Occupational health focus for 40th National Safety Symposium

IOSH LogoHow to prevent and manage work-related stress, support for employees who are working with cancer and encouraging safe behaviours throughout a workforce will be among the topics covered when the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) holds its annual National Safety Symposium (NSS).

This year’s event marks the 40th anniversary of the symposium, which IOSH held for the first time in the months following the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 becoming law.

““Health issues usually have a long latency period and result in the employee experiencing a work-related illness many years down the line...”

Steve Sumner, chair of IOSH’s Public Services Group

Steve Sumner, chair of IOSH’s Public Services Group and the NSS Working Party, said: “The Health and Safety at Work Act remains as relevant today as it ever has done. The National Safety Symposium has paralleled the Act and we would like to think that it has proved as valuable in promoting occupational safety and health over the last 40 years.

“The NSS has seen safety and health in the workplace evolve over the last four decades. It has always aimed to reflect the trends and feelings within the profession at the time and has contributed towards sharing best practice in occupational safety and health over the years.

“This year’s programme reflects the feeling among the profession that continued strides need to be made to improve the ‘health’ in safety and health.”

An estimated 1.2 million working people in Britain reported suffering from an illness that they believed was caused or made worse by work in 2013-14, with many experiencing musculoskeletal disorders or stress-related problems.

This year’s symposium has been organised by members of IOSH’s Public Services, Health and Social Care, Education and Environmental and Waste Management Groups and has relevance for occupational safety and health professionals working across all sectors.

The programme of speakers includes experts from the Health and Safety Executive, engineering and manufacturing industry body EEF, Draeger UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.

IOSH is currently campaigning to raise awareness of occupational cancers through its No Time to Lose initiative, and how businesses and government can take action.

Steve said: “Health issues usually have a long latency period and result in the employee experiencing a work-related illness many years down the line.

“Take occupational cancers as an example. Around 13,000 people die each year in Britain from lung disease and cancer attributed to past exposure to chemicals, dusts or other carcinogens at work. This is far more than the 142 people who were tragically killed at work in Britain last year, yet these long latency issues can often go under the radar.”

How to attend:

The 40th National Safety Symposium will take place at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel, Nottingham, on 14 September.

Full conference delegates are also invited to attend a 40th anniversary celebratory dinner at the hotel on 13 September. Among the guests is expected to be some of the symposium’s longest serving delegates and other IOSH members who were instrumental in staging the event in its early days.

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To attend the National Safety Symposium, call the IOSH Bookings team on 0116 257 3197, email bookings@iosh.co.uk or visit www.iosh.co.uk/nss.

Post date: 11 Aug 2015

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