A leading research body in occupational health is to cease taking on new projects due to a lack of research funding.

British Occupational Health Research Foundation (BOHRF) Chair, Sir Bill Callaghan, has written to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) to say that it would start to wind down its activities in 2012.

“It will come as no surprise that in the current economic climate the trustees have concluded that we do not have the level of financial sponsorship to take on any new research projects,” he said.

“Looking back over the work that BOHRF has funded and facilitated there is much to be proud of. In particular, the rigorous evidence-based reviews on topics such as back pain and asthma have provided practical guidance with a sound scientific base for employers, that has been of benefit to employees as well as the bottom line.”

BOHRF’s research has spanned a wide range of occupational health issues, from rehabilitation and trauma at work to mental health and occupational asthma.

Dr Luise Vassie, IOSH Executive Director of Policy, said:

“IOSH has always been impressed by the quality of BOHRF’s research. The foundation has contributed significantly over the years to the health of people at work, and to helping cut the costs of occupational ill health.

“It’s why IOSH has provided sponsorship to BOHRF since 2002 and is happy to continue doing so. So it’s hugely disappointing to hear that BOHRF has been unable to secure the level of financial contributions required to take on new research projects. Research in the area of occupational health plays such an important role in helping our economy.”