Health & Work Conference

Tuesday 16 November

Virtual online conference


Health and Safety Executive’s first Health and Work Conference will be taking place on 16 November 2021.

The interactive, free all-day event will take place virtually and is part of our approach to inspire and promote better prevention, management and control of the common risks and causes of occupational ill-health across Great Britain.

The conference is an exciting opportunity for delegates to collectively look at how health and work is evolving. Not just in response to the pandemic, but also how we continue to build knowledge around the actions we need to take collectively as employers, employees, regulators and others to prevent harm caused by work-related ill-health.

This is a unique opportunity to engage with HSE’s regulatory Inspectors, scientists and health topic specialists;  hear from HSE Chair, Sarah Newton, HSE Chief Executive Sarah Albon. There will also be the chance to connect with peers and delve deeper into the topics that are of interest to you via a selection of elective workshops on our health and work priority areas: Work Related Stress and Mental Health, Occupational Health, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Noise, Occupational Lung Disease and COSHH and more. 

The conference agenda will be available on this site very soon – with full details of each session, the learning opportunities and the HSE presenters with which you can engage with, ask questions and share your views.

Spaces are limited, so register your place at the Health and Work Conference 2021 today.


Programme content and timings are subject to change. A final programme will be available before the day.

Health & Work Conference

Tuesday 16th November 2021, 09:00 - 15:50

Welcome and scene setting

Ali Wellens — Head of Health and Work Branch, HSE

Event opening: Opening remarks conference facilitator

Our collective challenge: A short video

Keynote address Sarah Newton, HSE Chair

Sarah Newton — Chair, HSE

Health and Work Challenges ahead – Thoughts of the Chair of HSE

Changing World of Health and Work

Sarah Newton — Chair, HSE

Dr Noorzaman Rashid MBA, BA (Hons) — Chief Executive, Chartered Institute for Ergonomics and Human Factors

Francoise Woolley — Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing, ACAS

Professor Kevin Bampton, LLB FCMI FRSA FHEA — Chief Executive Officer, British Occupational Hygiene Society

Ruth Wilkinson CMIOSH — Head of Health and Safety (Policy and Operations), Institution of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH)

Peter Brown — Director of Engagement and Policy Division, HSE

Roundtable discussion with leading voices on health and work. Chaired by HSE’s Chair, Sarah Newton: discussion on how perceptions of health and work have changed in recent years, particularly in light of the pandemic, and what this might mean for how we now view and respond to health and work. 

Elective workshops

Work Related Stress & Mental Health: Small & Medium Sized Employers - How to comply with the law!

This session is designed to help small and medium sizes businesses to comply with the law around work related stress.

Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Health in the Home and Office

The Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations have been around since 1992 but are currently at the forefront of MSD risk management for many organisations with so many working at home, transitioning back to the office, or exploring how hybrid working will work for them.  Matt Birtles will give some good practice advice for DSE risk management now that we a gradually emerging from the COVID pandemic and will talk a about how to achieve a decent posture while working at home.

Not All Controls are Created Equal: Protecting Worker Health Efficiently

Adequately controlling exposure to hazardous airborne substances through ‘control banding’ has been established over 20+ years since the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) developed the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health COSHH-Essentials tool. Professional occupational hygienists use approved methods for determining the efficacy of the controls used when conducting worker exposure assessments.

We can build on current control practice by enhancing consideration of control efficiency when selecting control measures to protect workers.   Enabling employers to establish if their workplace controls for airborne hazardous substances are both efficient and cost effective provides a more authentic basis for sustaining adequate control and compliance with the law.

Noise and Hearing Loss

The noise levels in workplaces have reduced since the Control of Noise at Work Regulations were introduced in 2005, however occupational deafness is still a big issue accounting for two thirds of all ill-health civil claims.

HSE’s focus is on noise control at source which is the most effective way to reduce risks, particularly by ‘Selling and Buying Quiet’ machines. Where risks remain, having an effective hearing conservation programme is the key to prevent workers developing noise induced hearing loss.

In this session, we want to hear from you: your experience of what works and what doesn’t work in controlling noise; what advice you have received from your advisers or noise consultants; services you have received from occupational health providers; furthermore, what you want to see HSE doing to help you in tackling your noise issues and what can you and HSE do together to better protect workers.

Construction: doing health differently

Construction remains a hazardous industry. While performance has improved over the past decade, significant levels of ill health continue. The industry is though currently undergoing a period of significant innovation and change – a fourth industrial revolution also known as Construction 4.0. This has been accelerated by the COVID pandemic and will continue as the industry responds to the Government’s transformational build back better approach to tackling long-term problems, delivering growth and high-quality jobs.

This session will focus on:

  • The key long-term health challenges the industry faces; particularly lung disease, musculoskeletal disorders, work-related stress and general welfare provision
  • How these relate to building back better
  • Innovation and how the industry can do things differently, particularly before work starts on site
  • Chris Lucas — Head of Construction Technology and Innovation Unit, HSE

What good occupational health can do for us

Supporting employers with high quality occupational health services ensures effective health surveillance for workers where it is needed and getting advice on managing workplace hazards. These services also support people staying-in work and getting back to work, by advising on workplace modifications and fitness to work, for both physical and mental health issues.  Acting on this information and expertise to ensure the right controls are in place to protect workers’ health is a key part of successfully managing health risks in the workplace.

The session will cover:

  • Understanding what occupational health is and how it can help
  • How health or medical surveillance fits into preventing work-related ill health
  • The expertise to look for in an occupational health service provider
  • Increasing the supply of high quality and cost-effective occupational health services
  • Supporting people at work with long-term health conditions

You will be able to ask questions and give your views about occupational health provision. There will also be an opportunity to contribute to approaches to avoiding disabled people and those with long-term health conditions falling out of work.

  • Steve Forman — Principal Medical Adviser, HSE

  • Julie Wood — HM Principal Specialist Inspector (Occupational Health), HSE

  • Mike Paton — Senior Policy Adviser Health and Work, HSE

  • Jean King — Deputy Director Health, Joint DHSC and DWP Work and Health Unit,

Where next on Health and Work

Professor Andrew Curran — Chief Scientific Advisor and Director of Research, HSE

Dr Peter Buckle FRSPH, FIEHF, FIEA, C.ErgHF — Imperial College London

Dr Paul Litchfield CBE OStJ FRCP FFOM — Chief Medical Advisor , to ITV and Compass Group

Dr Emma Donaldson-Feilder — Affinity Coaching and Supervision

David Fishwick — Chief Medical Advisor, HSE

Roundtable discussion with members of HSE’s independent Workplace Health Expert Committee (WHEC). Facilitated discussion led by Professor Andrew Curran, HSE’s Chief Scientific Adviser and Director of Research, on emerging thinking in the area of health and work and expert reflections on future themes.

Call to action followed by final thoughts and conference close

Sarah Albon — Chief Executive, HSE

Ali Wellens — Head of Health and Work Branch, HSE

Closing address HSE’s Chief Executive Sarah Albon and final thoughts from the conference facilitator, Ali Wellens.



Please check back for registration information.

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Post-event access

Contact Us

If you need help placing your registration, or you would like to talk with the conference organisers, Glasgows, please use the contact form below.

01772 767733 /

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