The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is the world’s biggest professional health and safety organisation, and its annual conference is the voice, eyes and ears of the health and safety industry. IOSH 2018 has opened its doors to 800 delegates from workplace health and beyond, helping them create safer, healthier and better places in which to work.
We're there - ‘there’ being the International Conference Centre in Birmingham, on the 17th and 18th September 2018 - and we’ve put together a hit list of vital panels for anyone interested in drug testing and drug policy in the workplace. Here they are.
1. Breakfast briefing: what key lessons can we learn from case reviews?
When and where: 8.45 to 9.30, 17th September, Hall 4
Speakers: Professor Vincent Ho (President Elect of the IOSH); Kizzy Augustin (partner at Russell Cooke LLP)
Why you need to see it: IOSH 2018 opens with a crucial opportunity for us: a chance to review the impact of the 2016 Sentencing Guidelines, which outline the consequences for occupational health and safety breaches - including those resulting from drug use. A watertight workplace drug policy needs to be informed by awareness of the consequences, and - as Professor Ho will explain - needs to avoid legal recourse if at all possible.
2. OSH Question Time
When and where: 3.30 - 4.30, 17th September, Hall 1
Speakers: Anne Davies (partner at Gunner Cooke), Bernd Treichel (Senior Technical Specialist in Prevention for the International Social Security Association), Dame Judith Hackitt (Author of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety), Dan Shears (National Health, Safety and Environment Director for GMB Trade Union), Dr. Bill Gunnyeon (Chair of the IOSH Board of Trustees)
Why you need to see it: This panel is the most open IOSH 2018 offers; it’s a chance for specialists like us to pitch questions from our own field to a diverse group of field leaders. We can’t pass up the opportunity to source insight directly from industry leaders, union directors and the IOSH itself.
3. Investigative interviewing - effective and healthy safety conversations
When and where: 11.05 - 11.50, 18th September, Hall 8
Track: Track A: enhancing your professional skills
Speakers: Ian Hynes (CEO of Intersol Global)
Why you need to see it: This is a hands-on CPD opportunity for anyone who has to conduct or support investigations in the workplace - including investigations into drug use, in which hair testing plays an increasingly important role. Effective conversation management, controlling bias and active listening are all vital in approaching these difficult scenarios: the more sophisticated and careful investigations are, the more helpful in resolving the substance situation they will be.
4. Lunchtime session: Managing stress in a crisis
When and where: 1.30 - 2.00, 18th September, Hall 8
Speakers: Alison Wright Reid (freelance consultant)
Why you need to see it: Workplace drug abuse is intimidating. It’s not something businesses or institutions want to tackle necessarily: it often involves confronting systemic issues in their own infrastructure. Major investigations often push businesses to the point of crisis - is it any wonder that some companies bury their heads in the sand when it comes to workplace drug use, hoping it will just go away? Sometimes, we need to offer support to our clients, by understanding the stress that business leaders are under when investigating a drug problem.
5. Health, wellbeing and fatigue risk management
When and where: 4.00 to 4.45, 18th September, Hall 1
Track: Track D: the changing world of work
Speakers: John Dony (Director for Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability at the National Safety Council)
Why you need to see it: No workplace drug policy is complete without understanding why people take drugs - and the role their work may play in motivating them. Behaviour needs to be the deciding factor in substance misuse cases, and we’ve already explored how performance pressure drives professional drivers toward drug use.
To understand our stake in workplace health and safety, and the role hair testing can play in keeping drug abuse under control, read more and get in touch here. And to get your tickets to IOSH 2018, follow this link. We’ll see you there!
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