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Occupational Health to be the Focus of UK Conference

With approximately 1.2 million workers in the United Kingdom thought to be suffering from a work-related illness in 2013-14, it’s perhaps no surprise that occupational health will be the main focus when the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) holds its 40th annual National Safety Symposium (NSS) later this year.

Working alongside with, health and social care, education as well as environmental and waste management groups, IOSH have put together an excellent programme of speakers.

Said speakers, including those from the Health and Safety Executive, EEF, Draeger UK and Macmillan Cancer Support, will address attendees on ways of managing occupational health issues.

Commenting on the upcoming conference, the IOSH’s Chair of Public Services Group and the NSS Working Party, Steve Sumner, stated:

“The Health and Safety at Work Act remains as relevant today as it ever has done. The National Safety Symposium has paralleled the Act and we would like to think that it has proved as valuable in promoting occupational safety and health over the last 40 years.

“The NSS has seen safety and health in the workplace evolve over the last four decades. It has always aimed to reflect the trends and feelings within the profession at the time and has contributed towards sharing best practice in occupational safety and health over the years.

“This year’s programme reflects the feeling among the profession that continued strides need to be made to improve the ‘health’ in safety and health.”

Commenting further, Mr Sumner stated:

“Health issues usually have a long latency period and result in the employee experiencing a work-related illness many years down the line.

“Take occupational cancers as an example. Around 13,000 people die each year in Britain from lung disease and cancer attributed to past exposure to chemicals, dusts or other carcinogens at work. This is far more than the 142 people who were tragically killed at work in Britain last year, yet these long latency issues can often go under the radar.”

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