BOHS, The Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection, is delighted to announce details of the inspirational programme for its annual conference  –  Occupational Hygiene 2018 (OH2018).  OH2018 will take place in Stratford-upon-Avon from 16 – 19 April 2018:  the leading international conference in the field of worker health protection in the UK, this event focusses on occupational hygiene and the prevention of occupational ill-health and disease.

The conference programme will commence with the prestigious Warner Lecture. Sponsored by Shell, the Warner Lecture is given in honour of Dr. Clifford G. Warner – one of the founder members of BOHS.  Simon Festing, CEO of BOHS, said “BOHS is pleased to acknowledge that Shell is once more sponsoring the prestigious Warner Lecture at our annual conference. We are very grateful that they continue to demonstrate their passion for, and commitment to, the culture of health in the workplace.”

This year’s Warner Lecture, entitled ‘From Trauma to Triumph’ will be delivered by Simon Harmer. In 1997, Simon joined the British Army as a combat medic, but his life changed dramatically in 2009 when he received injuries from an explosion whilst on tour in Afghanistan. Simon commented on his Lecture:  “I’m delighted to accept the opportunity to present this year’s Warner Lecture. I will be talking about how I received my injuries in Afghanistan; what it took to save my life on the ground, and then in the main hospital in Camp Bastion. My rehabilitation began at Selly Oak Hospital, and with an amazing team around me, including friends, family and an incredible medical team, I made a rapid recovery.”  Simon is now a volunteer ambassador for several charities, and capitalises on his experiences by speaking about his journey and its learning outcomes – inspiring audiences by talking about what resilience looks like; how to overcome adversity; and how to realise potential. Simon said: “I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned from my journey – and in particular how to look at life slightly differently.”

Other keynote sessions include:

  • Gerard Hand – ‘Please Come In’: involved in health and safety for nearly 30 years, Gerard has a Masters degree in health and safety management, and is vastly experienced in delivering training, and implementing safety management systems to a wide range of companies in various sectors, including: local authorities; police forces; retailers; and manufacturers. His training sessions are well known for their practical interpretation, and ability to enthuse directors to become more active in health and safety decision making. Gerard was president of IOSH in 2013.
  • Andrew Hatch – ‘Workplace Wellness: Lifestyle Versus Chronic Disease Focus’: the subject of Andrew’s lecture is ‘How much is back pain costing my company and what can we do about it?’.  A practising clinician since 1993, Andrew is a Clinical Operations Director, and also a Director of Research and Training – specialising in Functional Neurology.  His passion is providing treatment and preventive education for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace.
  • Philip Baker – ‘Preventing Ill Health in Construction Through Design’: Philip is Chair of the London Region of the Association for Project Safety, and also the London Metropolitan Branch of IOSH’s Construction Section. Having worked in design practice for 18 years, and set up a specialist construction design management (CDM) subsidiary in 1994, Philip has been delivering CDM services to a broad range of duty holders ever since. With a passion for proportionate prevention through design, he is frequently asked to share his knowledge and experience on the topic. Philip has delivered the No Time to Lose tri partite presentation on silica with BOHS and HSE, on several occasions.
  • Stewart Cruikshank – ‘Manual Handling – a Different Approach’: Stewart was previously a competitive weightlifter, and set British records at his weight – records which still stand today. He represented Great Britain at both World and European championship level, and also represented England at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 Commonwealth Games, achieving two Silver and three Bronze medals. Using this experience to develop innovative manual handling training solutions, Stewart now works as the Technical Director at Pristine Condition International Ltd, who work to reduce manual handling incidents in the workplace.

Other programme highlights include current campaign updates, and hot topics – so make a calendar note of the following:

  • Mates in Mind: Mates in Mind aims to improve positive mental wellbeing in the UK construction industry – a particularly pertinent campaign, given that more construction workers are killed by suicide, than falls.  Clive Johnson from Land Securities, a key supporter of the campaign, will provide an update on this important mental health initiative
  • Asbestos: Martin Stear, Registrar of FAAM, is conducting this session on BOHS’ recently launched Faculty of Asbestos Assessment and Management – the association for professionals in the asbestos industry, which aims to raise standards and reduce risks
  • How to Profit Through Worker Health Protection: the President’s session
  • IGNITE: now a highly popular feature of the OH conferences, these sessions allow a variety of speakers to present on an occupational hygiene top of their passion – in an innovative and rapid presenting style! You can view previous IGNITE sessions here
  • Breathe Freely: Mike Slater, past president of BOHS, talks about the next steps in this campaign, launched 3 years ago, which aims to control exposures to prevent occupational lung disease in the construction industry.

With so much going on, and something for everyone, can you afford to miss such a packed and exciting conference programme?  Book your place here for OH2018.  For those interested in sponsorship and exhibiting, the remaining opportunities can be accessed  here.