OH nurses need to share best practice with European peers

from occupational health’s first OBE recipient

nurses could do more to share best practice with their colleagues in Europe,
according to the first occupational health professional to receive an OBE.

Graham, senior inspector of health and safety and occupational health at the
Health and Safety Executive, was made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in

was, I think, more for OH than for me, a recognition of the importance of
occupational health nursing and the contribution that we make to the general
welfare and care of the worker,” he said.

inspector with the HSE since 1976, Graham, 64, who retires later this year, was
instrumental in setting up the European Federation of Occupational Health
Nurses, securing a number of grants from the European Union. He was also the
first UK delegate to its board.

was chairman of the Royal College of Nursing’s European Union Occupational
Health Forum working group for eight years, and was the first outsider to speak
at the US Association of Occupational Health Nurses’ annual conference.

profession needed to develop a more “meaningful engagement” with Europe, he

theory, we have identical common laws covering health and safety provision, but
we need to share experiences so we can help each other. We should be able to
exchange information, nurses should be able to go to Europe to learn from each
other,” he said.

role of the OH nurse had increased dramatically in importance since he first
came into the profession, particularly within HSE. “When I started, OHNs were
called employment nursing advisers. I changed the title, unilaterally, to OH
inspectors. They are more upfront now and have more of an enforcement role
within the HSE,” he added.

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