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October 5, 2015

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The importance of occupational factors in cause of ill health

New research, published in medical journal The Lancet, has highlighted the importance of occupational factors in the causes of ill health in England.

The study examined figures from the Global Burden of Disease Study for 2013 – a research programme based out of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – in order to analyse the burden of disease and injury in England.

In particular, the researchers analysed disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). The study confirmed the key contribution that occupational risks make to DALYs for men in England, with work-related factors ahead of both low physical activity and air pollution and other environmental risks.

Similarly, for women occupational risk factors caused more DALYs than air pollution and other environmental risks, although not more than low physical activity.

For men and women the top three contributors to DALYs were dietary risks, tobacco smoke and a high body-mass index (BMI).

The researchers concluded that the continuing burden of preventable ill health in England more than justifies recent calls for a “radical upgrade in prevention and public health”.

Commenting on the research, Dr Adrian Hirst, President of BOHS, said, “Studies such as these are vitally important in quantifying the root causes of the burden of ill health borne by the nation. They also offer great impetus to tackle a wide range of diseases which are largely preventable and therefore, as the researchers themselves note in the study, point to ‘a huge opportunity for preventative public health’.”

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.

stress

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Jack Edwards
Jack Edwards
6 years ago

I was in health and safety work in 1948 in Pneumoconiosis Field Research and later at the Institute of Occupational Medicine. Being a Senior Field Investigator it meant being in the front line so to speak, down coal mines and in steel and non-ferrous foundries. There I was exposed to all the nasties chemicals, dusts , fumes gases and vapours. Consequently my health has suffered as a result of this unusual exposure over a very long period without protection in the early days of the forties and fifties. I have longed all my life that we would go for prevention… Read more »