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BOHS recognises the outstanding work of HSE’s Occupational Hygienists. 7 July 2020

The British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), the chartered society for worker health protection, has celebrated and recognised the exceptional work of its members at a virtual award ceremony that took place on 28th June.

The winners were honoured for their remarkable achievements in key areas of worker health protection.

HSE scientist Adam Clarke, pictured below, won the  Early Career Occupational Hygienist Award for his essay on "The Future of Occupational Hygiene and the Effects of New Technology on the Profession", discussing the use of artificial intelligence and automation in the manufacturing sector. This essay will be published in the BOHS journal Exposure.

Adam Clarke

The BOHS Peter Isaac Award, which recognises an outstanding initiative contributing to the reduction of ill health at work, was awarded to the "HSE Programme of Cooling Tower Interventions 2013-2014".

The team, which included Duncan Smith, Sam Lord, John Healy, Priti Shah, Martin Dilworth, Martin Gibson, Julie Helps, Martin Belcher, Rob Williams and Gordon Smith, played a strategic role in the delivery of a major intervention in order to achieve sustained compliance amongst cooling tower operators and to reduce the likelihood of low-frequency high-consequence Legionnaires' disease outbreaks.

Their award winning work was underpinned by robust scientific evidence. Prior analysis by HSE published in HEX/12/07 showed that in the 10 years to August 2011, there were 7 cooling tower outbreaks accounting for 193 cases of Legionnaires' disease and 10 deaths.  Subsequent monitoring by HSE revealed that in the 6 years since June 2014, there has only been 1 cooling tower outbreak with 5 cases and no deaths.

HSE published Research Report RR1118 on the causes of non-compliance during the intervention and a peer-reviewed paper by Crook, Willerton, Smith et al : Legionella risk in evaporative cooling systems and underlying causes of associated breaches in health and safety compliance has recently been published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2019.113425

Kevin Bampton, CEO of BOHS, said,

"In many ways this has been the year workplace health protection has become the dominant issue. Award-winners this year are being recognised for their commitment and expertise in the context of prevention of exposure to hazards which kill thousands every year. Without the dedication and professionalism of people such as our award-winners who work in the occupational hygiene profession, thousands more would be suffering or dying prematurely."

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