Program Features

Program Features


The ICOH 2021 Policy Forum will be held on Tuesday 23 March and promises to be a highlight of the Congress.

Depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$1 trillion per year (WHO,2019). In Europe cost estimate of mental diseases was €240 billion a year in 2014, and 57% of these diseases are linked to a loss of productivity including sick leave (EU-OSHA, 2014). Apart from the economic costs, there is an important social and welfare burden resulting from mental health issues in the workplace.

Mental health and psychosocial risks in the workplace have been recognised as major priorities in occupational health and safety for at least two decades. Policies have been developed over the years that promote awareness and action among policy makers, social partners, organisations, practitioners and workers, but more needs to be done.

ICOH is very aware of the burden of mental health at work and at the 2021 Congress, the Policy Forum will be dedicated to this topic to provide a review and gap analysis of policies in this area and offer recommendations for the future. The Policy Forum will involve contributions from the WHO and ILO leadership, as well as international experts and will involve significant audience participation.

ICOH has a strong and long standing commitment to providing support to enable participation from delegates from developing countries and this will apply once again for ICOH 2021.

Participants from developing countries accepted to present a paper at ICOH 2021 will be able to apply for a grant to support their attendance. Applicants must be ICOH members in good standing when submitting their application. Delegates will be asked to nominate if they wish to be considered for a grant when making their abstract submission.

As in previous ICOH Congresses, ICOH 2021 will host a Student Poster Competition. To be eligible, students must register and submit an abstract of their work within the advertised time frames. Following acceptance, they should prepare a scientific poster to be displayed at a special Congress session. The posters will be judged on scientific quality, poster presentation quality and clarity, and the student’s ability to answer questions from a panel of international judges. There will be a cash prize for the Best Student Poster, and the winner will be recognised at the Congress closing session. Students are asked to nominate in the Call for Abstract submission process if they wish to be considered for the competition.

A variety of activities will be organised for PhD students and early career researchers and practitioners throughout the Congress. The aim is to promote research, career development and
networking amongst students and those early in their careers in occupational health. These activities include career development and mentoring workshops, breakfast sessions, and
social and networking meetings. These events are open to students, post-doctoral trainees, and new researchers and practitioners with fewer than 5 years experience in the field of occupational health or related disciplines. The detailed program iscurrently being developed and will be announced on the website.

At ICOH 2021 a partial fellowship to attend the ILO Master in OSH will be assigned to two ICOH candidates from developing countries who will present a scientific contribution at the ICOH Congress 2021. The partial fellowship will cover the residential and catering package on the campus of the International Training Centre of the ILO in Turin (ITC-ILO), Italy. Applicants must be ICOH members in good standing when submitting their application. The call for applications will be published on the ICOH website (

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