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The Safety Institute of Australia together with the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board last night awarded Dr Jianjun Xiang of the University of Adelaide the prestigious Eric Wigglesworth OHS Education (Research) Award for his Doctor of Philosophy thesis Extreme heat and workers’ health in South Australia.

This award, which includes a $5000 professional development fund, is awarded for doctoral research that demonstrates a significant contribution to the OHS body of knowledge, potential for application in preventing work-related fatalities, injuries, disease and/or ill-health and demonstrated dissemination of research outcomes to relevant parties.

In making the award, Patrick Murphy of the SIA said Xiang has developed our knowledge of the impact of heat on workers by linking daily temperature with work-injury claims at a population level. This opens up a whole new field of attention for OHS professionals and policy makers in the development of injury prevention strategies.

Xiang’s research underlined a successful ARC Discovery Grant application lead by Professor Dino Pisaniello to comprehensively examine the association between heat exposure and work-related injuries at a national level. In accepting the award, Xiang acknowledged the contributions of his supervisors and co-researchers Professor Peng Bi, Professor Dino Pisaniello and Dr Alana Hanson.

Pam Pryor, Registrar of the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board, commented that Xiang’s work will make an important contribution to the OHS Body of Knowledge and will be incorporated in the upcoming review of the OHS BoK chapter on thermal environment. Pryor went on to say “Xiang’s approach to his research and his outcomes would be welcomed by Dr Eric Wigglesworth for whom this award is named. He not only was a major influence in OHS education but was a strong advocate for critical research to underpin practice.”

Xiang’s doctoral research was selected from a strong field of candidates all of whose research is important to the OHS body of knowledge. The judges gave special recognition to Dr Karen Klockner of the Central Queensland University for her work on accident modelling for complex socio-technical systems.

This media release is also available as a PDF.

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