Professionals across Asia-Pacific back No Time to Lose

Safety and health professionals, policymakers and government officials from the Asia-Pacific region have expressed interest in backing the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) occupational cancer campaign – ‘No Time to Lose’.

The global campaign, which aims to raise awareness of cancer caused by work and help businesses take action by providing free practical resources, was showcased in Hong Kong at the 33rd Asia Pacific Occupational Safety and Health Organization annual conference (APOSHO 33) on 4-5 December.

No Time to Lose Ambassador John Lacey presented the campaign to the APOSHO Education & Training Committee and encouraged them to get in involved.

John said: “At least 742,000 people die every year from a work-related cancer, that’s more than one death every minute. However, these cancers are all preventable.

“Our campaign highlights the four carcinogens which cause the most deaths worldwide – these are asbestos, silica dust, solar radiation and diesel engine exhaust emissions. 

“We’re encouraging organisations around the world to get involved in No Time to Lose by sharing the free resources, supporting the campaign and signing up to the pledge.

“The pledge is a six-step plan to capture key actions a business is already doing, or planning to do, to manage carcinogenic exposures at work.

“Organisations can also get involved as a supporter, which involves providing a supporting statement and spreading the word through their communication channels.

“No Time to Lose is currently backed by over 290 organisations worldwide and more than 115 businesses have signed up to our pledge. By working together we can beat this terrible disease.”

At APOSHO 33, delegates had the opportunity to express their interest in becoming a campaign supporter or pledge signatory by signing the No Time to Lose board. Over 100 professionals signed it.

IOSH President and Head of Corporate Safety at MTR Corporation Dr Vincent Ho chaired APOSHO 33. The conference attracted 300 delegates from 26 countries. He said: “It was great to see so many professionals keen to get involved in No Time to Lose.

“My company MTR Corporation signed up to the pledge and has put in place a strategy to raise awareness of occupational cancer and prevent exposure to carcinogens.

“The strategy includes several steps including commitment from the top boss, finding a champion, engaging the supply chain and contractors, informing workers and families of the risks and control measures, generating positive media coverage, and influencing enforcement departments.

“We also translated the campaign materials into Chinese, provided training for our contractors’ safety managers on how to manage and prevent harmful exposures in the workplace, and gave free health screening on site for 2,000+ workers.

“I urge everyone to get involved, as there really is no time to lose!”

For more information on IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign and how to get involved, visit www.notimetolose.org.uk

Pictured from left: President of Japan Industrial Safety & Health Association Nobuyuki Yamaki and IOSH President Vincent Ho.