Businesses around the world are taking action to protect workers from occupational cancers.
Construction firm Berkeley Homes (South East London) Ltd is the latest to sign up to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) No Time to Lose campaign, which aims to help organisations better understand the problem.
The campaign hopes to reduce the risk of workers being exposed to carcinogens – any substance, radionuclide or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer – by increasing awareness.
Asbestos is the best known carcinogen – and the biggest killer, claiming well over 100,000 lives a year globally.
It is estimated that 10 million people will have died as a result of asbestos exposure before it has been fully controlled.
But there are more than 50 substances listed as known or probable causes of workplace cancer, so employers need to know exactly what to look out for if they are to significantly reduce the risk of exposure.
IOSH says as many as 1 in 5 workers in the EU face the threat of occupational cancer.
Berkeley is now one of more than 60 organisations that have vowed to take direct action to prevent occupational cancers through No Time to Lose.
The company aims to build on its existing work to protect workers from exposure to dusts and UV rays onsite, which includes a dust awareness campaign to educate contractors on the health risks associated with exposure to construction dusts at work.
It now wet plasters walls instead of dry lining them as the latter generates masses of dust through the rubbing down process.
Richard Travers, Regional Safety Manager at Berkeley and a Chartered Member of IOSH, will work with the firm’s supply chain to come up with practical solutions to reduce exposure to carcinogenic substances.
He says it is about designing out the risks and building good health and working practices into a project at the outset.
Date Published: January 1, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown