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by Dr. Noel Kerin - Jun 6, 2006

The Occupational & Environmental Medical Assoc. of Canada (OEMAC) hosts “The Impact of Chronic Disease on Business & Industry — A crisis unfolding” 12/13 June, 2006, Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Toronto, ON - June 6, 2006 -- Asked the nature of the crisis to be addressed at the OEMAC conference, conference chair Dr. Noel Kerin stated that it is both a human crisis and a looming economic crisis for industry. “Currently, one third of manufacturing costs are devoted to human capital” said Dr. Kerin, “and mismanagement of human capital can drive that figure to 40+% of total costs. At that point, trying to manage a profitable business in the global market is a downhill slope. From the human aspect, the impact of chronic diseases on workers, families and employers is a legacy which modern industry must address effectively.”

Dr. Kerin noted that this conference is of particular importance to all parties involved in Human Capital Management. “By opening the conference to non-medical people and industry” Kerin said, “we can bring all the workplace stakeholders together—unions, management, insurance, and WSIB—with a forum where they’ll be heard on issues.”

Topics on the conference agenda, to be delivered by an international who’s who of occupational medicine, include Occupational Asthma, Beryllium—the ‘new’ chronic lung disease, and Mental Health in the workplace. “Economics of Occupational Health” will look at Benefits for the Workplace, The Cost of human Capital, and Examples of Best Practices in Industry.

Dr. Kerin said that the overarching purpose of the Conference was to build answers to three key questions and bring them to the front of mind of business. “How can we help our employees stay at work and be healthy? How can we help our employees return to work in a timely manner? How are we doing in this regard?” Dr. Kerin said. “If we can start to share and understand the different perspectives, Canadian Industry will be in a better position to make sound human capital management decisions—particularly in relation to chronic diseases’ huge toll on employees and industry.”

OEMAC sees the Conference as a unique opportunity to develop consensus. “We—all parties—need to learn how human capital can be better managed.” said Dr. Kerin. “And we need to learn quickly, if Canadian industry wants to continue as global competitors. The statistics are grim, and they don’t lie.”

by Dr. Noel Kerin - Jul 27, 2005

I’m Doctor Noel Kerin, and this is my small spot on the web to express opinions, organize observations and, very possibly, vent on issues surrounding occupational, environmental and ergonomic medicine.

Our inaugural topic is one of my hot buttons – the miracle mineral fiber: asbestos.