About us

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) is an independent scientific advisory body that looks at industrial injuries benefit and how it is administered.

We give independent advice to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland.

IIAC does not deal with industrial injuries benefit claims.
Go to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

Our responsibilities

To help us to do our work, we consider published independent medical and scientific research, and information from relevant bodies. Our responsibilities are to:

  • make recommendations to update the list of diseases and the occupations that cause them for which Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit can be paid
  • draft papers for the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to present in Parliament, where legislative changes to the Industrial Injuries Scheme are proposed
  • scrutinise proposed regulations relating to industrial injuries benefit or its administration

See also:

Our priorities

From 2020 to 2021, our priorities are to:

  • ensure the advice we give about the Industrial Injuries Scheme is impartial, evidence-based, effective, credible and timely

  • continue the council’s work programme

Our work programme will include:

  • cancer in firefighters

  • coronavirus (COVID-19) and its potential occupational impact

  • neurodegenerative brain disease in ex-footballers

  • silica and respiratory diseases

IIAC ongoing rolling programme of work

Current investigations

Topic Source Timescale Status Outcome
Firefighters Department for Work and Pensions and Environmental Audit Committee Current Ongoing - response being formulated  
COVID-19 Members Current Ongoing  
Neurodegenerative Brain Disease in ex-footballers Correspondence Current Ongoing - initial discussions  
Evidence update of the relationship between occupational exposures and selected malignant and non-malignant respiratory disease Council commissioned review Current On-hold due to coronavirus crisis  
Silica and respiratory diseases IIAC Members Current Ongoing - planning to update prescription PD D1  
PTSD accident claims Department for Work and Pensions Initial discussion Early stage  

Completed investigations

Topic Source Status Outcome
Melanoma in pilots and cabin crew Correspondence Completed Command paper CP216, May 2020
Coke oven workers and COPD   Completed Position paper 45, April 2020
Osteoarthritis of the knee in professional footballers Correspondence Completed Position paper 44, April 2020
ANCA vasculitis & silica/asbestos exposure Correspondence Completed Position paper 46, April 2020
Dupuyren’s contracture - revision of prescription Department for Work and Pensions Completed Information note December 2019, revised April 2020
Vibrotactile testing for HAVS Department for Work and Pensions Completed Recommendations to DWP

Future topics for investigations

Topic Source Status
Night shift work IARC monograph Monograph shared with members
Welders IARC monograph Not started
Cleaners and non-malignant respiratory disease Member led and raised at public meeting 2019 Not started
Dry cleaners   Not started
Glyphosate use Member led and raised at public meeting 2019 Initial discussion
Styrene exposure   Not started
Crumb rubber – used in sports pitches Member led and raised at public meeting 2019 Not started
Fibreglass and bronchiolitis   Not started
Chronic kidney disease in miners linked to COPD Raised at public meeting 2019 Not started
Osteoarthritis in wider occupations and sports Raised at public meeting 2019 Not started

Review of coronavirus (COVID-19) in occupation

Following concerns raised by members of the Council, IIAC began its investigation in late spring 2020 to determine if there is a link between occupation and coronavirus (COVID-19). Initially focusing on data from the Office for National Statistics and the emerging published scientific literature in this field, the Council also engaged other interested bodies to help inform its investigation.

Having now considered the available data and emerging evidence, the Council’s initial paper will focus on the first wave of infection and specifically on deaths related to occupation. IIAC has also agreed that follow-up papers would reflect changes observed from subsequent waves of infection. Emerging data from a longer period of follow-up will allow a greater understanding of the effect that post-COVID-19 syndrome may have on loss of faculty.

IIAC has now completed its initial investigations and expects publication of its position paper imminently.

Included in the paper are the Council’s plans to progress its investigations by continuing to monitor the literature for future published papers and reports.

The Council is aware of several ongoing studies, however it is particularly interested in large good quality studies of workers and workplaces and also community-based studies regarding both death and long term effects of infection with SARS-CoV-2.

All enquiries regarding the Council’s paper and ongoing work should be directed to iiac@dwp.gov.uk.

Who we are

The council usually has 17 members, including the chair. It includes:

  • independent members with relevant specialist skills
  • representatives of employees
  • representatives of employers

Independent members currently include doctors, scientists and a legal member.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions decides how many members to appoint to the council. It must include equal numbers of representatives of employees and employers (Social Security Administration Act 1992, Schedule 6).

The council doesn’t have any staff of its own but DWP provides a small administrative team. The council holds an annual public meeting in a different place in the UK each year. Other council meetings are usually held in DWP offices.

Read about the history of IIAC (PDF, 38.1 KB, 2 pages).

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