IOSH campaign highlights occupational cancer risks

Around 8,000 people die from cancer and roughly 14,000 contract the disease each year in the UK because of exposure to a work-related carcinogen, such as diesel exhaust fumes, silica dust or asbestos fibres.
IOSH
A campaign being run by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), called No Time to Lose, is seeking to cast a spotlight on work cancers and to help businesses and other organisations identify and overcome risks to employees.

Members of IOSH’s Midland Branch met to debate the campaign and the issues it raises at the earlier this month.

Guest speaker at the event Phil Bates, a senior policy and technical adviser at IOSH who has previously worked in frontline biomedical research, said: “Occupational cancer claims the lives of at least 666,000 people a year worldwide – that’s one death every 47 seconds.

Through No Time to Lose we want to raise awareness and offer practical support to businesses to help them tackle this significant occupational health issue.

“Work cancer is the barely visible cause of an unbearably high number of deaths. It is barely visible broadly due to the invisibility of the carcinogens and the latency of their effects. Some cancers are diagnosed up to a decade after the sufferer has been exposed, often unknowingly.

“Through No Time to Lose we want to raise awareness and offer practical support to businesses to help them tackle this significant occupational health issue.”

Ahead of the event Mohammed Basharat, chair of the IOSH Midland Branch, said: “I am delighted that IOSH is championing the cause of health in the workplace and raising awareness of this slow killer that is sometimes misunderstood, and therefore not always considered an area of priority risk that should be tackled.

“The branch provides CPD opportunities that fit a number of structured themes, which include competency, organisational management, working practices and occupational health. We are looking forward to supporting the IOSH No Time to Lose campaign, which fits in well with our occupational health theme.

For more information about the No Time to Lose campaign, visit: www.notimetolose.org.uk.

Post date: 09 Feb 2015

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