On 15 October 2014 the British Safety Council will be hosting its annual conference at the America Square Conference Centre, London EC3N 2LB. This year we are focusing on occupational health. Absence from work owing to work-related ill-health far outweighs absence due to injury at work and as an issue overall occupational health is generally perceived as being more difficult to manage than safety.
The conference, which will be opened by our Chair of Trustees Lynda Armstrong OBE, will include keynote presentations from Lawrence Waterman OBE, Director of Health and Safety at Battersea Power Station, Trustee of the British Safety Council and Past President of IOSH; and Dr Lesley Rushton OBE, Reader in Occupational Epidemiology, Imperial College, London, one of the leading experts on work-related disease.
There will also be presentations by Steve Perkins, Chief Executive, BOHS – The Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection and the Health and Safety Executive. These will be followed by a number of panel discussions on key issues in relation to occupational health and the experience gained from rolling out health and well-being programmes in workplaces.
Neal Stone, Policy and Communications Director at the British Safety Council, said: “There have been significant improvements in the 40 years since the enactment of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 1974 in the reduction of fatal and major injuries at work. This achievement is a tribute to all of those involved in ensuring that the risk of workplace injury is effectively controlled.
“However, occupational health has not had the same degree of attention and has not consequently experienced a similar improvement. With 1.8 million people suffering from ill health caused or made worse by work every year, according to the latest statistics from the Health and Safety Executive, this is without doubt a key risk that business needs to be focusing on.
“Our conference will provide an opportunity for our members and others to hear from a range of experts in the field of occupational health and those who have contributed to putting successful programmes and initiatives in place including our member organisations. The conference will address a wide range of issues concerning occupational health from exposure to harmful substances and work environments to issues around mental health, rehabilitation, stress management and the health challenges of managing an ageing workforce.”
In addition to the confirmed speakers there are a number of confirmed panellists from business and experts in occupational health taking part that include Sodexo, Mount Anvil, The Work Foundation, OECD, Health and Safety Laboratory, Loughborough University, Mind, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Royal College of Arts (RCA) as well as others.
Author: British Safety Council
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