Winner announced for BOHS’ Thomas Bedford Memorial Prize

The Thomas Bedford Memorial Prize, named in honour of the first President of BOHS, recognises the author or authors of the most outstanding paper published in the Annals of Work Exposures and Health (formerly known as the Annals of Occupational Hygiene). The latest Prize was awarded for a paper focusing on feedback on measured dust concentrations reduces exposure levels among farmers by Ioannis Basinas, Torben Sigsgaard, Jakob Hjort Bønløkke, Nils Testrup Andersen, Øyvind Omland, Hans Kromhout and Vivi Schlünssen. The main author, Ioannis Basinas from the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) in the UK, will receive the Prize on behalf of all the authors on the first day of BOHS’s Annual Conference on the 2 April 2019 and will give a presentation on the research.

This paper presents robust but challenging results for occupational hygienists. In a randomised trial, farms which received information about dust concentrations and suggested practices for reducing exposures showed a 20-30% reduction in exposure levels compared to equivalent farms which did not receive similar information. The reasons for the reduction are unclear but the authors point to changes in work practices and behaviours resulting from this relatively small intervention. The paper can be read in full on the Annals website here and can be found in volume 60, issue 7, 1 August 2016, pages 812–824.

Ioannis Basinas states, “Our study highlights the positive reductions that can be realised by making available measurement results and simple information. This very simple and cost-efficient exposure reduction approach can be applied more generally in exposure reduction programs in workplaces. My co-authors and I are very honoured to receive such a prestigious and historical prize. We hope that our specific work will encourage further systematic research of interventions to reduce exposure under real working conditions, which at present, although so much needed, remain very sparse in the field of occupational hygiene.

Two other papers were nominated for the Prize. The second-place article centres on “Quantitative respirator fit, face sizes and determinants of fit in South African diagnostic laboratory respirator users” by Jeanneth Manganyi, Kerry S. Wilson, and David Rees. The third highest score went to “The Use Of Metabolomics To Identify Biological Signatures Of Manganese Exposure” by Marissa Baker, Chris Simpson, Yvonne Lin, Laura Shireman and Noah Seixas.