Work-Related Cancer Figures ‘Show Huge Task Ahead Of HSE’

New Figures Highlight Impact Of Industrial Disease

04.09.2012

Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who represent victims of industrial disease have called for more to be done to improve awareness of such conditions, after figures from the Health and Safety Executive revealed the huge impact that occupational cancer is having on many lives.

Statistics from the organisation’s Long Latency Health Risks division revealed that cancer accounts for 8,000 of the 12,000 deaths related to occupational ill health that are recorded annually, while a further 14,000 new cases are also recorded each year.

A paper has this month been presented to the HSE’s board outlining how the body is planning to move forward and launch effective, targeted campaigns in occupations and industries where they will have maximum impact.

Irwin Mitchell’s workplace illness specialists act for people whose lives have been turned upside down by industrial diseases, including asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma.

Adrian Budgen, national head of asbestos litigation at the national law firm, said it was vital that the HSE work to better understand occupational cancer with a view to ensuring workers can be kept safe from harm.

He outlined: “It is welcome to see the HSE considering its next steps on tackling this issue but we would urge that action comes as soon as possible. We have seen victims and their families have their lives devastated by such illnesses, often in situations when employers could and should have provided better protection and training to reduce potential risks.

“The HSE has done some excellent work in the past but it needs to have the resources and funding to ensure that it can continue to tackle this huge task and ensure employers are fully aware of the risks their staff can face.

“As figures show, too many lives are affected by these problems and it is vital that steps can be taken to reduce the number of cases being seen.”