Raising the profile of occupational hygiene

I had a busy couple of days at the beginning of last week trying to raise awareness of occupational hygiene and the profile of BOHS amongst safety specialists. On Monday I travelled over to Northern Ireland for the day (only a short flight from Liverpool) to make a presentation to a meeting of the Northern Ireland Safety Group then on Tuesday I was online delivering a webinar, organised by Barbour and Safety and Health Practitioner, to over 800 participants.

I’ve posted the slides from both talks up on Slideshare. Here’s the presentation from the webinar (with a few additional comments inserted on some of the slides).

My talk in Northern Ireland, where there were close to 100 people at the meeting, focused on Dust – exposure, hazards, assessment and control. I actually started  by asking how many of the audience knew what occupational hygiene was – less than 10% of them, all either health and safety professionals or managers with an interest, raised their hands. This is a common picture. I’ve spoken at Safety Group and IOSH meetings several times in the past and nearly always get a similar response to the question. Clearly there’s a  lot of work needs doing to make safety professionals more aware. We can do that by writing articles in safety journals, by addressing meetings and getting involved in webinars aimed at safety professionals. Hopefully my efforts last week will have made a small contribution to raising the profile of the profession. But there’s a lot more that we need to do.

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