An Occupational Hygiene Strategy to Tackle Health Hazards at Work
Why do we need the occupational hygiene strategy?
Between 2% and 5% of railway operatives suffer from ill health caused or made worse by work. Long-term occupational diseases can result from a multitude of exposures and often have a long latency period, not appearing until a significant time after the first personal exposure.
Evolving knowledge of exposure to health hazards has led to the identification of more occupational diseases. The rail industry has legal (under the Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974), ethical, and financial responsibilities to use the science of occupational hygiene to anticipate, recognise, evaluate, and establish control measures to prevent occupational ill health.
RSSB and the Occupational Hygiene Management Group have published a briefing on how occupational hygiene can support the industry to improve workforce health and wellbeing. This accompanies a cross-industry strategy to identify activities to improve how health hazards and their potential control methods are identified, prioritised, and managed.
Who can use the occupational hygiene strategy?
The Occupational Hygiene strategy has been designed for use by those responsible for health and safety—primarily business managers and trade union safety representatives. It provides a roadmap for industry to improve the management of health hazards. The strategy focuses on three crucial areas:
- forming an industry health risk profile
- supporting consistent management of health hazards
- improving occupational hygiene awareness.
Read or download GB rail’s Occupational Hygiene Strategy
Additional Occupational Hygiene Content
How occupational hygiene can be life changing for the workforce
We have produced case studies to demonstrate the Occupational Hygiene Strategies in place within the industry:
Video presentations at Rail Wellbeing Live 2021
The 2021 Rail Wellbeing Live event was held as a virtual conference with presentations and workshops all with the aim of improving health and wellbeing of the rail industry.
The Occupational Hygiene Management Group (OHMG) were responsible for giving two of these presentations. These were:
Driving Occupational Hygiene Forward
Ian Mulhall of RSSB and Leyton Powell of Transport for Wales discussed how the industry and OHMG are focusing on understanding the current position with regards to long-term worker health protection. They explained the focus will be with regards to future projects and initiatives to support the entire industry in their efforts.
Occupational hygiene: The missing piece of the puzzle
Clare Forshaw from Park Health Services and a board member of the British Occupational Hygiene Society discussed the situations where occupational hygiene can be deployed within rail projects. This covered the benefits from the application of such specialists and real-world examples.