Partnering for Prevention on World Lung Cancer Day by Bev Messinger, IOSH Chief Executive

Today, on World Lung Cancer Day (1 August), the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is collaborating with the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) to encourage businesses to pledge to manage harmful exposures at work.

Together, working in partnership worldwide, we can tackle lung cancers caused by exposure to carcinogens at work. IOSH is the world’s biggest organization for professionals who help keep workers safe and healthy at work. The free information we share and the knowledge and dedication our members have contributes to reducing ill-health caused by the jobs people do.

The biggest single cause of work-related lung cancer and lung disease is asbestos, which kills around 200,000 people globally. Other significant carcinogens include silica dust and diesel engine exhaust emissions.

To tackle this serious health issue, IOSH and ADAO are urging businesses worldwide to sign-up to the No Time to Lose campaign pledge to protect employees from carcinogenic exposures.

The pledge is a six-step action plan which captures what organizations are doing or planning to do to manage harmful exposures. More than 125 leading businesses around the world have already signed-up to it, including companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Laing O’Rourke and MTR Corporation.

The six steps are:

  1. Assess whether work activities that form part of our business have the potential to cause occupational cancer
  2. Develop and deliver a prevention strategy that reflects the risks of developing occupational cancer in our workplaces
  3. Ensure senior and operational managers understand relevant occupational cancer risks and manage them proactively as a significant health issue
  4. Engage our employees and ensure they use the preventive measures in place properly and consistently, and check that our preventive measures are working
  5. Demand the same standards of our supply chain as we do of ourselves
  6. Include our protective measures against occupational cancer risks in our annual report or other public reporting format

Once your pledge has been approved by IOSH, you will receive a certificate demonstrating your commitment.

Professional bodies, charities and educational establishments can also support No Time to Lose by providing a supporting statement. The campaign currently has over 350 supporters globally, including ADAO, who have committed to raising awareness of occupational carcinogens.

All supporters and pledge signatories have access to supporter resources and are encouraged to share information about the campaign through their communication channels.

Help us get the word out and join together to reduce workers’ exposure to dusts, fibres and other substances that cause lung disease and cancer.

The World Health Organization estimates that a staggering 125 million people are still exposed to asbestos worldwide. We must put a stop to this and pledge to act.

For more information about IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign, visit

Guest blog by Bev Messinger, IOSH Chief Executive, published on ADAO website.