WHEC WEBINAR: Assessment of evidence of welding fume as carcinogenic to humans. (Thursday 7 December 2023)

WHEC will be presenting their findings on the strength of the evidence on the carcinogenicity of welding fume.


13:00-14:00  7th December: Assessment of the strength of evidence underpinning the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reclassification of welding fume as carcinogenic to humans.

Join us via Teams at 13:00 Thursday 7th December.

Register here:

Please note: this seminar will be recorded and made available with captions after the event.

There will be a short question and answer session with the WHEC speakers at the end of the seminar.

About this event

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed the data on the carcinogenicity of welding fume. HSE requested the opinion of the Workplace Health Expert Committee (WHEC) who will be presenting their latest findings on the strength of the evidence, particularly on whether a distinction should be made between fumes from different types of metal or different processes. WHEC concluded that all welding fumes cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer, and that it is not possible to identify specific welding processes or base metals that give rise to this risk. UV exposure from arc welding processes causes melanoma in the eye and may also increase the risk of skin cancer.

“The increased risk of lung cancer in welders is well recognised, but until recently it was considered a risk primarily of stainless steel welding, as well as bystander exposures, particularly to asbestos. This WHEC review of recent published scientific evidence has confirmed the conclusions of a recent IARC report that the increased risk of lung cancer is unlikely to be limited to these exposures and that no distinction can be made between different types of welding or the different metals welded in increasing the risk of lung cancer. The important implication is that in implementing measures to control levels of exposure to welding fume no distinction can be made between different welding processes or the metals welded.”

Professor Sir Anthony Newman-Taylor, Chair WHEC.

Download the report here: Assessment of the strength of evidence underpinning the IARC reclassification of welding fume as carcinogenic to humans

Speakers: Workplace Health Expert Committee (WHEC)

The development of policy in HSE needs to be informed by the best available contemporary scientific evidence.

HSE formed WHEC to provide independent expert advice on:

  • new and emerging workplace health issues
  • new and emerging evidence relating to existing workplace health issues
  • the quality and relevance of the evidence base on workplace health issues

Find out more about Workplace Health Expert Committee (WHEC) here: WHEC


John Cherrie is Emeritus Professor of Human Health at Heriot Watt University and former Research Director at the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh. He has been an exposure scientist since 1979, in a wide range of research and teaching. John is a member of the WHEC and the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council. He has carried out several research projects on welding fume exposure.

Len Levy OBE is Emeritus Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Cranfield. Prior to this he was Head of Toxicology and Risk Assessment at the UK Medical Research Council’s Institute for Environment and Health at the University of Leicester.

He is an occupational and environmental toxicologist and risk assessor, and holds a PhD in experimental pathology from the Institute of Cancer Research in London. He has held academic positions at the University of Aston and the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Occupational Health, where he was Reader in Occupational Health, continuing his research into the causes and mechanisms of occupational cancer.

Other communications activity (articles etc):

  1. Cherrie JW, Levy L: Managing Occupational Exposure to Welding Fume: New Evidence Suggests a More Precautionary Approach is Needed. Ann Work Expo Health 2020, 64(1):1-4.

ACPOHE Webinar: DisAbility Series – Neurodiversity in the Workplace – 13 December 2023

Registration is now open for the fourth of our ACPOHE/DisAbility webinars which will be about Neurodivergence in the workplace.

The webinar will cover what neurodivergence is, lived experience examples, problems & barriers encountered in the workplace, and solutions. This will include how we can make the OH experience more accessible for a Neurodivergent service user.

Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Date: Wednesday 13th December 2023

Time: 13:00 – 14:00

Theme: Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging

Location: Teams webinar

Speakers: Greet Janssens, Angela Webster, Steph Phillips

Everyone is welcome! Please share this invitation with your colleagues and friends. The webinar is free and will be recorded. A link will be made available afterwards on our webinars page for you to watch if you can’t make it.

Link for more info and registration:

ACPOHE:   Fit Note resources developed by ACPOHE

(October 2023)

NEW Fit note resources to help awareness of the importance of supporting patients back to work

ACPOHE is pleased to showcase our new set of resources, available to download from our Work & Health Learning and Development Hub –  (click Free Guest Access and go to Resource Library).

There is more information below, and all resources are on the ACPOHE website:


Resources include:

  1. A 6-minute podcast to outline our new resources and why they are important
  2. A video (to play on screen in GP reception waiting rooms) to help manage patient expectations of ‘fit note’ certification.  This is 1 minute in length.
  3. A 2-minute video aimed at increasing awareness to GPs of the role of FCPs, particularly around work conversations and completion of the fit note. Please share this with the GPs you work alongside.
  4. An 8-minute training video, which is a reminder of the importance of keeping people at work to help health outcomes (aimed at GPs, FCPs, other healthcare workers in primary care.
  5. Infographics to patients on what is the fit note, and how to get the most out of your fit note (ideal for notice boards within GP practices).
  6. Infographics to healthcare professionals on completing the fit note (a quick easy reminder to all involved in completing the fit note).
  7. Completed fit notes, with audio presentation on a variety of case studies.

Question Time Webinar: 18 October 2023 from 1215-1315 – Video available now!

We held our latest panel webinar on 18th October and attached is the video for your information.

SEQOHS standards have been revised and launched in June 2023. With only weeks to go before they go live, we will be discussing with our panel, the relevance of SEQOHS standards in a multi-professional speciality, the drivers to become SEQOHS accredited, what the future holds for the quality scheme and is it the answer to elevating quality in the speciality. Join us live or register via the link below to get access to the recording afterwards.

Please do share this with your members and colleagues. 


Council4WH Panel Webinar (2)

Statement: Occupational Health Qualifications and Titles (FOHN / NSOH)

The Faculty of Occupational Health Nursing and the National School of Occupational Health have launched a statement on Occupational Health Qualification and Titles so as to clarify the various education pathways and qualifications for occupational nurses, as well as the commonly used titles and their significance.

View the statement on our website

If you have any feedback then please contact either Christina Butterworth or Janet O’Neill

27 September 2023

“Understanding Recent Trends in Ill-Health Driven Fallout from the UK Job Market” 25 September 2023

The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) today released the first in-depth study into the impact of ill-health on the UK’s working population, “Understanding Recent Trends in Ill-Health Driven Fallout from the UK Job Market”.

Launched following Occupational Health Awareness Week (18-24th September), the report analyses data trends – providing a comprehensive picture of the current health challenges experienced by the UK workforce.

 Key findings include:

  • Long-term sickness in women across all age groups has been rising since 2014, with women becoming economically inactive at a higher rate than men.
  • An increase in economic inactivity in young men, aged 16 to 24, with sharp increases in mental health issues.
  • Occupations with a low ability to work from home are more likely to see people leave the workforce due to long-term sickness.
  • Pressures in health and social care delivery, including the impact of COVID-19, has led to backlogs for treatment and worsening health outcomes.
  • The UK has an ageing population, high rates of excess weight, and alcohol consumption and a legacy of smoking, resulting in long-term physical and mental health problems.

Of the 41.6 million people in the UK of working age (age 16-64), 2.5 million (1 in 16 people) are inactive due to long term sickness. The historically high number of people off work, long-term sick, remains an immediate and pressing concern for the Government. More than 11 million people are living with long term conditions that can affect their ability to work.

Of the 4 million people living with mental health conditions only 2 million are employed. Nearly 60 percent of people who are economically inactive and left work in the last two to three years have a work limiting health condition.

The analysis demonstrates how occupation, gender, and disability affects getting back to work. Occupational health (OH) provision is a key solution to this issue. SOM is calling for comprehensive OH coverage, with only 50 percent of workers currently accessing OH.

Government steps have been taken, including in the Spring Budget, to support OH so those with health conditions can continue work, but more must be done to keep people healthy at work and reverse these trends. New Government consultations on OH and Tax incentives on occupational health (OH) are welcomed and are currently open.

SOM hopes that publishing this data will support policy conversations to achieve universal OH coverage.

SOM CEO Nick Pahl said: “The historically high number of people off work long-term sick remains an immediate and pressing concern for the Government. Without investment in occupational health, these figures will continue to get worse.

“This report helps us better understand the patterns and causes of ill-health driven fallout from the UK job market. It’s vital that we understand why the UK is seeing a rise in inactivity rates compared to other OECD countries.

“We need to understand what the catalysts are, the drivers of fallout, and what factors contribute to preventing people return to work.”



Notes to Editors


For more information, contact:


Alan Grant (Account Manager, Orbit Communications) – / 0783 320 9171


Rachel Goddard (Account Director, Orbit Communications) – / 0770 216 9485


About SOM

The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) is the organisation for healthcare professionals working in or with an interest in occupational health. It is concerned with:

  • the protection of the health of people in the workplace
  • the prevention of occupational injuries and disease
  • related environmental issues.

SOM stimulates research and works with the government, the healthcare community, health charities and other bodies to promote a healthier workforce. It also acts as the voice of occupational health (OH), responding to consultative documents and media enquiries. A national leader in providing continued professional development and education for all healthcare professionals working in OH, it is a forum for the exchange of ideas, best practice, and networking opportunities.


Visit for more information.


SOM: Occupational Health Awareness Week: 18-24 September 2023

SOM:  Occupational Health Awareness Week – Monday 18  – Friday 24 September 2023
The focus of the week is to provide resources for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who are five times less likely to use occupational health (OH) than large businesses – to better inform SMEs of the role and value of OH.
SOM has produced a 15-minute and 2-minute film that introduces OH to SMEs at, while COHPA is publishing a new Guide to OH for SMEs.
Please put this on your website and do share!
These free resources are available for all to use, distribute and share, to promote on social media or to your clients. For information and free resources (such as posters) for council for work and health members, visit here and here

ACPOHE’s DisAbility series of webinars: The disabled young person’s journey into the workspace & further education: 12:00 – 13:00 on 21/09/23

ACPOHE’s DisAbility series of webinars: The disabled young person’s journey into the workspace & further education: 12:00 – 13:00 on 21/09/23
Join us for the second webinar in the ACPOHE/DisAbility collaboration which focuses on the disabled young person. The webinar has been co-written with the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists (APCP) who will also be hosting.

The Disabled young person’s journey into the workspace and further education will look at:
  •     Moving from a nurturing environment into work/ higher education
  •     Issues faced: career choices, other options apart from traditional routes
  •     Empowering the young person and parents: if you can see it, you can be it
  •     Toolkits: exploring and establishing strengths, challenges and support
  •     The art of resilience & managing barriers
  •     Outside of family and school, who can help?
  •     Ideas of how to influence employer and employees
  •     Case study