Abu Dhabi conference hears about occupational health risks

IOSH president Karen McDonnell spoke about occupational health risks at a major conference in Abu Dhabi. 

Karen McDonnell spoke about occupational health. Image credit: © Steve Burden Photography
Karen McDonnell spoke about occupational health. Image credit: © Steve Burden Photography

During a presentation at the Occupational Safety and Health Middle East (OSHME) conference, she examined risks such as mental health problems, musculoskeletal disorders, hearing loss and occupational diseases.

She also spoke about the risk of occupational cancer and the work IOSH is doing on the issue with its No Time to Lose campaign.

The biennial OSHME event is one of the region’s largest conferences and exhibitions dedicated to safety and health issues.

After her presentation, on Wednesday 16 March, Karen said: “Workers across the world face health risks as they go about their business. It is important that controls are put in place by organisations to protect the health of their employees. 

“Forward-thinking organisations are making the health of workers as much of a priority as their safety. 

“Having people off work through ill health costs organisations a huge amount of money. By investing in measures designed to protect employees, organisations experience improved reputation, resilience and results.”

Karen added: “Among the health risks is exposure to carcinogens which can cause cancer. IOSH is providing guidance and resources for organisations across the world on how to ensure that staff return home at the end of each day in the same state of health as they were at the start of their shift.”

The conference, which took place from 15-17 March, was organised by the UAE Ministry of Interior and Reed Exhibitions. It was seventh such conference and was expected to be the largest yet.

There were a number of other presentations by safety and health experts. These were followed by a panel discussion involving Karen, which looked at occupational health services in Abu Dhabi. She was joined on the panel by IOSH’s UAE branch chair Ahmed El Hadidi.


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