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20 June 2007 PR 07/84

Loughborough Professor launches European ‘Safety and Health at Work’ week

A Loughborough University Professor was invited to launch the 2007 European Week for Safety and Health at Work on Tuesday (19 June).

Organised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), this year’s Euroweek will focus on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Called ‘Lighten the Load’, the aim of the campaign is to support employers, workers, safety representatives and other stakeholders in improving MSD prevention in the workplace.

Loughborough’s Professor Cheryl Haslam, who is based in the Department of Human Sciences, is a world expert in the field of MSDs and Director of the University’s Work and Health Research Centre. The centre has recently completed major research projects on reducing musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace on behalf of the HSE.

Professor Haslam gave a presentation at the launch of the UK Euroweek campaign in London. Lord McKenzie of Luton, the Minister for Health and Safety also gave a keynote speech at the event.

Professor Haslam said: “The projects we have recently completed on behalf of the HSE will play an important role in tackling MSDs in the workplace over the next few years. I am delighted to offer my support to this very worthwhile campaign.”

ENDS

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Notes for editors:

  1. Professor Haslam’s project for the HSE developed an innovative approach to reducing MSDs in the workplace. The research applied a model from health psychology to develop interventions that are tailored to managers’ and workers’ level of awareness of risk from MSDs. These tailored interventions were compared to standard interventions across a range of industries: manufacturing; delivery; education; healthcare; construction; printing and the fire/rescue service.

    The organisations were followed up over six, 15 and 20 months and it was found that tailored interventions produced greater changes in working practices and greater reductions in MSD symptoms. The benefits were maintained through the long-term follow-up period and there were further reductions in MSD symptoms between six and 20 months. This study was voted ‘The best intervention study in the workplace’ and awarded first prize in the American Psychological Association/National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Intervention Evaluation Competition in 2006.
  2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2006 National Student Survey, the University gained a top five place, with nine out of Loughborough’s 23 departments topping their subject tables. Loughborough was also placed 6th in the 2007 Times Good University Guide and was named winner of the 2006 THES award for the UK’s Best Student Experience. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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