Campaign Launched To Highlight Cancer Risks In Construction

Expert Backs Initiative To Boost Occupational Health

03.08.2011

Workplace illness experts at Irwin Mitchell have welcomed a new campaign by a trade union to encourage construction firms to protect workers from the dangers of skin cancer.

UCATT is looking to collaborate with employers on occupational health schemes designed to ensure the wellbeing of employees in construction industry. This is a fundamental priority for all businesses, following the release of a report which suggested people in the trade are nine times more likely to develop skin cancer than those in other professions.

The union has called on businesses to ensure all workers have access to both information and protection that will reduce their chances of suffering from cancer and other serious health problems.

Specialists in workplace illness and injury at Irwin Mitchell have backed the calls and are urging companies to pay serious attention to ensuring staff are protected from any possible risks.

David Johnston-Keay, a solicitor in Irwin Mitchell’s workplace illness team, said: “Our work has shown that the construction industry is a profession in which workers can face a number of risks if training, supervision and information is not provided to them.

“The risk of injury means that concerns over occupational health are occasionally overlooked, but it is clear that this has to change.

“Companies have a duty to ensure the health and safety of workers is a fundamental priority, so we hope that UCATT is able to sit down and discuss new and effective ways to make health advice more freely available from employers.

“It is unacceptable that people face long-term health problems as a result of problems that could potentially be avoided, so we hope that clear improvements are seen in how firms deal with this issue.”