Four years of IOSH’s award-winning No Time to Lose campaign

IOSH’s global campaign to tackle occupational cancer, No Time to Lose (NTTL), marks its fourth anniversary on 03 November.

The campaign was launched in 2014 to raise awareness of cancer caused by work and help businesses take action by providing free practical resources.

Occupational cancer claims at least 742,000 lives a year globally – that’s an average of one death every 43 seconds. However, all these cancers are preventable.

NTTL is highlighting the carcinogens which cause the highest number of deaths and cases. These include asbestos, silica dust, solar radiation and diesel engine exhaust emissions. Asbestos is the biggest cause of occupational cancer claiming more than 200,000 lives a year worldwide.

This year, IOSH launched the asbestos phase of NTTL at the British Medical Association in London. At the event, IOSH revealed findings from its survey which showed that nearly one in four UK construction workers believe they may have been exposed to asbestos fibres, placing them at higher risk of contracting terminal cancers later in life. The research also indicated that sole traders and young people are at most risk.

To tackle this significant health issue, IOSH launched new materials that raise awareness of asbestos and how to manage it. The resources included a factsheet, a leaflet and pocket card for employees, presentations, and ‘Duty to Manage’ flowcharts, all of which were developed in collaboration with the UK’s Asbestos Leadership Group.

A series of films of people who contracted mesothelioma as a result of their work were also produced as well as a good practice video case study showcasing how responsible businesses are managing asbestos.

Following the asbestos phase launch, the campaign was presented at high-profile conferences in the Middle East, Dublin, Hong Kong, South Africa, Canada, Austria, and Bulgaria.

IOSH has also worked in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers (CIPHE) to raise awareness of asbestos-related cancer to young plumbing students and the UK’s National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) to highlight the risks of asbestos exposure to workers who replace old roofs by co-branding resources.

Campaign supporters Mesothelioma UK, the USA’s Asbestos Disease Awareness Organisation (ADAO) and the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) have also collaborated with IOSH to raise awareness of asbestos-related cancer through their communications channels. EU-OSHA showcased NTTL as a good practice case study as part of its ‘Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances’ campaign too.

Since launching NTTL in November 2014, over 290 organisations worldwide are now supporting the campaign and have raised awareness of work cancer and 115 leading businesses worldwide have signed up to the pledge to tackle occupational cancer. Through these organisations, work-related carcinogens have been highlighted to more than half-a-million employees globally.

IOSH members, representatives and employees have presented the campaign at over 170 events globally to around 13,000 delegates. Media coverage has reached over 67 million people worldwide and over 95,000 campaign resources have been downloaded from the NTTL website.

IOSH Campaigns Communications Co-ordinator Jasmeen Daji said:

“It’s fantastic to see the No Time to Lose campaign going from strength to strength each year.

“The campaign is an exemplar of how by working together we can raise awareness of occupational cancer and help businesses prevent exposure to serious carcinogens globally.

“This year, the campaign was also awarded a ‘Mark of Excellence Award’ in the Best International Campaign category by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) – an excellent achievement for No Time to Lose.

“I encourage everyone to visit the website, download the free resources and help spread the word to your family, friends and colleagues – by working together we can call time occupational cancer.”

To find out more about IOSH’s NTTL campaign and to get involved, visit www.notimetolose.org.uk. Follow the campaign at twitter.com/_NTTL.