Blesson Varghese

Mr Blesson Varghese

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

PhD Candidate

School of Public Health

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


Blesson has a background in Health Science (Public Health) with First Class Honours, and is currently undertaking his PhD within the School of Public Health at the University of Adelaide. His thesis is titled "Worker's Health and Safety at High Temperatures: new perspectives on injury prevention", is part of a multi-institutional Australian Research Council (ARC) grant, supervised by Professor Dino Pisaniello (Principle supervisor), Professor Peng Bi and Dr Alana Hansen (Co-supervisors).

I am a PhD candidate in the School of  Public Health, with an academic background in Public Health.

With the predicted increase in the frequency and intensity of extremely hot weather, workplace heat exposure will present an increasing challenge to Australian worker’s health and safety. Research has shown hot weather exposure can cause heat-related illnesses in workers, which is often the well-known adverse effect of heat exposure. However, the influence of this hazard on the occurrence of injuries is poorly characterised, and may represent a greater human and economic cost. The literature suggests that injuries are most likely in moderately hot weather rather than extremely hot conditions. Therefore, understanding this important, but counter-intuitive, phenomenon and developing relevant preventive/adaptive strategies represents the basis of my PhD.It is expected that this research will provide supporting evidence for recommendations that may assist injury reduction targets and help reduce losses in productivity by elucidating and tackling this under-investigated area of occupational health.

My  thesis titled: "Worker's Health and Safety at High temperatures: new perspectives on injury prevention" is part of a multi-institutional ARC grant  that aims to (a) systematically examine the association between ambient heat and occupational injury in Australia; (b) investigate a range of stakeholder perceptions towards heat-related injury, its prevention and management; (c) to inform national injury prevention policy and guidance.

 

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2018 - 2018 Research Assistant The University of Adelaide
    2017 - 2017 Marker: HLTH SC 2105 - Reflect. Research. Resolve Questions in Health The University of Adelaide
    2016 - 2016 Marker: MEDIC ST 1000B First Year MBBS Examination Part 2 The University of Adelaide
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2018 Award 2018 AEA STUDENT AWARD Australasian Epidemiological Association Australia $500
    2018 Award People's Choice Award for presentation Australasian Epidemiological Association (AEA) Australia One year AEA membership
    2018 Award 2018 Florey Postgraduate Research Conference School of Public Health Poster Prize The University of Adelaide Australia $300
    2018 Award Global Learning Travel Grant The University of Adelaide Australia $500
    2018 Award 2018 Graduate Women SA Centenary Bursaries The Australian Federation of University Women – SA Inc. Trust Australia $ 3000
    2018 Scholarship Climate Adaptation 2018 Post-Graduate Student Travel and Registration Scholarship National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) Australia $2000
    2017 Award 2017 Florey Postgraduate Research Conference School of Public Health Poster Prize The University of Adelaide Australia $300
    2013 Award Dean's Certificate of Merit The University of Adelaide Australia
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    Hindi Can read, write, speak and understand spoken
    Malayalam Can read, write, speak and understand spoken
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2016 - 2019 University of Adelaide Australia PhD in Medicine
    2014 - 2014 The University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Health Science, BhlthSc (Honours) in Public Health and General Practice
    2011 - 2013 The University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Health Science, BhlthSc ( Majors in Public Health and Pathology)
  • Research Interests

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  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2019 Varghese, B., Hansen, A., Nitschke, M., Nairn, J., Hanson-Easey, S., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. (2019). Heatwave and work-related injuries and illnesses in Adelaide, Australia: a case-crossover analysis using the Excess Heat Factor (EHF) as a universal heatwave index. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 92(2), 263-272.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS1 Europe PMC1
    2019 Varghese, B., Barnett, A., Hansen, A., Bi, P., Hanson-Easey, S., Heyworth, J., . . . Pisaniello, D. (2019). The effects of ambient temperatures on the risk of work-related injuries and illnesses: evidence from Adelaide, Australia 2003–2013. Environmental Research, 170, 101-109.
    DOI
    2019 Varghese, B., Barnett, A., Hansen, A., Bi, P., Nairn, J., Rowett, S., . . . Pisaniello, D. (2019). Characterising the impact of heatwaves on work-related injuries and illnesses in three Australian cities using a standard heatwave definition- Excess Heat Factor (EHF). Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.
    DOI
    2018 Varghese, B., Dent, E., Chilver, M., Cameron, S., & Stocks, N. (2018). Epidemiology of viral respiratory infections in Australian working-age adults (20-64 years): 2010-2013. Epidemiology and Infection, 146(5), 619-626.
    DOI Scopus1 WoS2
    2018 Varghese, B., Hansen, A., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. (2018). Are workers at risk of occupational injuries due to heat exposure? A comprehensive literature review. Safety Science, 110(A), 380-392.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS4
    2018 Hansen, A., Pisaniello, D., Varghese, B., Rowett, S., Hanson-Easey, S., Bi, P., & Nitschke, M. (2018). What can we learn about workplace heat stress management from a safety regulator complaints database?. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(3), 459-1-459-9.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS1
  • Conference Papers

    Year Citation
    2018 Varghese, B. M., Hansen, A., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. (2018). The Impact of Heatwaves on Workers' Health and Safety in Australia: A Multi-City Study. In ISEE Conference Abstracts Vol. 2018. Ottawa: Environmental Health Perspectives.
  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2018 Varghese, B., Barnett, A., Hansen, A., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. (2018). The effects of ambient temperature on work-related injuries in Adelaide, Australia - workers’ compensation claims increase with high temperatures. Poster session presented at the meeting of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Dublin: BMJ Publishing Group.
    DOI
    2018 Varghese, B., Barnett, A., Hansen, A., Nitschke, M., Nairn, J., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. (2018). Are moderate heatwaves more important than severe heatwaves for worker injury risks? (Poster presentation).. Poster session presented at the meeting of Climate Adaptation 2018. Melbourne.
    2018 Varghese, B. M., Barnett, A. G., Hansen, A., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. (2018). The impact of ambient temperatures on work-related injuries in three Australian cities [Mini-Oral presentation]. Poster session presented at the meeting of The Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Epidemiological Association (AEA). Fremantle, WA.
    2018 Varghese, B. M., Hansen, A., Nairn, J., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. (2018). Heatwaves and work-related injuries in Australia: A multi-city study (Oral presentation). Poster session presented at the meeting of The Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Epidemiological Association (AEA). Fremantle, WA.
    2018 Varghese, B. M., Hansen, A., Williams, S., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. (2018). 'Risk factors for heat-related injuries: Survey of work health and safety professionals' (Poster presentation). Poster session presented at the meeting of The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) SA State Population Health Conference. Adelaide.
    2018 Varghese, B. M., Hansen, A., Williams, S., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. (2018). 'Occupational injuries during hot weather: Perspectives from health and safety representatives' (Oral presentation). Poster session presented at the meeting of The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) SA State Population Health Conference. Adelaide.
    2018 Varghese, B. M., Hansen, A., Nairn, J., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. (2018). Characterising the impact of heatwaves on work-related injuries in three Australian cities: When is it unsafe to work? (Poster presentation). Poster session presented at the meeting of The Florey Postgraduate Research Conference. Adelaide.
    2018 Hansen, A., Pisaniello, D., Varghese, B., & Bi, P. (2018). Lived Experiences of Heat Exposure as an Occupational Safety Hazard in Australia. Poster session presented at the meeting of ISEE Conference Abstracts. Ottawa: Environmental Health Perspectives.
    2018 Varghese, B. M., Hansen, A., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. (2018). The Impact of Heatwaves on Workers' Health and Safety in Australia: A Multi-City Study [Poster presentation]. Poster session presented at the meeting of ISEE Conference Abstracts. Ottawa.
    2017 Varghese, B. M., Barnett, A. G., Hansen, A. L., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. L. (2017). Do temperature extremes pose risk to workers’ injury risk? [Oral Presentation]. Poster session presented at the meeting of The 30th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Epidemiological Association (AEA). Sydney.
    2017 Varghese, B. M., Barnett, A. G., Hansen, A. L., Nitschke, M. N., Nairn, J., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. L. (2017). Are moderate heatwaves more important than severe heatwaves for worker injury risks? (Poster presentation). Poster session presented at the meeting of The Florey Postgraduate Research Conference. Adelaide.
    2017 Varghese, B. M., Barnett, A. G., Hansen, A. L., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. L. (2017). Both low and high temperature may increase the risk of work-related injuries- an assessment using case-crossover analysis in Adelaide, Australia (Oral presentation). Poster session presented at the meeting of The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) SA State Population Health Conference. Adelaide.
    2017 Varghese, B. M., Barnett, A. G., Hansen, A. L., Nitschke, M. N., Nairn, J., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. L. (2017). Are moderate heatwaves more important than severe heatwaves for worker injury risks? (Oral presentation). Poster session presented at the meeting of The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) SA State Population Health Conference. Adelaide.
    2017 Varghese, B. M., Barnett, A. G., Hansen, A. L., Nitschke, M., Nairn, J., Bi, P., & Pisaniello, D. (2017). The effects of daily maximum temperature and heatwaves on worker injury risks (Oral presentation). Poster session presented at the meeting of Heat and Injury Seminar, National Safe Work Month, Safe Work SA. Adelaide.
    2013 Varghese, B. M., Flood, L., Miller, M., Milazzo, A., & Raupach, J. (2013). Findings from a study of Salmonella infection and sewage disposal [Poster presentation]. Poster session presented at the meeting of STATE POPULATION HEALTH CONFERANCE. ADELAIDE.
    2013 Varghese, B. M., Flood, L., Miller, M., Milazzo, A., & Raupach, J. (2013). Findings from a study of Salmonella infection and sewage disposal [Poster presentation]. Poster session presented at the meeting of STATE POPULATION HEALTH CONFERENCE. Adelaide.
  • Theses

    Year Citation
    2014 Varghese, B. (2014). The Epidemiology of Respiratory Viruses causing Influenza-like Illness in Australian Working-age adults (20-64 years) from 2010-2013.. (Undergraduate Dissertation, The University of Adelaide).

Faculty of Health Science, Divisional Scholarship

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  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2018 - ongoing Member The Public Health Association of Australia Inc (SA Branch Committee) The Public Health Association of Australia Inc (SA Branch) Australia
    2018 - ongoing Representative School of Public Health Research Committee The University of Adelaide Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2018 - ongoing Member Statistical Society of Australia Australia
    2018 - ongoing Member International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) United States
    2018 - ongoing Member Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) Australia
    2017 - ongoing Member International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH)
    2017 - ongoing Member Australasian Epidemiological Association Australia
    2017 - ongoing Member Environmental Health Australia Australia
    2013 - ongoing Member Golden Key International Honours Society Australia
  • Offices Held

    Date Office Name Institution Country
    2018 - ongoing School of Public Health Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Student Representative The University of Adelaide Australia
    2018 - 2018 School of Public Health Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Student Representative (Acting) The University of Adelaide Australia
    2017 - 2018 School of Public Health Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Deputy Student Representative The University of Adelaide Australia
  • Presentation

    Date Topic Presented at Institution Country
    2018 - 2018 Heat and Work Injury: Quantitative Evidence National Heat and Work Injury Workshop The University of Adelaide Australia
    2018 - 2018 The effect of daily maximum temperature and heatwaves on worker injury risks Data Analysis Group SA HEALTH Australia
  • Review, Assessment, Editorial and Advice

    Date Title Type Institution Country
    2018 - ongoing AEA 2018 Conference abstracts Conference Review Australasian Epidemiological Association Australia
    2018 - ongoing The Food Futures Conference 2018 Abstracts Conference Review Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) Australia
  • Position: PhD Candidate
  • Phone: 83139190
  • Email: blesson.varghese@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences, floor 9
  • Room: WS9062.25
  • Org Unit: Public Health

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