The History Of LOHSG Over The Years
The Lancashire Occupational Health and Safety Group was founded in 1930 as the Preston and District Industrial Accident Prevention Group, which makes it one of the, if not the, oldest safety group in the Country. the Group owed its existence to the concern for the welfare of their retrospective workforce's demonstrated by the following founder firms:
English Electric Company
Leyland and Birmingham Rubber Company
Wood Milne Company
These companies became increasingly concerned at the growing rate and severity of accidents in their retrospective organisations during the years following the First World War (1914 - 1981). They felt that an exchange of information and ideas at joint meetings might contribute towards bringing about better and safer work practices and conditions in their factories.
the then "Ministry of Labour" prudently recognised the benefits such meetings would bring to everyone engaged in industry and they encouraged all firms in the Preston District to join in. This joint recognition is carried on today by the Health and Safety Executive who actively support the Group in all its activities.
The 1939-1945 war period brought about a suspension of the Group's activities but after the ware the Group reformed and regularised its monthly meetings. Continuing support and assistance was readily forthcoming from the Government and professions when the Group embarked on a serious educational programme in the 1950's. This training programme expanded steadily as the need to train all levels of employees was recognised. The main driver within the Group for these developments was Bill Handley and soon Alston Hall in Longridge became the centre of the Groups regular residential training courses.
Over the years other Groups from the North West, including Blackburn, Burnley and Wigan, combined with the Preston Group to form the North West Area Association of Industrial Accident Prevention Group.
At the AGM in 1977 the decision was taken to change the name of the Group to the Central Lancashire Occupational Safety Group, and in the 1980's it was changed again to the current Lancashire Occupational Health and Safety Group. In 1992 Preston held its 20 year Preston Guild celebrations and LOHSG combined with the Health and Safety Executive put on a series of presentations in Preston in support of the Proud Preston Exhibition.
In the early 1990's a sub-committee was formed to investigate the benefits of the Group becoming a registered charity and it was subsequently decided that there would be benefits to the Group. These would include tax benefits, raising the status of the Group and making it easier to get support from bodies such as local government. In addition the endorsement "A Registered Charity" on stationary would emphasise that the organisation was not a commercial company or private individual trading for profit. This proposal was put to the Group membership who agreed with the decision to become a registered charity. One of the requirements of being a charity is registration with a Charity Commission and part of that registration was the requirement for a Charity Commission approved constitution. This was constructed based on existing constitutions and was then approved by the Charity Commission and made live. So, in 1994 the Group became a Registered Charity.
Over the years the Group has grown in size and strength and every organisation and individual in the Lancashire area is eligible to join the Group, with the principle objective of helping to promote the highest practicable health, safety and welfare standards in every working environment, for the public benefit. The current membership list is made up of large multi nationals and self employed alike and it is the breadth of this membership that gives the Group its strengths. Currently (2010) the membership is around 55 members but it has been as high as 200. Many companies can be traced back to the early days of the Preston and District Industrial Accident Prevention Group, albeit with another name than at present. Company names may change but the membership has remained solid for a very long time.