To mark International Women's Day 2021 we are profiling just some of the amazing women who work for and with us. Carolyn Reid, RoSPA policy support officer, shares some of her insights into working in health and safety with us:
"I joined RoSPA in 2016 from a background in public relations and community engagement. My first role was in a part-time position to support the Training and Consultancy team in Scotland and work with the OSH Policy team."
"Over time I expanded my role, spending time working with the community safety and road safety teams. I now have a full-time role working with the OSH Policy team and liaising with members across some of our networks including ScORSA
(Scottish Occupational Road Safety Alliance), RoSPA’s National Occupational Safety and Health Committee, Safety Groups UK and PHASS (Partnership on Health and Safety in Scotland). I had no pre-conceptions about the health and safety community and have found it refreshingly open and collaborative."
"The biggest issues in health and safety today are driving for work and the management of occupational road risk. They are so important, particularly given changing work patterns, the rise in home deliveries and the increase in numbers of people working in the gig economy."
"In addition, the management of COVID-safe workplaces and the return to work will be a long-term challenge. I work with a great team of people and the wider OSH network is a really friendly and enthusiastic community. I enjoy engaging with the different networks and bringing people together with meetings and events where they can access the latest information, network with colleagues and take prevention messaging back to their workplaces and into wider society."
" I’ve met some really interesting people from a wide variety of organisations across the UK and have always been treated with respect. I think the shared objectives and dedication of health and safety practitioners transcend any discrimination. "
" The biggest challenges I’ve had to overcome were understanding how the different stakeholders in the health and safety community work together, which took time, and more recently, moving from face-to-face meetings and events to using online platforms to engage with different groups, which was daunting to start with but it’s good to see how quickly it has been adopted and developed."
"The advice I’d give to women interested in getting involved in health and safety would be to consider that health and safety is not limited to one or two narrow sectors. It is relevant across commercial organisations, government, education, healthcare, charity, everywhere where employees and volunteers need to be protected and accidents prevented. Also, it’s not just about safety legislation, there’s a lot of involvement in health and wellbeing of employees, topics like stress, fatigue, lone working and driver health for example. There are plenty of resources and advice available from organisations like RoSPA and ScORSA that can help you and you’ll find that other practitioners are happy to share their experience."
" It is good to see health and safety being introduced in different levels of education. I have seen some interesting projects from schools, colleges and apprentices using the LOcHER (Learning Occupational Health by Experiencing Risks) approach. Students enter the workplace with an understanding of health and safety in various scenarios and the confidence to take part in workplace engagement on the topic.
This article has been kindly sponsored by L'Oréal, which is raising the profile of and increasing opportunities for women in health and safety throughout 2021.Developing the abilities of women as a currently underrepresented group in occupational health and safety (OSH) and enhancing their visibility in the sector is at the heart of the partnership between the two organisations. See: www.rospa.com/partnerships/loreal-partnership
Posted: 3/4/2021 9:59:15 AM