An industry-wide campaign to cut the number of deaths from occupational cancer will be launched today (Monday 3rd November).
According to conservative estimates, some 8,000 people die from cancer and around 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. Worldwide, occupational cancer claims the lives of more than 666,000 a year – one death every 47 seconds.
The figures far outstrip those for fatal incidents in the workplace, but the invisibility of carcinogens, the long latency of their effects and a lack of knowledge continue to produce this staggeringly high number of preventable deaths and cancer registrations.
Led by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and backed by business leaders, academics and charity Macmillan Cancer Support, the No Time to Lose campaign will call for a collaboration of government and employers “to beat occupational cancer”.