For occupational respiratory diseases, symptoms appear many years after causative exposures begin. This makes the health impact of workplace interventions difficult to assess. The workforce of the future is likely to be older, have greater numbers of physically impaired workers, and more workers at greater risk of long-term health problems. Understanding the magnitude of these demographic changes, how they might be mitigated, and their impact in terms of health and productivity will help plan effective policies.
Over the past five years, collaboration between TNO (Netherlands) and HSL (UK) has led to the development of Health Impact Assessment models for Occupational Respiratory Diseases. These models predict the effect of change in a risk factor (e.g. a reduction in exposure as a consequence of intervention) on the burden of disease.
With this new PEROSH project launched this year, the PEROSH members aim to gain insight into the burden of disease, associated costs and potential effect of interventions for certain (to be selected) exposures in the PEROSH countries, and a broader validation of the models developed by TNO and HSL.