IOSH in the News – 2019 year in review

2019 has been a successful year for IOSH making the headlines. IOSH-funded research, our No Time to Lose campaign to tackle occupational cancer and thought leadership in safety and health are just a few ways in which IOSH has leveraged its expertise to achieve coverage across a range of sectors and countries.

Overall this year, nearly 1,000 media articles about IOSH have appeared in press from publications across the globe.

Below are just a few of the media highlights from across the year...


In January IOSH received national media coverage in The Telegraph, Mail Online, Morning Star, ITV News and more for a paper published in our academic journal, Policy and Practice in Health and Safety (PPHS). The paper was authored by Dr David Thomas, a member of IOSH’s Environmental and Waste Management Group, and explored how UK waste collection systems could be causing significant long-term musculoskeletal disorders for workers.

In addition to national media coverage, IOSH’s promotion of this research saw over 100 regional publications throughout the UK covering it, as well as a range of outlets focusing on the waste management sector.

IOSH also pitched an article to ITV News Online in response to the 30th anniversary of the Kegworth Air Disaster (8 January) from Martin Brennan, vice-chair of IOSH’s Aviation and Aerospace Group, commenting on how safety and health has developed in this sector over the last three decades. Martin was quoted in ITV’s coverage marking the anniversary.


February was a fantastic month for seeing the global reach of IOSH’s research and training. This month saw further success publicising research published in IOSH’s journal, PPHS. Promotion around a paper on seatbelt use in the United Arab Emirates saw strong coverage in the Middle East, including publications such as Gulf News.

Scottish media, including The Scotsman, the Evening Telegraph and The Courier in Dundee all covered a story around IOSH’s training courses being delivered in Afghanistan. We were happy to see that Managing Safely and Working Safely were both well-received in the country in locations such as Kabul, Kandahar and Mazar-i-Sharif.


Mental health was a big focus of IOSH’s media coverage in March. IOSH’s survey with Management Today showing a lack of support for line managers in protecting workers’ mental health and wellbeing received coverage in popular lifestyle magazine Grazia. The findings of the survey were contextualised in relation to the death of Love Island star Mike Thalassitis and called for greater support in the TV industry for mental health and wellbeing.

IOSH also promoted research we funded into sun safety behaviours among construction workers with Heriot-Watt University. A range of construction-related publications covered this study, helping the research reach workers and line-managers within this sector and encouraging them to adopt sun-safety behaviours in the workplace.


April saw strong media presence for IOSH in relation to Global Asbestos Awareness Week (1-7 April). 2019 marked 20 years since asbestos was banned in the UK. A news release explained how lives are being put at risk by companies still failing to manage asbestos exposure and received national media coverage for IOSH in newspapers such as the Daily Express, Daily Mirror, The Telegraph and a range of online publications. IOSH also appeared on ITV News discussing our No Time to Lose campaign, receiving prominent airtime around this topical issue.

IOSH also promoted a paper published in PPHS around returning to work following bereavement and a lack of support for bereaved employees. This research was covered widely by occupational safety and health media outlets, as well as business and management publications.


In May we revisited our survey with Management Today into mental health support for workers, promoting the results to tie in with Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May) and focusing on how talking about mental health at work is still a no-go zone for four in five workers. Press Association ran this as one of its main mental health stories during the week, with national publications such as The Times, The Metro, the Morning Star, the ‘I’ newspaper and over 120 regional papers covering it.

A pitch to BBC Radio Leicester around sun safety during Sun Awareness Week (6-12 May) saw IOSH advising the public on sun safety in the workplace.


June saw particular success around health and wellbeing. Men’s Health Week (15-21 June) saw a good opportunity for IOSH to promote resources around mental health and wellbeing, while the sunny weather provided opportunities to promote our No Time to Lose solar resources and sun safety research from earlier in the year. Internationally, IOSH provided thought leadership to publications such as Moderní provoz, a Czech publication focusing on the positive impacts of investing in safety and health in the workplace.

Malcolm Shiels, chair of IOSH’s Construction Group, provided expert commentary in support of the Health and Safety Executive’s Dustbuster campaign to promote good lung health in the workplace, which was published by a range of media outlets focusing on the construction sector.


IOSH significantly boosted its reputation as a funder of high-quality research in July, when we received global media coverage around a study by Glasgow Caledonian University into designing safer buildings through the use of a hazard-identifying app. The research captured the attention of the BBC, ITV, Heart Radio, national newspapers and over 140 local media outlets around the UK.

Globally, IOSH’s work in Nigeria to form a partnership with the Lagos State Government saw significant media attention across Africa in TV, radio, print and online media. Back home in the UK, to support Farm Safety Week (15-19 July), IOSH promoted expertise from the Rural Industries Group with an article on the importance of child safety on farms.


August continued our strong track record of receiving strong media attention around IOSH research developments. We focused on promoting our research with Loughborough University on the Thames Tideway Tunnel project, in particular a paper examining how construction megaprojects can be useful in improving workers’ understanding of occupational risks and promoting high safety and health standards. A range of construction-related media outlets covered this story.

IOSH also promoted a second paper by Dr David Thomas from IOSH’s Environmental and Waste Management Group into work-related MSDs, and how using wheeled bins can help to reduce absence rates. Within the sector, publications such as Waste Management World, Material Recycling World and Facilities Management Journal all covered this research and promoted the recommendations provided by the findings.  


Research remained a big focus for media coverage in September, with three separate research projects being the subject of global media attention.

A new research launch with the University of Greenwich into workers’ behaviour during fire evacuations received strong coverage in construction-related media, while research with the University of Nottingham into the use of VR to improve safety awareness among workers was also widely covered. IOSH’s media team gathered footage and conducted interviews for ITV Central during our IOSH 2019 conference, which was broadcast on TV later that day.

Near the end of the month, researchers from King’s College London launched the abstract to a paper on the impact of diesel emissions on the health of professional drivers during the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress in Madrid. Through publicising this study, IOSH received coverage in Italy, Spain, Malaysia, Nigeria; and in The Economic Times and other influential publications.


The research by King’s College London continued to receive strong media coverage into October, with publications in the United States, France and other areas of the world focusing on the negative health effects of black carbon in diesel emissions. We used this as a great opportunity to promote the No Time to Lose campaign’s new diesel emissions resources to raise awareness and better health among professional drivers.

IOSH’s expertise also appeared in unconventional places – for example, Alan Plom, the Chair of IOSH’s Rural Industries Group, contributed expertise to an episode of BBC Radio 4’s The Archers – the world’s longest-running drama – and the Construction Industry Federation in Ireland ran a range of articles produced by IOSH providing insights and expertise around improving workers’ safety and health in construction.


In November IOSH set sail for global media coverage around its research with Cardiff University into the mental health of workers at sea. This research appeared in press in countries around the world, from Croatia, to the Netherlands and China, and even appeared in The Fiji Times. BBC News Online also covered the research, focusing on how internet access and other recommendations from the research could help to benefit seafarers’ mental health.

A press release with expert comment from Richard Jones, IOSH Head of Policy and Regulatory Engagement, urging any newly elected government to provide assurance and certainty on the future of the UK’s health and safety system received strong endorsement from OSH media, with many publications highlighting this story.

This month IOSH also released its video with Virgin Atlantic, discussing how the company and its workers have benefited from Managing Safely:


Late November saw the launch of the 69 competencies within IOSH’s new competency framework. Promotional work in December saw a range of OSH media cover the framework and how it will benefit IOSH members, highlighting the need for core and behavioural skills as well as technical know-how.

Meanwhile this month IOSH urged the Conservative government to “get health and safety done” by committing to the protection of workers’ rights and future-proofing the UK’s world-leading health and safety system. IOSH also issued a response to the Queen’s Speech, saying that employment law protections under the new Conservative government need to be “far more ambitious” than was proposed in the new Employment Bill. OSH media across the spectrum covered these statements, helping to promote good safety and health among stakeholders into the 2020s.

IOSH’s strong media presence throughout 2019 is a testament to the strength of its research output; its training; its position in the market; and its influence among external stakeholders.


Alex Phillimore
Communications Officer 0116 257 3254
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