her own health and safety consultancy Hosking Associates. She has worked in the profession for more than 30 years having previously been an Environmental Health Officer for Cambridge City Council and then working for the Co-Operative and a leading real estate firm.
She has spent many years volunteering for IOSH. She takes over as President having served a year as President-Elect and three years as Vice-President. Prior to this, she was Chair of IOSH’s Chiltern Branch and she remains an active member of its Consultancy Group.
As Louise becomes President, Jimmy Quinn moves into the role of Immediate Past President while Lawrence Webb becomes President-Elect. IOSH also has three new Vice-Presidents (VPs) – Joanne Price, Angela Abbs and Richard Bate – joining existing VPs Stuart Hughes, Dr David Gold and Neil Catton.
You can watch back the Presidential handover here on our YouTube channel.