Work and Health

Our Workplace Exposure and Health Research theme encompasses all of our research activity on measurement and modelling of occupational exposure to hazardous agents, occupational epidemiology, work-related health impact assessment, toxicology of dusts, ergonomic stressors and related diseases or ill-health, and a number of other areas. The breadth of our activities reflects the long-standing importance of this theme to IOM's research and the diverse multi-disciplinary staff base working on these topics. 

Chemical exposures

Hazardous substances, whether they are gases, liquids, vapours or dusts, are potentially harmful to worker health. We are at the forefront of research to find new and better ways of assessing these exposures in the workplace.  
The IOM Centre for Human Exposure Science (CHES) is an important initiative to coordinate all of our exposure activities.

The effects of work on health

Our epidemiological research provides reliable information about health effects and risks. This information can help address the concerns of industry and the public, and provides a scientific basis for measures to limit disease. We have a strong interest in understanding the causes of occupational cancer and respiratory disease.

Mechanisms of disease

Our focus for investigation of the hazards due to chemicals is primarily through desk studies of the properties of materials that determine potential health effects in the body. We develop mathematical models of the distribution of hazardous chemicals in the body and the processes leading to disease.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

PPE, such as respirators and protective clothing, often plays a key role in protection in the workplace.  We have made many significant contributions to this field, especially in relation to ergonomic aspects of their use and assessment of the overall effectiveness of PPE.

Good work and healthy ageing

Extending working lives requires a better understanding of the impact that ageing can have on work; our research has focused on the evidence- base to provide support and guidance to employers in how to manage older workers.

Sickness absence recording

We have developed software tools for the recording of sickness absence information in a consistent way that can be easily analysed and interpreted. See our Sickness Absence Recording Tool (SART) microsite.