About this event

  • Date and time Wed 1 Jul 2020 from 8:30am to 4:35pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Occupational Medicine, Society of Occupational Medicine

This event has changed format to a three-part webinar series.

Register here for part 1: Tuesday 23 June 2020 at 5:00pm (BST)

Register here for part 2: Tuesday 30 June 2020 

Register here for part 3: Tuesday 7 July 2020

This meeting presents a unique opportunity to hear from a range of experts from academia, clinical practice and policy makers providing a greater understanding of occupational respiratory disease.

In a recent report by Health and Safety Executive, occupational respiratory disease in the UK is currently estimated to result in approximately 12,000 deaths each year in the UK. Additionally, there are an estimated 14,000 new cases of breathing or lung problems caused or made worse by work in the UK each year. Worldwide, particularly in low and middle income countries, the population is much greater. 

The pathology, detection and prevention of occupational respiratory disease continues to evolve. Join us as we examine the recent developments and future directions on topics ranging from occupational asthma to construction workers health and the Australian epidemic in accelerated silicosis. There will also be two expert panel discussions with plenty of opportunity for knowledge sharing between clinical and academic interests.

Attendees can expect to:

  • Know about current prevalence and incidence of occupational respiratory disease in the UK.
  • Understand the current Health and Safety Executive's recommendations for control and detection of the disease.
  • Be able to describe current surveillance systems for occupational respiratory disease, understand how to report cases, and learn about the current epidemiological disease burden.
  • Hear about the unprecedented silicosis epidemic in Australia.
  • Improve understanding of prevention measures for occupational respiratory disease in the workplace.

Key speakers

Professor David Fishwick

Consultant Respiratory Physician, STH Foundation NHS Trust

Speaker's biography

Professor Fishwick is Co-Director of the Centre for Workplace Health, and Chief Medical Officer of the Health and Safety Laboratory. He was also appointed the Honorary Professor of Occupational and Environmental Respiratory Medicine at the University of Sheffield in 2010. His research interests are focused around the broad interface between the work environment and respiratory health. He also has active research interests in health surveillance for workers exposed to potentially harmful exposures at work, in addition to the diagnostic processes used to identify disease. This work has led previously to the development of professional standards in this area, and the ability to influence policy. He is currently working on a number of research themes, including a pan European PEROSH wellbeing initiative and a Strategy Research Programme for HSL relating to health at work, and a smoking cessation project for the British Occupational Health Research Foundation.

Professor Malcolm Sim

Occupational and Environmental Physician, Occupational and Environmental Health (MonCOEH), Monash Centre

Speaker's biography

Professor Sim leads a team of about 25 research and teaching staff in the Monash Centre. His main research interests include the risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer and respiratory diseases from chemical and other exposures in the workplace and community, surveillance of occupational diseases such as mesothelioma and silicosis, the health of military personnel and veterans, and the mental and physical health of long term injured workers. Malcolm is a Chief Investigator of NHMRC and ARC funded studies, including a study of cancer and mortality in coal mine workers, health effects in firefighters and the effects of heat on workers.

Professor Malcolm is the Editor-in-Chief of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, a specialty journal of the BMJ, a member of the Editorial Board of the Cochrane Work Review Group and a member of the Synthesis and Translation of Research Evidence Advisory Group of the NHMRC. He was an elected Board member of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) for six years and led the successful bid to host the ICOH Congress to be held in Melbourne in March 2021. He also has strong interests in education and training and is the course convenor for the Master of Occupational and Environmental Health at Monash University. He is the President-elect of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and was elected to the Collegium Ramazzini, based in Italy, in 2018. He has received several awards, including a College Medal for Outstanding Service by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Dean's Award at Monash for Excellence in External Engagement and in 2019 Malcolm was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to occupational and environmental medicine.

Samantha Wilding

Health Policy and Public Affairs Lead B and CE

Speaker's biography

Samantha Wilding leads on policy and stakeholder engagement for People’s Health, as a new occupational health scheme for the construction industry is being developed. She has been the driving force behind launching and delivering our inquiry into silicosis in partnership with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Respiratory Health.

Wilding has significant experience in the construction sector, having advised Lend Lease, Balfour Beatty and Aggregate Industries on public affairs, stakeholder engagement and corporate responsibility strategies. She also has an MSc in Modern British Politics from the London School of Economics, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Corporate Communications through the PR Academy and the CIPR.

Professor Paul Cullinan

Occupational and Environmental Respiratory Disease, National Heart and Lung Institute and Honorary Consultant Physician, Respiratory Medicine, Royal Brompton Hospital

Speaker's biography

Professor Cullinan's research interests center around the distribution, aetiology and effects of respiratory disease with particular emphasis on their occupational and environmental relationships. The majority of his work with occupational disease has been in the area of workplace asthma, the most common occupational respiratory disease in the UK, although recently he has extended his interests to COPD and asbestos-related conditions. As far as environmental work is concerned he has concentrated on early-life determinants of childhood asthma, in the UK and elsewhere, and on the effects of traffic exposures. Other interests include the epidemiology of interstitial lung diseases and cystic fibrosis and the respiratory effects of industrial or environmental disasters.

Within the Brompton Hospital he is part of the team which runs the busiest clinical service in the UK for the investigation and management of occupational and other environmental lung diseases. Patients are referred from all parts of the UK for NHS treatment and care. He works as an advisor to a number of government bodies in his specialist field of occupational and environmental causes of lung disease.


View the programme

Registration, tea and coffee

Respiratory problems at work

Welcome and introduction

Chair: Dr Lisa Curran, President, Occupational Medicine Section, Royal Society of Medicine

Current and future respiratory problems at work

Professor David Fishwick, Health and Safety Executive

Surveillance of work-related and occupational respiratory disease

Dr Melanie Carder, Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Manchester

The accelerated silicosis epidemic in Australia

Professor Malcolm Sim, Occupational and Environmental Physician, Monash Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health

Tea and coffee break

Introduction to the Apothecaries lecturer

Chair: Dr Will Ponsonby, President, Society of Occupational Medicine 

Preventing workplace respiratory issues

Professor Paul Cullinan, Imperial College London

Presentation of Apothecaries medal by the Master of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
Panel discussion

Detecting and preventing occupational lung disease

Chair: Dr Chris Barber, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Working with the all party group for respiratory health: The inquiry into silicosis in construction

Ms Samantha Wilding, Health Policy and Public Affairs Lead B and CE

Improving respiratory health through occupational hygiene in the UK

Chris Keen, member of the BOHS Board and Chair of the Breathe Freely in Construction campaign

Tea and coffee break
Overcoming barriers to the diagnosis of occupational asthma

Dr Gareth Walters Member of the Specialist Advisory Group on Occupational and Environmental Lung Diseases, British Thoracic Society

Panel discussion
Concluding remarks
Drinks reception


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom

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