for Pearce and Gander
Two directors from the Research School of Public
Health have been appointed to key positions within a new five-member National
Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Committee announced by Labour
Minister Margaret Wilson.
The committee will provide expert independent advice on major occupational
safety and health issues directly to government, chaired by Professor
Neil Pearce. Professor Pearce is the Director of the University’s
Centre for Public Health Research, and has particular interests in epidemiological
methods, asthma, chronic diseases and the association of social class
Serving on the committee will be Professor Philippa Gander, who directs
the University’s Sleep/Wake Research Centre. Professor Gander is
a specialist in circadian physiology, and has interests in occupational
fatigue, shift work and sleep research.
Ms Wilson says the committee membership represents an excellent balance
of research and professional expertise covering most areas of occupational
health and safety. The committee’s first task is to develop a research
agenda to inform the Government’s research initiatives and provide
direction to the wider research community.
“At present the research infrastructure for occupational health
and safety in this country is fragmented, with expertise spread across
a diverse range of universities and departments. Although the Department
of Labour seeks expert advice on health and safety issues, until now there
has been no advisory body of experts to provide an independent assessment
direct to government.”
Research, particularly in regard to emerging health issues, will be an
invaluable guide for future government policy in the health and safety
area, Ms Wilson says.