Department for Work and Pensions

As Minister of State with responsibility for health and safety, I’m well aware of the importance of a sensible approach to health and safety regulation.

That’s why I strongly support HSE’s work to tackle myths through its Myth Busters Challenge Panel – so that trivia and uncertainty don’t undermine the real and serious issues.

As the IOSH No Time to Lose campaign rightly highlights, occupational cancer is a very serious issue, claiming the lives of an estimated 8,000 people each year in Britain. The government approach to occupational cancer is to ensure compliance with current health and safety law by working with partners to prevent worker exposure to harmful materials so that lives and livelihoods are protected. A good example of this is the recent HSE initiative, Beware Asbestos, which included the distribution via a major trade supply outlet of 200,000 asbestos awareness-raising kits to at-risk tradespeople across Britain. But 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.

Mark Harper MP
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions) with responsibility for health and safety (15 July 2014 – 8 May 2015)
Statement Date: 31 October 2014

Mark Harper MP