Occupational Hygiene News (Dec 2020)


COVID-19 and occupational risk:

The Office for National Statistics reported that there were 5,330 deaths involving COVID-19 in the working age population (aged 20 to 64 years) between 9 March and 30 June.

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Tool timers for HAVS

Evaluation of the effectiveness of tool timers for estimation of daily exposure time to hand-arm vibration.


Occupational Exoskeletons:  Wearable robotic devices to prevent work-related MSD's 

In recent years, new assistive devices worn by the worker, known as exoskeletons, have been introduced in the workplace. The growing interest in exoskeletons indicates that wearable robotic devices will possibly represent one of the next changes in many occupational scenarios (e.g. in economic sectors such as automotive and aerospace manufacturing, logistics, construction and agriculture).

Construction workers may be exposed to a type of Leptospirosis called Weil’s Disease 

Construction workers may be exposed to a type of Leptospirosis called Weil’s Disease . This page tells you how to control this risk and why. You also need to be aware of the general information on micro-organisms.


What is an Occupational Hygienist?  (BOHS)

Occupational hygienists help employers understand how health hazards affect the health of workers, how significant the risks may be and advise on reducing those risks by identifying suitable controls.

Ventilation made easy with highly effective, low-cost DIY solution

In future, it will be far easier to remove infectious aerosols from the air in classrooms and other spaces. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry have built a ventilation system that can be replicated using materials from a DIY store.

With Every Breath We Make: Ensuring Healthy Air for Manufacturing Workers

Air pollution is a health crisis and economic burden. Over 12 million residents in the UK are living with health issues that can be exacerbated by air pollution, and we lose 3 million working days a year because the UK’s air pollution exceeds the World Health Organisation’s recommend limits.



#ActionMeso is a campaign that brings together the diverse mesothelioma community with a single voice.  It is the first time that so many patient support groups and charities have joined forces to raise awareness of mesothelioma

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ECHA:  Latest information on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP's)

ECHA have further updated their chemicals database. It now also integrates key datasets for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) - some of the most hazardous chemicals in the world.

Night shift work is associated with an increased risk of asthma

Shift work causes misalignment between internal circadian time and the external light/dark cycle and is associated with metabolic disorders and cancer.  


“Healthy workers, thriving companies - a practical guide to wellbeing at work”

Tackling psychosocial risks and musculoskeletal disorders in small businesses


Setting the Bar for competence in the building safety sector

Setting the Bar, released on 5th October 2020, is the second and final report of the Competence Steering Group and is an update on the interim report, Raising the Bar, published in August 2019.


Professional drivers put at greater risk of cancer, says new research

The overarching aim of this IOSH report is to quantify the risk of harm to professional drivers in urban settings from exposure to diesel exhaust, allowing for the formulation of risk reduction strategies


How does HAVS impact the rail sector?

According to information submitted to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), 91 cases of Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) were recorded among UK rail professionals during 2018/19.

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BOHS responds to the latest HSE statistics calling for “Sustainable Workplace Health Strategies”

The Society is particularly concerned that despite years of effort to address respiratory illness, the decline in the number of deaths over the last decade has not been significant. Indeed, it points out that deaths from Interstitial Lung Disease are actually on the increase.

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Respirable Crystalline Silica: The Facts 


Research from Imperial College London suggests that around 900 new cases of lung cancer each year in Britain can be attributed to past exposure to silica dust in construction, granite and stone industries, and various industrial processes.


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Silica: the next asbestos


APPG for Respiratory Health Report summary of recommendations - "Construction workers are still

100 times more likely to die from a preventable occupational disease than from an accident".



Working Safely with 

Metalworking Fluid

Occupational exposures to metalworking fluids may cause a variety of health effects. Respiratory conditions include hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), chronic bronchitis, impaired lung function, and asthma. 


Tiny golden bullets could help tackle asbestos-related cancers

Gold nanotubes—tiny hollow cylinders one thousandth the width of a human hair—could be used to treat mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.