Hard work vs. healthy work: Dame Carol Black on occupational health and its challenges

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Jan. 30, 2014 - PRLog -- Vienna, 30th of January - What happens when two of the most prominent experts in health & safety meet to discuss their respective findings? One thing is for sure, it doesn't stop with chit-chat and coffee, instead some of the hottest topics in the field surface. Professor Andrew Curran, Director of Health and Safety Laboratory, reveals his experience after he had the chance to meet Professor Dame Carol Black.

I recently had the pleasure of talking to Professor Dame Carol Black about her work, and her forthcoming presentation at the 8th Annual Health and Safety Excellence Conference. I began by asking Dame Carol what sparked her interest in the field of health, work and wellbeing. She explained that in about 2006, her role as President of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in the UK brought her into contact with the Faculty of Occupational Medicine. This led to an invitation to deliver the key note address at their annual conference, on the challenging topic of the contribution and role of the physician in occupational medicine. In researching this topic, Dame Carol soon realised how little general physicians understood about occupational medicine and that more generally we don't understand the relationship between work and health.

This spark of interest was soon fuelled even further when Dame Carol was appointed as the first UK National Director for Health and Work by the UK government. I asked about the attributes which Dame Carol felt she brought to this important position. She felt that her previous role gave her a wide reach across the medical stakeholder community and that her experience and ability to communicate with people, from the grass roots to people with a National role, was also important. Furthermore, her ability to address issues through collaboration was essential and working across the 28 medical colleges helped with this aspect of the job.

I began to wonder how important it was for Dame Carol to break the link between occupational health and its being seen solely as a medical issue. She agreed that in order to make the changes needed, the profession  should  embrace other disciplines beyond medicine. In addition, the  field  needed  to  modernise  and  equip  itself  to deal with changed demographics,  more mental health issues, an ageing population, increased chronic disease through longer working lives, different ways of working and new  and  emerging  risks.  Addressing  these  issues  was going to require something  much  broader  than  conventional  occupational  medicine,  and, importantly,  it  needed  to  be  multi-specialty  and not always medically driven.

Professor Andrew Curran
Director, Health and Safety Laboratory

Andrew Curran and Dame Carol Black will both speak at the 8th Annual HSE Excellence Europe, an event annually attended by around 100 HSE executives.
For a full version of the interview click here. (http://hse.flemingeurope.com/hse-excellence-europe-forum/...)



About Fleming Europe
Established in Slovakia, Fleming Europe represents a Pan-European B2B networking channel for specialists to collect & share knowledge. Since 2004, the company has been encouraging decision makers in sharing their experiences through market leading conferences, trainings and webinars. The annual audience of 10,000 Banking, Defense, Energy, Oil & Gas, Pharma, Telco and Transport peers benefit from insights on industry trends when applying them to their own business practices. Our leading annual financial events include the Collateral Management, Private Banking in CEE, SEE & CIS, SME Banking, Corporate Banking and Internal Audit conferences. For more information visit www.flemingeurope.com

For further information about the event, cost and registration please contact Ada Tobias via ada.tobias@flemingeurope.com or call +421 257 272 155.

Ada Tobias
+421 257 272 155
Industry:Environment, Health
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