British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS)

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BOHS, the Chartered Society for worker health protection, was founded in 1953 and has been striving to achieve a healthy working environment for everyone for over 60 years.  The Society is both a professional organisation and a learned body, focused entirely on worker health protection.

BOHS is the biggest occupational hygiene society outside the United States with over 1800 members in 50 countries.  It is the only professional body representing qualified occupational hygienists in the UK.

The Faculty of Occupational Hygiene is the professional arm of BOHS, developing and maintaining the professional standards of occupational hygienists and serving as the examining board for local and international qualifications in occupational hygiene and related subjects.

As a learned body, BOHS has a proud history promoting professional awareness, good practice and standards, and advancing education in the science of occupational health and hygiene.

BOHS has become a premier forum for information and expertise about worker health protection, with its role as a champion of the science and practice of occupational hygiene now recognised by Royal Charter.

Area of occupational work health

Occupational hygienists are focused on worker health protection. Operating at the interface of people and their workplaces, they use science and engineering to prevent ill health caused by the work environment - specialising in the assessment and control of risks to health from workplace exposure to hazards.

The scope of occupational hygiene is wide because of the diversity of health hazards that can arise from exposures at work.  For example, the hazard could be toxic substances, fumes and mists, vapours or dust.  The hazard could be a physical one such as noise, vibration or radiation.  The hazards might be linked to human factors and ergonomics - such as manual handling, stress, repetitive movement - or others such as thermal comfort, confined spaces, or biological hazards.

Occupational hygienists play a critical role in helping employers and employees to understand these risks and to minimise or eliminate them.

BOHS has produced a series of videos on the science and practice of occupational hygiene.

Membership criteria and qualifications

BOHS as a whole offers membership to anyone with an interest in a healthier work environment, with no pre-requisite qualifications or experience.   Members of BOHS benefit from being part of a truly wide-ranging occupational hygiene community, with access to an extensive wide professional network.

The BOHS Faculty of Occupational Hygiene offers a range of UK and international qualifications in occupational hygiene and related subjects.  These include stand-alone modules covering general principles and practical applications at foundation (introductory) and intermediate (technician) levels, through to BOHS's own professional level Certificate and Diploma qualifications which lead to the prestigious title of Chartered Occupational Hygienist.

Further information about BOHS modular foundation and intermediate level qualifications, as well as professional qualifications in occupational hygiene can be accessed via the examinations area of the BOHS website.

Conferences and study days

BOHS offers an extensive, regular programme of conferences, events and free regional meetings which take place all over the country as well as abroad. These are open to non-members as well as members. 

Publications

BOHS publishes the world-renowned, scientific, peer-reviewed journal, The Annals of Occupational Hygiene. This is one of the world’s top research journals on hazards and risks to health resulting from work, issued eight times a year. BOHS  members receive personal copies of the journal, in itself worth over £900 pounds annually.

The Society also produces a wide range of other publications which are free of charge and available to anyone via the BOHS library, including a number of guidance documents on specific aspects of occupational hygiene which disseminate best practice and promote competency throughout the working environment.

The Directory of Occupational Hygiene Consultants lists consultancies able to provide qualified and experienced occupational hygienists and specialist occupational hygiene support services, with coverage throughout the UK.

BOHS members also receive a copy of Exposure magazine, which covers Society and occupational hygiene information in a less scientific way.

Quality Standards

Many BOHS qualifications are mentioned within HSE guidance as one means of assessing competency and/or experience relating to a wide spectrum of occupational health and safety regulations. These qualifications include Asbestos Proficiency Modules (covering identification, surveying, fibre counting, air sampling and management), LEV Proficiency Modules, Legionella Proficiency Modules, along with the BOHS Occupational Hygiene Modules and other professional qualifications. Further information about these can be accessed via the examinations area of the BOHS website

Contact BOHS

Email Sharon Brunt: sharon.brunt@bohs.org or visit the BOHS website    


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