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February 19, 2015

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International Occupational Hygiene Association conference

WebBy Sharon Brunt

As health and safety professionals, we are constantly on the look-out for new opportunities to learn and collect CPD points. This year’s IOSH Conference held alongside Safety and Health Expo in ExCel in June will be an excellent opportunity to gather and share experiences, no doubt bad, good and best practices will be discussed while at the conference or visiting exhibitor stands.

Another noteworthy event in this year’s calendar is the 10th IOHA Scientific Conference which BOHS is hosting in London between 27-30 April, on behalf of the International Occupational Hygiene Association. IOHA 2015 will bring together over 700 professionals from around the world who are passionate about worker health protection. This promises to deliver a first class global scientific conference programme designed around the theme of ‘Building on Occupational Hygiene Together’.

A conference highlight will be the Warner Lecture being delivered by Dr Alistair Fraser, Vice President of Health for Royal Dutch Shell plc who are the main conference sponsor. He will talk about the powerful ‘Culture of Health’ that Shell are developing. At Shell, the belief is that if you can find ways to enable worker health and activity, then you improve engagement and this in turn drives safety and productivity. Research has shown that if you improve engagement by one per cent, you get a four per cent increase in safety.

At Shell, everything they do, from running a large shipping fleet to producing sandwiches sold at service stations, features a mandatory health risk assessment and risk management process. So having excellent occupational hygiene support, which is globally available, is really important.

Dr Fraser recognises that big companies can achieve a lot by applying best health standards wherever they are in the world. Shell can and does work with governments and academic institutions in the interests of looking after worker health which, in turn, drives performance and safety.

Other topics to be covered over the four day conference include, ‘Does sex make a difference to exposures on the welding trades?’ and ‘Noise exposure of personnel aboard vessels in the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN), and hearing loss in the RNoN.’

Danny Martland of BAE Systems will present a paper on ‘Managing occupational hygiene in a multinational company’ and Andrew Simpson from HSL will speak about the ‘Storage of Wood Pellet and Wood Chip Fuel and Carbon Monoxide Generation’. And this is to name but a few from a long list of international speakers and a whole range of topics.

In addition to the conference itself, there are a range of professional development courses to be held on the weekend of Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 April. These outstanding training opportunities will offer something for everyone, thanks to a selection of subjects picked from the most pressing occupational health and hygiene matters currently facing practitioners today.

It should also be noted that these courses are open to all, not just conference delegates.

Topics to be explored will range from cutting edge statistical modelling methods to ethical and leadership themes. It’s not all theoretical, however, and those at the modern coalface will no doubt welcome training modules on how to assess and manage the risks associated with nanomaterials, waterborne pathogens, and noise exposure assessment, for example.

IOHA 2015 is definitely worth a look.

To register for IOHA 2015, please visit

Sharon Brunt is marketing and communications manager at BOHS, The Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection.  

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