Spotlight on… occupational cancers
The Considerate Constructors Scheme has published its latest ‘Spotlight on…’ initiative which this time focuses on the subject of occupational cancers.
The Scheme’s ‘Spotlight on…’ series aims to look at different areas associated with improving the image of construction, and hopes to raise awareness among registered sites, companies and suppliers on how they can help with the issues.
‘Spotlight on… occupational cancers’ focuses on the two main types of cancer affecting the industry – skin and lung cancer. It aims to raise awareness of how the industry can help to safeguard its workforce against occupational cancers – where protection and early intervention is critical – before it’s too late. It is difficult to determine the true extent of occupational cancers, as in many cases workers fail to develop any noticeable symptoms until many years after exposure.
Despite this, the following facts have been discovered:
- There are 14,000 new cases of occupational cancer per year
- Over 40% of the total occupational cancer deaths arise within the construction industry
- 99% of occupational deaths are caused by work-related ill-health and 1% related to poor safety
- Asbestos is responsible for the largest proportion of occupational cancer, with an estimated 50% of deaths – and one in three newly occurring cases of occupational cancer – caused by asbestos exposure
- Construction workers are six times more likely to develop skin cancer than the general population
Edward Hardy, Chief Executive of the Considerate Constructors Scheme said:
A staggering 40% of total occupational cancer deaths arise within the construction industry. There’s no doubt that more awareness raising and preventative measures need to be adopted across the industry. The Scheme monitors around 8000 sites, companies and suppliers every year, and therefore plays a critical role in helping to raise awareness on the ground. The good news is that many of those registered with the Scheme are taking action.