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Webinar: Occupational Hygiene: a necessary science for the prevention and diagnosis of Occupational

PAHO/WHO Workers’ Health/Environmental and Occupational Risks (ER),
Area of Sustainable Development and Environmental Health ( SDE)

Prevention of Occupational Diseases:  

Webinar Number 1: 8 April 2013
(In English with simultaneous translation to Spanish)

Time: 09:30 am - 12:00 pm - EST ( Washington, D.C.)

To check local time in WDC against your time zone, see the World Clock


Fact Sheets:


“…Occupational Diseases (ODs) are hugely under-diagnosed and under-registered, although ILO estimates that they are responsible for 2.02 million deaths and 160 million new incidents per year at Global level. Regional data indicates that they are a hidden epidemic of old, new and emerging occupational pathologies that are not timely and adequately recognized by health care services, or by the scarce occupational health services available in the Region.

This situation is critical in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) because not all working populations have access to them. On the other hand, Non-Communicable Diseases (NDCs) are the leading cause of death in the world and our Region, occurring mostly during the productive period of life and probably being acquired at work.


It is highly probable that some chronic Occupational Diseases OD such as cancers and respiratory diseases are immersed and unidentified amongst the statistics of NCDs, simply because they are not detected and diagnosed. This is aggravated by the long periods of latency between occupational exposures and the onset of the clinical presentation of the diseases.


The purpose of this first seminar is of sharing and discussing with experts in this field about the needs and strengths that Occupational Hygiene offers for preventing and diagnosing Occupational Diseases ODs; as well as exchanging knowledge and experiences in education and research for the successful practice of Occupational Hygiene.


09:30    Introduction

- Julietta Rodríguez Guzmán, PAHO Regional Advisor on Workers’ Health, SDE serve as Moderator of the Seminar;  

09:35    Welcome -Jose Romero Teruel (TBC) - Dr. Luiz Augusto Galvão, SDE Manager 

09:40    Strengths and Importance of Occupational Hygiene for Preventing ODs

 Berenice Goelzer - former Global Advisor on Occupational Hygiene for WHO

10:10    History and Trends of Occupational Health: practice and professional associations

Rudolf van der Harr - Department of Occupational Hygiene at the MC-Mutual in Spain; professorship appointment in the Pompeu Fabra University
and researcher at the Research Center for Occupational Health, CISAL.

10:40    Education and Training Programs in Occupational Hygiene

David Zalk - Director of Occupational Hygiene, GPOHP Online Course at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Adjunct Assistant Professor and Researcher at UIC.

11:10    Comments from the Moderator

11:15    Debate -Questions and Comments from participants

11:50    Closing Remarks  

How to participate

All Seminars will be open for participation in person at PAHO Headquarters, or via Elluminate.
Some of the Seminars will be in English; others in Spanish and not all will have simultaneous translation. 

For those who cannot follow the live seminar, we will have the summaries available later online in our webpage.

In person:
9:30 am to 12:00 pm ET  PAHO/Headquarters Room B

525 23rd St. NW Washington, D.C. 20037


Online: via Elluminate link:

- Spanish:

- English:

About the ODs Seminar Series:  

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work declared by the International Labor Organization (ILO) isan international commemoration for the workers who suffered injuries, diseases or were fallen at work. It also celebrates those health events that were successfully prevented.

As every year, PAHO has joined it, aiming to strengthening capacities in the countries for improving and promoting worker’s health and wellbeing, and to preventing Occupational Diseases (ODs) in the Americas. To meet this goal, we have organized a short series of three webinars aimed to raise awareness and share knowledge about the creation and implementation of policies and strategies to prevent and diagnose ODs.

 The ODs Seminar series will take place as follows:

1. Monday, 8 April 2013: “Occupational Hygiene: a necessary science for the prevention and diagnosis of Occupational Diseases.”

2. Monday, 29 April 2013: “Occupational Diseases: the global path for prevention and diagnosis.”

3. Wednesday, 29 May 2013: “Launching of the Knowledge Network on Occupational Diseases: a regional effort to improve prevention and diagnosis of Occupational Diseases.”

Suggested readings:

ILO World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2013: Prevention of Occupational Diseases.
Available at:

Article on the Future of Occupational Hygiene Education and Research (2012)

International Hygiene Association. Strategy Document 2011-2015,

Visit the webpage of the Latin American Associations on Occupational Hygiene,


Contact Information:

Julietta Rodríguez-Guzmán, MD SOH MSc OH -Regional Advisor on Workers’
and Consumer’s Health 

Area of Sustainable Development and Environmental Health SDE  
-Pan-American Health Organization PAHO/WHO

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Last Updated on Friday, 05 April 2013 12:08

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