This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
SHOW GUIDE: FEATURE


” ILL HEALTH


CAUSES 13,000 WORK-RELATED DEATHS EACH YEAR.”


A CULTURE OF HEALTH AT WORK


Karen Bufton, President of the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), says education is absolutely critical to creating a culture of health


within organisations and is calling for a shift in attitudes, so that instruction and training to promote work-related health protection is seen as an investment for future corporate success, not a cost.


Instruction, education and training in worker health protection is, of course, a legal requirement under the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974. However, following the election, and as the new government takes the helm in a post-Brexit landscape, legislation alone will not be enough.


As the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection, we at BOHS remain deeply concerned about the shocking burden of occupational ill health and mortality facing Britain. We know that ill health causes 13,000 work-related deaths each year and yet we also know that all of these cases of ill health are in fact preventable.


Workers can be protected by a process of recognising the hazards, evaluating the risks and controlling exposures. This is simply good occupational hygiene practice and the importance of effective education and training within this process, as a means of raising awareness and in turn the standards of worker health protection, cannot be overstated.


In recent years, we have seen some progress in elevating the profile of worker health protection. The aim of our newly-launched Breathe Freely initiative, to prevent occupational lung disease in the manufacturing sector, and our concurrently operating Breathe Freely campaign for the construction industry, is to take advantage of this momentum, and build on this.


Facilitating effective instruction, training and education on work-related health is at the very core of BOHS’s Breathe Freely web-based centre of excellence on exposure control: www.breathefreely.org.uk. The centre offers free resources including task sheets, slidepacks and information for managers to use when communicating with employees, as well as a wide range of guidance materials on key topics areas such as local exhaust ventilation (LEV), respiratory protective equipment (RPE) and the hierarchy of control measures.


In addition we, as the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection, and through the Faculty of Occupational Hygiene,


52


champion education and training in worker health protection through BOHS qualifications and training modules, so that people can become chartered occupational hygienists. By enhancing people’s existing skills, BOHS aims to develop the next generation of occupational hygienists as future leaders working within industry to make a difference to workers’ health, whether as consultants or in-house experts. See the BOHS Directory of Occupational Hygiene Services for the definitive list of UK companies able to provide specialist occupational hygiene support services.


Furthermore, training support is also available in the form of BOHS courses, such as the one day Certificate in Controlling Health Risks in Construction, which is specifically designed to assist employers in upskilling their workforce in the basics of health risk management and control.


The problem we, as occupational hygienists face is that many health hazards, such as dusts, chemicals, fumes and gases, are silent and invisible, with a long latency period before their ill-health effects become evident. Because of these factors, it is often all too easy lose sight of the great risks, in terms of work-related diseases, which these hazards can pose.


Yet with appropriate information, instruction and training, it is possible to raise awareness of the hazards and their associated risks, educating workers and employers about simple, effective occupational hygiene controls, which will minimise the exposures to the hazards and the related health risks.


In a post-Brexit Britain, as a new government comes into power, we need a shift in attitudes so that education and training in work-related health is recognised as an investment, not a cost, for organisations. Training in worker health protection needs to be seen for what it is – the essential foundation for a healthy workforce upon which to build corporate success – not a burden.


www.bohs.org www.tomorrowshs.com


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68