On 15 October 2014 the British Safety Council will be hosting its annual conference at the America Square Conference Centre, London. This year we are focusing on occupational health. The programme is designed to assist business leaders, managers and practitioners prevent ill health and promote wellbeing in the workplace.
The day’s event will be opened with a keynote presentation from Lawrence Waterman OBE, Director of Health and Safety at Battersea Power Station, London Legacy Development Corporation and Trustee of the British Safety Council. He will elaborate on the opportunities that exist for business to improve the health of the workforce. Lawrence, who was instrumental in making London 2012 the healthiest and safest Olympic Games ever, will set out how the employer working with other key players can invest wisely and produce real improvements in employee health.
Alex Botha, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, stressed the importance of focusing on occupational health: “Since the enactment of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 1974, there have been significant improvements in the reduction of fatal and major injuries at work. However, occupational health has not had the same degree of attention and has not consequently experienced a similar improvement. With 1.8 million people in the UK suffering from ill health caused or made worse by work every year, this is without doubt a key human tragedy, cost and 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. 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.”
Contributors to our conference include Dr Lesley Rushton OBE, Reader in Occupational Epidemiology, Imperial College, London and a leading expert on work-related disease, and Dr Kären Clayton, Director, Long Latency Health Risks Division at the Health and Safety Executive.
There will also be presentations by Phil Gray, Chair of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Association, Andrea Paterson, Professional Head of Occupational Health at Nuffield Health and Steve Perkins, Chief Executive, British Occupational Hygiene Society.
During the course of the morning and afternoon there will be a number of panel discussions on key themes around occupational health – ageing workforce, mental health, stress management, rehabilitation and cancer, and the experience gained from rolling out health and wellbeing programmes in workplaces.