Companies are being urged to sign up to a new campaign aimed at educating staff about the cancer risks linked to their jobs.
Kent Fire and rescue Service (KFRS) has become the first county brigade to sign up to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) No Time to Lose initiative.
Measures put in place
The campaign intends to raise workers’ grasp of the dangers they face.
It will do this by raising awareness and offering materials to help successful prevention schemes free of charge.
KFRS and scores of other signatory organisations have joined the IOSH pledge to put various measures in place.
These include making sure that staff use the steps offered to prevent risks.
They must also devise their own strategy to prevent occupational cancer.
Fire service joins awareness pledge
KFRS chief executive Ann Millington says there are few studies into the impact that carcinogens have on firefighters.
She says the service will be working with its employees to investigate where the possible risks exist in exposing workers to dangerous materials.
Ms Millington says this review will extend to mechanics, fire investigators and other employees, not just the firefighters themselves.
Any changes required will be introduced in conjunction with the Institution, she says.
This will include the launch of working methods that will help minimise exposure. It will also encourage employees to take self-responsibility and understand how to look after themselves.
Common factors in industrial diseases
The campaign highlights frequently reoccurring factors in occupational cancer-related industrial diseases and deaths.
These include silica dust, asbestos, discharges from diesel engines and solar radiation.
Organisations which have already signed up to the IOSH pledge, which began last year, include Laing O’Rourke the building giant and the Royal Mail.
Imperial College, London linked cancer-producing substances to cancer deaths in their thousands.
Britain sees around 8,000 occupational cancer-related deaths every year and nearly 14,000 fresh work-related incidences of cancer.
Source: No Time to Lose
Date Published: December 6, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown