‘Every Story Matters’ Independent UK COVID Inquiry

As the established trade association and training body for the safety netting and temporary safety systems industry, FASET aims to always keep up to date with the latest news from the building access industry. We are pleased to share the following story from the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

The Covid-19 pandemic didn’t just affect those who caught the virus. It changed the lives of everyone and, in many cases, continues to have a lasting impact on people.

To fully probe this universally life-changing experience, the independent UK Covid-19 Inquiry launched its listening exercise, in June 2023, known as ‘Every Story Matters’. This is your opportunity to help the Inquiry understand your experience of the pandemic in the UK as every story shared will be used to shape the Inquiry’s investigations, helping to learn lessons for the future. Stories will be fed into themed reports and submitted to each relevant investigation as evidence.

IOSH is currently working on its submission to the Inquiry and urges all its UK-based members to submit their own individual experiences direct to Every Story Matters by completing the relevant online forms on the Inquiry website. Every Story Matters will run through the lifetime of the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

IOSH response

Though still finalising its response, IOSH will point to the significant impact Covid-19 had on UK workplaces and those within them, whether they be employers, workers, contractors, customers or OSH professionals. Through the pandemic, we saw its various lockdowns and their economic impact hit some workers especially hard, particularly young people and those on zero-hour contracts, the self-employed, women, disabled workers and workers from BAME communities.

We at IOSH also gathered evidence on how OSH professionals were acknowledged as playing a crucial role in helping employers, corporate leaders, workers and governments to remain at work and return to work, protecting lives and managing OSH and wellbeing risks, contributing to business continuity and sustainability. This tragedy of large-scale loss of life and human suffering was seen to reveal the key role of OSH in public health and the vital importance of building a strong, multi-disciplinary and human-centred approach to public policy that saves lives and livelihoods.

As IOSH Head of Policy Ruth Wilkinson said in September 2021: “This (the pandemic) has enabled the OSH profession to lead, support and work collaboratively in business to aid the response, risk assessment, control strategies and use of new processes and technology, by being solution-focused, monitoring, reviewing and integrating health and safety into core business.”

  • We all have our own story to tell. IOSH encourages you to go to the Every Story Matters page of the UK Covid-19 Inquiry website to submit your own Covid experience online, or find alternative ways of submitting your story. This facility will close at the end of the Inquiry, so please don’t delay. You may also want to contribute to the ‘Let’s Be Heard’ listening project of the Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry.
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