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Enabling a Better Working World

Enabling a better Working World

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Centre for Workplace Health

Background

The Centre for Workplace Health (CWH) was launched in 2005. This national centre of excellence builds on an existing tripartite agreement between the University of Sheffield, the Health and Safety Laboratory and the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust dating back to 1997.  The skill mix of the partners afforded an opportunity to establish a multidisciplinary 'Centre for Workplace Health'. In doing so, we have moved the emphasis away from the academic discipline of Occupational Medicine to the partnership approach for Occupational Health delivery.  The Centre hosts the largest group of occupational health specialists in the UK delivering high quality researchtraining and advice.

Since 2015, CWH has a new combined medical team for delivery of medical resource for HSE and external customers. We strongly believe that focus on the 'health' in health and safety is important; to develop solutions to prevent ill health, to keep people healthy and at work and to sustain regulatory excellence.

The CWH team

The team carries out a variety of work, eg the occupational health physicians (Drs Forman and Halliday-Bell) and other healthcare professionals work with policy colleagues on health matters and provide specialist support to operational colleagues. They liaise with various sectors in HSE, providing technical expertise. Recent examples include revision of the approach to the medical examination and assessment of commercial divers, and new guidance relating to health surveillance for silica-exposed workers. Staff also coordinate the national appointed doctor system, a large network of doctors who carry out medical assessments and examination of workers under certain regulations, such as lead asbestos and commercial diving.

Respiratory, occupational health, musculoskeletal and exercise physicians (Professor Fishwick, and Drs Barber, Poole and Till) offer advice and support to all parts of the organisation, and have a long-standing track record in applied workplace health research, teaching and training. Research is carried out to provide simple, practical workplace-based solutions. We all regard health-based research as a front-line activity, so that simple practical solutions can be found for common workplace problems. Recent examples include research into the causes and prevention of health problems caused by respirable crystalline silica, foundry work and wood dust-exposed work.

CWH is a multidisciplinary team providing a health focus and unique way of working across traditional organisational boundaries and disciplines. Alongside the medical team, CWH comprises of HSE staff that include occupational scientists, an occupational research nurse, epidemiologists, statisticians and support staff.

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Contact us

+44 (0)1298 218607 or e-mail cwh@hsl.gsi.gov.uk

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