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IOSH chief executive announces retirement

08 December 2020

BEV MESSINGER, chief executive of IOSH, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, has announced that she will retire from her role in mid-2021 after four and a half years.

During that time, she has overseen the successful implementation of IOSH’s five-year strategy, WORK 2022 – shaping the future of safety and health, and she has initiated and led a comprehensive and successful transformation programme.

Since October 2016, Bev had taken IOSH from a UK-focused membership organisation with a financial deficit in danger of not meeting its charitable objects to a purposeful and internationally respected professional body serving over 47,000 members spanning almost every sector in around 130 countries. 

Dr Bill Gunnyeon, chair of the IOSH Board of Trustees, said: “We required someone inspirational and capable of transforming IOSH and addressing many challenges. This is exactly what Bev has done – leading by example, guided by strong and inclusive values and principles.

“She established effective leadership and governance, focused business strategy and ambitions, created greater efficiency, correct resourcing, robust internal processes and better communications that have all improved IOSH’s performance in line with its strategic objectives and members’ needs.

“As my own term as chair comes to an end and the recruitment of my successor is well underway, the Board will value Bev’s continued support welcoming the new Chair and ensuring a smooth transition before she retires next summer.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with Bev and to see how her work and that of her team has so significantly transformed IOSH for the better. On behalf of the Board, I want to thank her most sincerely for her hard work, enthusiasm and dedication which has allowed so much to be achieved.” 

Bev’s leadership of IOSH during the Covid-19 pandemic this year has demonstrated the organisation’s flexibility and resilience. It set an important example, in March, moving almost all staff to successful remote working for the safety, health and wellbeing of them and their families.

Throughout this challenging period, Bev and the IOSH team continued to deliver key projects that will achieve planned improvements for its members worldwide. 

IOSH also worked with the World Health Organization and others to create Covid-19 advice and guidance. It has provided 30 free webinars on safe and healthy work during Covid-19 attracting over 22,000 attendees from more than 100 countries. Its Covid-19 resource web pages have been visited over 225,000 times.

Bev Messinger said: “After an amazing four and a half years leading this exceptional organisation and working with a brilliant team and hundreds of inspiring volunteers, 2021 will be the right time for me to pursue long-held plans to develop a non-exec portfolio which I postponed this year to lead the Institution through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the hard work everyone at IOSH has done to take us on the journey from where we were in 2016 to the stronger position we’re in now. There has rarely been a time when safety, health and wellbeing at work and the daily efforts of the OSH profession have been so vital, and if Covid-19 has shown anything, it’s that looking after the wellbeing of people is the key to resilient and effective organisations and a better, more sustainable world.”