July saw the joint publication by the Health and Safety
Commission (HSC) and the Department of Health – Securing Health Together. The
document contains recommendations on creating a long-term strategy for
occupational health in this country and on ways of making occupational health
support more easily accessible to people at work in small- and medium-sized
Iosh welcomes the document and endorses the intention of
clarifying and developing an approach to occupational and public health in the
The institution believes that the UK has fallen behind the
rest of the European Union on occupational health matters by taking a
Iosh endorses the view that an improvement in physical and
mental health by better management of workplace health can lead to a reduction
in the cost to the individual, business, Government and society, and
ultimately, a reduction in people dying from work-related illness.
The report contains 30 recommendations, covering: delivery
of occupational health support through local partnerships; changing behaviour
and promoting awareness of occupational health issues; more occupational health
training for medical professionals and a range of mechanisms to deliver
occupational health support and advice.
The institution recognises that the use of headline targets,
ie, a 20 per cent reduction in the incidence of the work-related ill-health by
2010, will reinforce these stated objectives but hopes that the performance
measurement criteria can be clarified to provide a more meaningful comparison.
Meanwhile, Iosh will continue to seek appropriate partners
in the areas directly associated with this programme – ie, doctors, nurses,
directors, managers and trade unions – in order to promote strategies for the
important and long-term undertaking that is our "occupational
The Institution will be also be addressing the topic of
occupational health at its 2001 conference in Bournemouth, 7-8 March 2001.
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health
represents 25,000 safety and health professionals in industry, commerce and the
public sector. Tel: 0116-257 3100; www.iosh.co.uk