Organisations get behind IOSH occupational cancer campaign

More than 50 organisations are supporting a campaign to cut the number of deaths from occupational cancer.

9 December 2014

In a little over a month since it was launched, the No Time to Lose campaign has been endorsed by over 50 companies, professional and trade bodies and international associations. Nineteen firms have signed up to a pledge to take action. 

The campaign was launched on Monday 3 November by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). It calls for a collaboration of government and employers to take action to cut the number of deaths caused by exposure to dangerous carcinogens in the workplace.

The firms which are supporting the campaign include household names such as car manufacturers Jaguar Land Rover, construction giants Laing O’Rourke, Skanska and Morgan Sindall, the Health and Safety Executive, Office of Rail Regulation, Royal Mail Group and Transport for London. Many smaller businesses are also lending their support.

Paul Lynchehaun, Director of Health, Safety and Sustainability at Laing O’Rourke, explained why his firm had signed up.

In a statement, he said: “A key priority of Laing O’Rourke’s Mission Zero agenda is the prevention of work-related illness – we’re pleased to support IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign, seeking to raise awareness of the dangers of occupational cancers.”

Sir Peter Hendy CBE, Commissioner at Transport for London, said they were “actively engaged” in reducing worker exposures to carcinogens.

His statement said: “We are delighted to lead the campaign against lung cancer caused by exposure to the fumes that can come from diesel.

“The traditional red bus is an iconic sight; we are investing significant sums to make sure our bus fleet produces as little harmful pollution as possible. This involves fitting selective catalytic reduction equipment to the older buses in our diesel fleet, introducing new technology like diesel/electric hybrids, the latest Euro VI engines and zero emission electric and hydrogen-powered buses.”

Mark Harper, MP, Minister of State for the Department for Work and Pensions, commented on the campaign at its launch.

He said: “More joint action is needed and everyone should play their role in raising awareness of occupational disease and ill health. I believe that by working together to address this problem, Britain’s workforce will enjoy a healthier and sustainable future.”

The campaign pledge asks companies to commit to action plans including assessing whether activities carried out by staff could put them at risk of contracting cancer, and demanding supply chains work to the same standards.

IOSH is looking for more organisations to sign up to No Time to Lose, aiming to raise awareness of occupational cancer and its devastating impact.

According to conservative estimates, 8,000 people die from cancer a year in the UK because of exposure to a work-related carcinogen, such as diesel exhaust fumes, silica dust or asbestos fibres. About 14,000 contract the disease each year.

Caroline Patel, Head of Campaigns at IOSH, said: “We’re delighted to see companies from Crossrail to Thames Water getting involved with our campaign to tackle work-related cancer, showing real leadership on a significant issue facing workplaces in the UK and internationally. We know that if enough responsible businesses lead the way, supply chain contractors and smaller players within the key sectors should follow their example.

“For too long, serious occupational health issues such as work-caused cancer have been in the shadow of safety, and this campaign is helping businesses to redress the balance.”

See a full list of firms which are involved.


Contact Tim Walsh, IOSH Media Manager

tim.walsh@iosh.co.uk
+44 (0)116 257 3252
+44 (0)797 660 4715