Construction Perils Too Grave to Ignore; as the Soon-to-Be President of the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Nattasha Freeman Makes Safety in the Workplace Her Priority
Byline: Nattasha Freeman
Pick up a newspaper these days and there's every chance you'll find a story about health and safety killjoys.
If you were to believe everything you read, it would all be on the grounds of adhering to health and safety regulations.
But a Birmingham-based health and safety expert is on a mission to spread a different, more accurate message, starting with the construction industry.
Nattasha Freeman, director of health and safety at independent property consultancy Phoenix Beard, believes a pragmatic approach is the key to ensuring health and safety issues are treated more seriously.
"If you ask any health and safety expert whether you can completely remove risk from the workplace, they'll be realistic and tell you 'no'," she says.
"But they will tell you that you can take measures to control those risks.
"A good practitioner will ensure clients adhere to statutory compliance and will then take them a step further to provide long term solutions that benefit landlords and tenants alike."
In September, Nattasha will become only the fourth ever female president of the industry's governing body IOSH - Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
It's an ambassadorial role that, according to Nattasha, highlights the importance of getting health and safety right.
"The role represents a great opportunity to send out a sensible message about health and safety," she explains.
"Our main interest is making sure people can go about their normal lives without being exposed to unknown risks.
"It saddens me that such a large part of the president's role is spent addressing misconceptions.
"But it's important that we get sensible messages out there so that people realise sensible solutions aren't that difficult to come by and that they're worth doing. …