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Council Backs Work-Related Cancer Campaign

East Ayrshire Council has become the first local authority in Scotland to make a pledge to a campaign against the biggest cause of work-related deaths.

The council has signed up to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) No Time to Lose drive, which aims to raise awareness of exposure to cancer-causing substances found in workplaces and help organisations take action.

It joins more than 50 other organisations from across the world in signing the pledge, while many more have endorsed it.

By signing the pledge, the council has agreed to assess whether work activities staff perform have the potential to cause occupational cancer, and to develop and deliver a prevention strategy.

In Britain, every year nearly 14,000 new cases of cancer are registered that have been contracted at work – and around 8,000 people die annually because of occupational cancer. Across the world, work-related cancer claims the lives of 666,000 people a year – far more than the number killed in workplace accidents.
IOSH launched No Time to Lose in November last year. It is highlighting five of the common risk factors for occupational cancer registrations and deaths - diesel engine exhaust emissions, solar radiation, asbestos, silica dust and shift work.

“Organisations in all industries should ensure their staff are covered by a culture of care,” explained Jane White, Head of Research and Information Services at IOSH. “This includes taking whatever steps they can to prevent them from coming into contact with a potentially-deadly carcinogen.”

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