What we do
The Society of Occupational Medicine is the UK organisation for all healthcare professionals working in or with an interest in occupational health.
We are concerned with:
- the protection of the health of people in the workplace
- the prevention of occupational injuries and disease
- related environmental issues
The Society stimulates interest and research in occupational medicine and works with the government, the healthcare community, health charities and other bodies to promote a healthier workforce. It also acts as the voice of occupational medicine, responding to consultative documents and media enquiries on issues affecting the speciality.
A national leader in providing continued professional development and education for all doctors and healthcare professionals working in occupational health, it is also a forum for the exchange of ideas, best practice and networking opportunities.
A registered charity, founded in 1935 as the Association of Industrial Medical Officers, it changed its name to become the Society of Occupational Medicine in 1965. In 2012, the Society opened its membership to health professionals working in occupational health.
The Objects of the Society can be found in our constitution.
The Society’s strategy and targets are developed through the SOM Strategy 2017-9.
Who we are
The Society is run by trustees who are informed by the Council (who are Chairs of the SOM UK and international regional groups along with the education panel chair). The Council meets face-to-face twice a year, and participates in teleconferences as and when there is a need. Elected officers are also our trustees.
Elected Officers (trustees)
- The President
- The Immediate Past President
- The President-Elect
- The Honorary Secretary
- The Honorary Treasurer
- Chair of the Council
The Appointed Officers
- The Chair of the Education Panel
- The Honorary Editor Occupational Medicine (not on Executive or Council)
Patrons of the SOM
- The Rt Hon. the Lord David Blunkett
- Norman Lamb MP
- Dame Carol Black
Archived reports are available upon request.
Our charity status
The Society of Occupational Medicine is a registered charity in England and Wales no 268555, and a registered Scottish Charity no SC041935.
The Golden Jubilee Award was set up to fund a travelling fellowship for Society members.
1935: A small group of doctors formed the Association of Industrial Medical Officers. The twenty founder members included Leonard Lockhart of Boots, Howard Mummery of Lyons and Donald Stewart of ICI Metals. They were enthusiastic about the scope of medical services in the workplace and saw them as an important contribution to both the health of the nation and the viability of the enterprises for which they worked. From the start their interest was the improvement of industrial health practice for the benefit of the employees, the enterprise and themselves.
Lockhart presented the paper at the inaugural meeting on 'The Future of Occupational Medicine'. He identified industrial medicine as a function of management, stressed the need to extend services or face extinction, and noted the economic benefits of treatment in the workplace, all issues which remain contentious to this day.
1938: The constitution was written with a clear and simple statement: 'To form a group of medical men and women engaged in the practice of Industrial Medicine in any of its branches for the purpose of scientific study, social intercourse and mutual help.'
1965: The Association of Industrial Medical Officers became the Society of Occupational Medicine.
2010: The Society celebrated its 75th anniversary and undertook the biggest review in its history.
2012: Associated healthcare practitioners engaged in improving working age health became eligible to join from 2012. The change has been instigated to reflect modern working practices where many different groups of professionals are now involved in improving the health of the UK’s workforce.