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Sir Bill Callaghan to be new NEBOSH Chair

NEBOSH is pleased to announce that Sir Bill Callaghan will become Chair of NEBOSH from March 2011.

Educated at St John's College, Oxford, Sir Bill's early career was at the TUC, where he became Chief Economist and Head of the Economic and Social Affairs Department in 1979. He went on to serve on the Low Pay Commission between 1997 and 2000 - at the time the National Minimum Wage was first introduced.

Sir Bill was Chair of the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) from October 1999 to September 2007. Here, he drove forward the HSC's 'Revitalising Health and Safety' strategy, which set targets and priorities for improving health and safety performance.

He also strove to put health and well-being more firmly on the occupational health and safety agenda. In addition, Sir Bill spearheaded the HSE's sensible risk campaign, which set out to debunk myths and show that health and safety is about protecting people from real harm rather than the trivial.

Sir Bill takes up his role at NEBOSH at a time when health and safety faces ongoing change. Lord Young's eagerly awaited review of health and safety on behalf of the Coalition Government will set much of the agenda going forward. NEBOSH is recognised globally as a mark of professional competence, and will therefore have an important role to play here.

"I'm expecting some lively debate among health and safety professionals in the months ahead, and I'm looking forward to taking part in this as Chair of NEBOSH." said Sir Bill. "I see NEBOSH as a custodian of the profession, with its high standards and highly respected qualifications. I'll be doing all I can to ensure that the integrity of our profession is maintained."      

Outgoing NEBOSH Chair, David Morris, will have served the maximum allowable term of 9 years in the position by next March. David said he was honoured to have held the position for so long, and welcomed the appointment of Sir Bill Callaghan.

He said: "I have seen a lot of change at NEBOSH over the past 9 years. I am especially proud of the way NEBOSH is responding to the increasingly dynamic health and safety agenda, with its broader range of new and highly relevant qualifications.

"Sir Bill is very highly regarded, not only for what he's achieved in health and safety, but for what he's done more widely for the welfare of working people. I cannot think of a better person to take up the role of Chairman."