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Occupational & Environmental Studies

The Centre for Safety and Health at Work (CSHW) is part of the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science (SPHPSS) in the UCD College of Health and Agricultural Sciences.

The aim of the Centre is to strengthen our proven record of success in promoting the highest standards of Occupational Safety and Health through excellence in Teaching, Research and Administration.

We will continue to advance knowledge and set the agenda in Occupational Safety and Health in collaboration with national and international stakeholders through excellence in research and in the context of research activities and programmes within the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science.

Centre for Safety and Health at Work 

Human Biomonitoring Programme for Ireland- HBM4IRE study

HBM4IRE is a study funded by the Environment Protection Agency to explore the feasibility of setting up a permanent national Human biomonitoring (HBM) programme in Ireland.

HBM is a mechanism used to assess human exposure to hazardous substances harmful to health by measuring levels of chemicals in human samples such as blood, urine, hair, or breast milk. HBM can determine and identify trends in exposure to chemicals that are of growing concern for human health, providing information for regulatory agencies and policymakers, thus playing a decisive role in health prevention and risk management strategies.

HBM studies performed among the Irish population are limited and dispersed, making it difficult to determine the effectiveness of chemical risk management measures in Ireland. Several EU countries have well-established national HBM programmes demonstrating the potential for HBM to protect the environment and public health. Ireland currently does not have a national HBM programme.

The HBM4IRE study will evaluate the necessary criteria and present the first building blocks for establishing a national HBM programme, as well as the chemical prioritisation method and a chemical priority list specific to Ireland, identifying the opportunities and challenges for a national HBM programme.

We will invite policymakers, regulators, and the public to participate in a survey to nominate chemicals and substance groups of concern in Ireland. To determine a priority list of chemicals of interest for Ireland, we will combine the chemicals nominated from the national survey with national chemical usage data. We will identify the best practices for monitoring these chemicals aligned to EU regulations and guidelines. We will host a stakeholder forum and workshop with national/ international experts in HBM and chemical exposure to explore practical and logistical requirements for setting up a national human biomonitoring programme.

A national HBM program will support government and regulatory authorities to monitor the levels of chemical exposure in the Irish populations over time better to qualify health risk assessment of national and international interest. If you live in Ireland and would like to participate in the national survey or would like further information on the study, please contact Dr Alison Connolly ((opens in a new window)alison.connolly@ucd.ie) or Dr Richa Singh ((opens in a new window)richa.singh@ucd.ie).

EIRE Study (nEonicotinoid Insecticide exposuREs)

The EIRE study is a study of exposures to neonicotinoid insecticides among the Irish population using a human biomonitoring strategy. Dr Alison Connolly, Assistant Professor in the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, is the lead for the study. 

Neonicotinoid insecticides and neonicotinoid-like compounds (NNIs) are the most widely used type of insecticides worldwide. An insecticide is a pesticide that kills insects and prevents insect infestations. Acetamiprid (Roseclear®) and Flupyradifurone (Provanto Smart Bug Killer®) are the two main NNIs that are used to protect plants from insects in Ireland. Imidacloprid (Advocate® and Advantage®) is a NNI that is used as a flea treatment for dogs and cats.

We will use human biomonitoring (HBM) to quantify overall exposure to NNIs in both environmental and occupational settings. This means that we will analyse urine samples from selected groups for NNIs and their metabolites (break-down products).  

We are currently recruiting participants for 3 different HBM studies of NNIs. These studies are:

  1. Pet Owners that use NNIs as flea treatment.
  2. Pet Shelter Workers that use NNIs as flea treatments.
  3. Professional Gardeners, Landscapers, and Nursery Workers that use NNIs to protect plants.

The EIRE study will generate data on environmental and occupational exposure to NNIs, which can be used to support policy-making and examine methods to reduce exposure.

The EIRE research study will be carried out by researchers based in the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science in collaboration with the Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine (IPA) of the German Social Accident Insurance Bochum, Germany. The study is planned to take place from November 2022 – November 2026.

This study is funded by the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) pathway programme.

If you are interested in participating in the study or would like further information, please contact:

Darragh Doherty, Doctoral Student: (opens in a new window)darragh.doherty@ucdconnect.ie

Dr Alison Connolly, Assistant Professor: (opens in a new window)alison.connolly@ucd.ie

Dr Sewon Lee, Postdoctoral Researcher: (opens in a new window)sewon.lee@ucd.ie

COVID19 outbreaks in workplace settings: understanding and preventing superspreading (SFI)

In June 2022 Dr Carla Perrotta and Dr Conor Buggy completed their SFI COVID19 Rapid Research Scheme funded project focusing on the impact COVID19 was having on Irish workplaces.
With a focus on the potential impacts of superspreading events and how Irish OSH workers managed as the early stages of the pandemic unfolded their research provides insight into how Irelands workers managed to stay safe and learn through lockdowns and restrictions.
Attached are the main reports ( Work Package 1 Report and Work Package 2 Report) from the project alongside links to publications arising from the project.

Recent OSHE Research

Research and Consultancy

The Centre provides a focus for research initiatives carried out either entirely at UCD or jointly with other organisations. For further information on the Centre and its activities, please contact us

Contact Information

For application information on OSH programmes, please contact:

Programme Administrator
UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science
UCD Centre for Safety and Health at Work
Woodview House
University College Dublin
Dublin 4,

For application information on all postgraduate programmes in the School, please contact:

Postgraduate Administrator
UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science
University College Dublin
Dublin 4

Current research is carried out by (opens in a new window)Professor Anne Drummond, Dr. Conor Buggy, and (opens in a new window)Dr. Penpatra Sripaiboonkij.

UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science

University College Dublin Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 7777 | E: public.health@ucd.ie