From the Editor - July 2018

As promised, the four Societies have collaborated in writing a report on the ICOH2018 Congress that was held in Dublin earlier this year. You may find yourself in one or more of the photos. We thank Claudina Nogueira for collating all the information into this comprehensive report, and we also feature her in the ‘People on the Move in Occupational Health’ section. We congratulate Claudina on her appointment to the ICOH Board as Vice President for Scientific Committees for the current triennium (2018-2021).

One of the semi-plenary sessions that caught my attention, and with which many of you might identify, was by Dr Lucia Rotenberg from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. She spoke about working too much, anywhere and at all times: ‘Workers’ health in our contemporary communication society.’ Dr Rotenberg discussed issues such as the effects of the increased use of technology, and taking work home after hours on work/life balance and personal relationships; and the right to disconnect. The ICOH2018 abstract can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2018-ICOHabstracts.32. She referred to a study on life-acceleration in universities by Menzies and Newson,1 which makes interesting reading; others have also written on this topic more recently.2,3

I hope these snippets from ICOH2018 will motivate you to complete your research and submit abstracts for the next Congress in Melbourne, Australia in 2021.

The Scientific Committee on Epidemiology in Occupational Health (EPICOH) is one of the ICOH’s 35 scientific committees. EPICOH’s objective is to promote communication among epidemiologists, industrial hygienists, and other occupational health scientists around the world (see: http://www.epicoh.org for more information). The next EPICOH conference will be held in Wellington, New Zealand in 2019 and the call for abstracts will open soon (http://www.confer.nz/epicoh2019/). I encourage early career researchers involved in occupational health, exposure science, epidemiology, and related disciplines to consider joining the Committee’s Early Career Network via the following link: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/8596499.

Moving away from ICOH, we have two original research papers in this issue and an opinion about the management of health care risk waste. Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOH) and collaborating institutions compared the efficiency of several devices that emit ultra violet C light to inactivate airborne Mycobacterium tuberculosis in order to control the spread of tuberculosis. Tshwane University of Technology researchers investigated cardiovascular disease in university cleaners and highlighted some of the common risk factors in this category of workers.

In the last issue, I mentioned the settlement of the silicosis court action suit. On 19 June, the Occupational Lung Disease (OLD) Working Group issued a statement which can be found at http://www.oldcollab.co.za. The website includes a practical section on “How to be certified and claim compensation for silicosis or TB”.

An exciting development for occupational health practitioners is the launch of the National Institute for Occupational Health’s (NIOH) new website (www.nioh.ac.za) and the NIOH YOUTube channel. Here you will find topical occupational health and safety news, including information relating to new legislation, research being undertaken at the NIOH, and industry-specific news. 

REFERENCES
1. Menzies H, Newson J. No time to think. Academics’ life in the globally wired university. Time & Society. 2007; 16(1):1: 83-98.
2. Ylijoki O-H. Boundary-work between work and life in the high-speed university. Studies in Higher Education. 2013; 38(2):242-255. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2011.577524.
3. Vostal F. Academic life in the fast lane: the experience of time and speed in British academia. Time & Society. 2014; 24(1):71-95.

 

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