From the Editor

Gill Nelson, Editor-in-Chief

Welcome to the final issue of Occupational Health Southern Africa for 2019.
 We have a couple of exciting initiatives planned for 2020, about which you can read, further on. In the meantime, we have a research paper on the effectiveness of a noise training programme at a chemical manufacturing company, which was measured by assessing the knowledge levels of employees. Oscar Rikhotso and colleagues reported disappointing results, and recommend revisiting elements of the hearing conservation programme. It is likely that this recommendation applies to other companies and industries too. Gugu Mona and co-workers conducted research on occupational hazards among police officers. It is perhaps not surprising that gunshot wounds were experienced by a large proportion of the participants, but occupational stress also needs to be addressed in this workforce.

The scientific papers are followed by news from the Southern African Tuberculosis and Health Systems Support (SATBHSS) Project. A community of practice (CoP) has been established under the leadership of the Government of the Republic of Zambia, in collaboration with the African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD), the East Central and Southern Africa-Health Community (ECSA-HC), and the World Bank. In 2020, the AUDA-NEPAD will facilitate an initiative whereby the CoP will collaborate with Occupational Health Southern Africa, OSHAfrica, ECSA-HC, and academic institutions to train CoP members on research methodologies and publication skills. Results of the regional research studies will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal – we hope that the journal of choice will be Occupational Health Southern Africa.

Related to this, the editors of Occupational Health Southern Africa will be facilitating quarterly writing workshops for Society members who have research papers that they have started writing and would like to improve.

Once again, we feature a report from the Global Exposure Manager of the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA), and news from your own Societies. Filna Claassen, on behalf of SASOHN, has written about discrimination in the workplace – a relevant topic, regardless of the industry/sector in which you work. The MMPA reports on its 22nd Annual Congress that was held in October, SASOM brings news about the 11th Conference on Occupational Health for Health Workers (OHHW2019) that was held in Germany last month, and SAIOH provides a variety of updates on its activities.

 An exciting initiative from the Editorial Board of Occupational Health Southern Africa is the publication of a special issue devoted to the history of the four Societies, and the Journal. This will be published in time for the 7th International Conference on the History of Occupational and Environmental Health, to be held in Durban at the end of May 2020. I trust that some of you met the 30 October abstract submission deadline.

To quote Gordon B Hinckley, “You can’t plough a field simply by turning it over in your mind.” Please remember to submit abstracts for the EPICOH Conference that will be held in Montreal, Canada by 14 February 2020, and for the 33rd ICOH Conference to be held in Melbourne, Australia, by July 2020.
I wish you a joyous festive season with friends and family.



The South African Society of Occupational Medicine (SASOM) Annual Author Prize

On behalf of Occupational Health Southern Africa, SASOM is encouraging researchers working in the field of occupational health in Africa to publish their research findings. SASOM will provide a cash award to a novice author who is first author of the best paper published in Occupational Health Southern Africa in a calendar year, as judged by the Editorial Advisory Panel. Therefore, the prize for 2020 will be awarded in January 2021. Eligibility for the prize is limited to researchers who have not previously published a paper in Occupational Health Southern Africa or any other accredited academic journal. Membership of SASOM is not a criterion. The prize shall be known as The South African Society of Occupational Medicine (SASOM) Annual Author Prize.



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