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A National Industrial Health Service

Nature volume 139, page 280 (13 February 1937) | Download Citation



THE Medical Research Council, with the Industrial Health Research Board as well as the various colleges and schools of the universities, are occupied with research work which has, either directly or potentially, an industrial application; the time-lag, however, in applying or testing the results of such research work is usually too long. Some large organizations provide a full-time medical service, but there are many which have not yet realized that there is any need for such a service, and the smaller organizations cannot afford this. Even when a medical officer is appointed, his previous education has not trained him to recognize, or to deal adequately with a number of problems he meets, nor does he know where to get the required knowledge which, unknown to him, may exist. With the rapid development of new processes utilizing new products, it is necessary that their physiological and toxicological properties should be studied: also the medical officer will find himself confronted by a number of psychological problems concerning which he knows little or nothing. Discussions of the problem of making practically effective in industry the results of research work of medical importance have appeared in Industrial Welfare of December 15 and the British Medical Journal of December 5. Since it seems impracticable to add anything to the curriculum of the medical student, a post-graduate course is suggested. The works' doctor must be able to ascertain that (a) the workers taken on for certain jobs are reasonably fit to carry them out from the health point of view, and (6), in co-operation with works' engineers and others, that the conditions under which the employees are required to work are not prejudicial to their health.

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