Professor Steven Sadhra PhD, MFOH, CMIOSH, FFOM (Hon.), FSOM (Hon.), FHEA

Steven Sadhra

Birmingham Medical School
Honorary Professor in Occupational Health

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Steven Sadhra is an Honorary Professor in Occupational Health (OH) within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences (MDS). He was the programme lead for the MSc in Occupational Health and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) professional courses in Occupational Medicine from 2008-2019. Steven was the College academic lead for CPD courses (2018-2020) and developed the first College wide CPD strategy for CPD courses. He currently leads the teaching of Occupational Medicine to MBChB students and co-investor on research projects on work and health. He is a fellow of the higher education authority. 

Steven has published over 120 research papers and government reports, he is the co-editor of three textbooks, and has written over 20 book chapters.  He is the co-editor of the first Oxford Handbook of Occupational Health, which was awarded the first prize by the BMA (for Primary Health Care) in 2014.  His research focuses on the understanding of occupational risk factors and workplace interventions for various work-related diseases including respiratory disorders, contact dermatitis and occupational cancer.

Steven has over 25 years' experience in research, teaching and training in Occupational Health and his contribution has been recognised through honorary fellowships of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM) and the Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM).  In 2009, he was awarded the RoSPA international award for services to Occupational Health.  Steven has excellent international links and has run professional training courses and workshops in different parts of the world including United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.


  • Post Graduate Diploma in Occupational Hygiene 1994
  • PhD in Occupational Health 1991
  • BSc (Hons) Applied Sciences, Nottingham University 1985


Steven qualified with a BSc (Hons) in Applied Sciences from Nottingham University in 1985. He came to the University of Birmingham in 1986 to study for his PhD in Occupational Health (occupational contact dermatitis) at the Institute of Occupational Health (IOH). He was appointed as a Lecturer by Prof Malcolm Harrington at IOH in 1991 and continued his research on the investigation and identification of new contact allergens in complex mixtures such as rosins and cutting oils. The research methodology developed combined chemical analytical techniques (chromatography, NMR, MS) with skin patch testing of patients. 

Steven’s research on occupational contact allergens introduced him to different workplace environments where he developed his interest in the prevention of occupational diseases through better understanding of workplace factors, exposure pathways and characterisation of risks. This also led to the development of expertise in the design of engineering controls particularly for reducing exposure airborne pollutants. The interest in science behind the prevention of occupational diseases led to consultancy /research work for over 20 national and international government and manufacturing organisations with over 60 reports. Steven took his professional examinations in Occupational Hygiene and became a Member of the Faculty of Occupational Hygiene Society in 2006 and Chartered Member of the Institution of Safety and Health (IOSH) in 2007.

Steven has worked as a WHO consultant in Malaysia where he was appointed to the Ministry of Health to develop national occupational health research priorities. This project led to the formulation of a national research strategy for occupational health. He has also led a major European wide project on the human health assessment for a metal industry.

Steven has been an external examiner for Post Graduate courses in Occupational Health at various national and international Universities:  University of Surrey, Nottingham University, Loughborough University, University of Mauritius and the National University of Ireland in Galway.  He has also been the examiner for the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM) of the Royal College of Physicians (London) since 2000. He was awarded honorary fellowship by the FOM in 2004 and Fellowship of the Society of Occupational Medicine in 2010. 

Steven was appointed as the College Director of Education for Occupational Health at the University of Birmingham in 2007 leading undergraduate, post graduate and professional courses in in OH. Steven deputised for Professor Jon Ayres as Head of the Institute of Occupational and Environmental Medicine from 2012-2015.


College Lead for Teaching

  • Steven has led teaching of Occupational Health (OH) for the College of Medical and Dental Sciences since 2008 which includes teaching of medical students, post graduate courses in OH and CPD professional courses.

Masters programme

  • Academic lead for MSc/PGD -Occupational Health
  • Joint academic lead for MSc Science of Occupational Health, Safety and the Environment
  • Lead for six post graduate modules on occupational health (risk assessment and management)
  • Lead for MSc research dissertations in Occupational Health

Diploma in Occupational Medicine

  • Lead for the two week National Diploma in Occupational Medicine (approved by Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, London)

CPD professional courses in Occupational Medicine

  • Lead for CPD courses in occupational health including Hand and Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), Occupational Contact Dermatitis, Occupational Mental Health and Occupational Ergonomics, MFOM revision programme for Specialist Trainees in Occupational Medicine.

Undergraduate teaching (Occupational Medicine)

  • Lead for teaching of Occupational Medicine for medical students.


Research interests

  • Occupational respiratory diseases – occupational risk factors, exposure assessment and interventions for risk reduction
  • Impact of disease on health and workability – respiratory disorders, contact dermatitis, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Methods for assessing occupational exposure – quantitative methods, job exposure matrices.
  • Workplace interventions for risk reduction

Current projects

  • Enhancing the Health of NHS Staff (eTHOS project). A randomised controlled pilot trial of an employee health screening clinic for NHS staff.
  • Effects of rheumatoid arthritis on employment and culturally adaptation of an intervention in the UK South Asian population: a multi-centre study
  • COPE-West Midlands: The contribution of occupational exposures to risk of COVID-19 and approaches to control among healthcare workers

Other activities

  • Fellow of Higher Education Authority FHEA) - September 2020
  • Fellow (Hon) of the Faculty Occupational Medicine, London (2004-present)
  • Fellow (Hon) of the Society of Occupational Medicine, London (2009-present)
  • Chartered Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety &Health (2007-present)
  • Member of the Faculty of Occupational Hygienists (2005-present)
  • Member of the British Occupational Hygiene Society (2006-present) Member of UK
  • Academic Forum for Occupational Medicine and Health (2009-present)
  • University of Birmingham lead and national representative for teaching Occupational Medicine in the medical school curriculum (2015-2020)
  • National representative for the Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) on the National Occupational Health and Safety Committee (2011–2016)

External examiner for the following

  • BSc and MSc taught programmes in Health, Safety and the Environment) National University of Ireland in Galway (NUIG) (2018-2021)
  • BSc taught programme in Occupational Health and Safety) University of Mauritius (2018-2021)
  • Loughborough University, School of Business and Economics, (2014-2018)
  • Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM), Royal College of Physicians, London (2000-present)


Recent publications


Adams, R, Jordan, R, Adab, P, Barrett, T, Bevan, S, Cooper, L, DuRand, I, Hardy, P, Heneghan, N, Jolly, K, Jowett, S, Marshall, T, O'Hara, M, Rai, K, Rickards, H, Riley, R, Sadhra, S, Tearne, S, Walters, G & Sapey, E 2022, 'Enhancing the health of NHS staff: eTHOS. Protocol for a randomised controlled pilot trial of an employee health screening clinic for NHS staff to reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, compared with usual care', Pilot and Feasibility Studies, vol. 8, no. 1, 155.

Adab, P, Jordan, R, Fitzmaurice, D, Ayres, J, Cheng, KK, Cooper, B, Daley, A, Dickens, A, Enocson, A, Greenfield, S, Haroon, S, Jolly, K, Jowett, S, Lambe, T, Martin, J, Miller, M, Rai, K, Riley, RD, Sadhra, S, Sitch, A, Siebert, S, Stockley, RA & Turner, A 2021, 'Case-finding and improving patient outcomes for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in primary care: the BLISS research programme including cluster RCT', Programme Grants for Applied Research, vol. 9, no. 13, pp. 1-180.

Kongsupon, N, Walters, GI & Sadhra, SS 2021, 'Occupational causes of hypersensitivity pneumonitis: a systematic review and compendium', Occupational Medicine, vol. 71, no. 6-7, pp. 255-259.

Ubhi, M, Dubey, S, Gordon, C, Adizie, T, Sheeran, T, Allen, K, Jordan, R, Sadhra, S, Adams, J, Daji, R, Reynolds, J & Kumar, K 2021, 'Understanding the impact of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus on work amongst South Asian people in the UK: an explorative qualitative study', Lupus, vol. 30, no. 9, pp. 1492-1501.

Jain, A, Aggarwal, A, Adams, J, Jordan, R, Sadhra, S, Dubey, S, Allen, K & Kumar, K 2020, 'Delay in seeking medical help in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in India: a qualitative study', International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, vol. 23, no. 12, pp. 1707-1718.

Jain, A, Jordan, R, Sadhra, S, Allen, K & Kumar, K 2019, 'Work productivity loss among rheumatoid arthritis patients in India: a qualitative study', Rheumatology Advances in Practice.

Murray, K, Lam, KBH, Mcloughlin, D & Sadhra, SS 2018, 'Factors in Removing Job Restrictions for Cancer Survivors in the United Kingdom Royal Air Force', Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.

Ishak, A, Haque, S & Sadhra, S 2018, 'Needlestick injuries among Malaysian healthcare workers', Occupational Medicine.

Rai, K, Jordan, R, Siebert, S, Sadhra, S, Fitzmaurice, D, Sitch, A, Ayres, J & Adab, P 2017, 'Birmingham COPD Cohort: a cross-sectional analysis of the factors associated with the likelihood of being in paid employment among people with COPD', International journal of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, vol. 12, pp. 233—242.

Rai, K, Adab, P, Ayres, J, Siebert, S, Sadhra, S, Sitch, A, Fitzmaurice, D & Jordan, R 2017, 'Factors associated with work productivity among people with COPD: Birmingham COPD Cohort', Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Sadhra, S, Kurmi , O, Sadhra, SS, Lam, KBH & Ayres, J 2017, 'Occupational COPD and job exposure matrices: a systematic review and meta-analysis', International journal of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, vol. 12, pp. 725-734.

Tagiyeva, N, Sadhra, S, Mohammed, N & Ayres, J 2017, 'Occupational airborne exposure in relation to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung function in individuals without childhood wheezing illness: A 50-year cohort study', Environmental Research, vol. 153, pp. 126-134.

Sadhra, S 2016, 'A guided workbook intervention (WorkPlan) to support work-related goals among cancer survivors: protocol of a feasibility randomized controlled trial', JMIR Research Protocols, vol. 5, no. 2.

Halford, JV, Lam, KBH, Sadhra, S & Folkes, SEF 2016, 'Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and service in the British Army', Occupational Medicine, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 17-19.

Sadhra, S, Kurmi, OP, Chambers, H, Lam, KBH & Fishwick, D 2016, 'Development of an occupational airborne chemical exposure matrix', Occupational Medicine, vol. 66, no. 5, pp. 358-364.

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