History of SOHSA

Somerset

Prior to 1958 a small group of safety men associated with local industries travelled to Bristol each month to attend safety meetings which were organised by the Royal society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

After a while the journey from Bridgwater became rather onerous so the small band of men decided to try and establish a Safety Group locally. Due to lack of numbers it was felt that a completely independent body would not be viable. An approach was, therefore, made to the Mid-Somerset Productivity Association for some backing.

The Mid-Somerset Productivity Association welcomed the idea and suggested that a Safety Committee could be formed within the structure of the Association to look after the interests of local firms in the field of Industrial Safety.

The Mayor of Bridgwater at that time, Councillor J Davies, who was a member of the Executive Committee of the Mid-Somerset Productivity Association was asked to call a public meeting in an effort to create wide-spread interest in the proposed Safety Committee. This public meeting took place at the Royal Clarence Hotel in Bridgwater towards the end of 1958 and was well attended. The appropriate Committee Officers were appointed and meetings began to take place at various venues each month in the Bridgwater area at which Guest Speakers were invited to give talks on a variety of topics associated with Industrial Safety.

On the 31 May 1961, the Safety Committee formed itself into the Mid-Somerset Industrial Safety Group with its own Constitution. At this stage the Group became affiliated to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and to the British Safety Council at a later date.

In 1970 it was decided to change the name of the Group to the Mid-Somerset Industrial Safety Forum in order to create a new image.

On the 29 January 1974 the title of the Group was changed once again to The Somerset Industrial Safety Forum. This change was brought about mainly by the re-organisation of local government.

On the 26 January 1976 the Forum changed to The Somerset Occupational Health & Safety Association because of the changes brought about by the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 which widened the scope of health and safety legislation to people "at work".

The Association is autonomous and self-supporting and is willing to participate in local and national efforts in the interest of occupational health and safety.

Membership of the Association is open to all work establishments and other interested organisations within the County of Somerset.