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