‘Pushing health up the workplace agenda’ will be the theme of this year’s conference in London
ON 15 October 2014, the British Safety Council will be hosting its annual conference at the America Square Conference Centre, London, where this year the focus will be 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 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 at Imperial College, London, one of the leading experts on work-related disease.
There will also be presentations by Steve Perkins, chief executive of 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 etc 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, consequently, has not 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 HSE, 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 organizations.’
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.