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HSE TARGETS CONSTRUCTION FOR CANCER DEATH PREVENTION

Regulator cancer priorities will require more action from construction sector  

In May 2012 HSE revealed proposals for its future approach to occupational cancer. The primary carcinogenic agents/occupations have been used to identify priorities by applying the following criteria:

  • strength of evidence on causative link between exposure and agent/occupation;
  • level of future burden estimated for each agent/occupation;
  • numbers of workers likely to be exposed/at risk; and
  • likelihood of an intervention being successful.

Using this approach HSE has highlighted the following priorities: 1. Asbestos 2. Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) 3. Shift work 4.Welding 5. Painting 6. Diesel Engine Exhaust Emissions 7. Solar radiation 8. PAH – Coal Tars & Pitches 9. Tetrachloro-ethylene 10. Radon

Top cancer agents / occupations involve construction

Five of the top ten cancer prevention priorities place construction at the heart of HSEs interventions reflecting the earlier finding that 56% of cancer registrations in men are attributable to work in the construction industry. These are:

Asbestos

Asbestos is the biggest contributor to the current cancer burden. Whilst many of the deaths arise from exposure in industries and activities that no longer exist, around a quarter of all deaths are amongst trades people. This group is the one most at risk today from accidental exposure during their everyday work and therefore HSE continues to focus its interventions on carpenters, electricians, plumbers etc.”

Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS)

“HSE continues to focus interventions in industries where the risk of respiratory exposure to RCS is higher. Construction is the key sector, with over 600 lung cancer deaths from RCS exposure amongst construction workers.”

Painting

“The Cancer Burden study included painters and decorators in the construction sector, and vehicle spray painters and workers in paint manufacture. Painters are exposed to various substances including solvents, additives and pigments, as well as materials containing asbestos and silica through their work in and on buildings.”

Solar Radiation

“HSE has guidance on its website regarding sun protection for workers. Currently we are supporting the IOSH-funded SunSafe project, which is working to change construction workers group behaviour and reduce exposure to solar radiation.”

 Diesel Engine Exhaust Emissions

“The major source of workplace exposure to DEEEs is from emissions from heavy vehicles that use diesel fuel. Emissions are also generated from stationary power sources which may be used regularly in tunnelling, mining or on construction sites.”

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6 Responses to “HSE TARGETS CONSTRUCTION FOR CANCER DEATH PREVENTION”

  1. REPORT ON THE BURDEN OCCUPATIONAL CANCER IN GB | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] sectors contributing substantially to the total burden includes construction, land transport, manufacture of transport equipment, metal workers, mining, painters and decorators […]

  2. LATEST STATISTICS SHOW CONSTRUCTION REMAINS HIGH RISK | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] – construction has the largest burden of occupational cancer (3,500 cancer deaths and 5,500 cancer registrations each […]

  3. FREE AWARENESS EVENT ON SILICA AND OTHER DUST RISK | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] latest research estimates that respirable crystalline silica (RCS) may be responsible for the deaths of over 500 […]

  4. HSE CONSTRUCTION DUST ‘COORDINATORS’ ON THE ROAD | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] breathing even small amounts of dust over a long time can cause serious lung diseases, including cancer. Common jobs like cutting or grinding concrete, chasing out mortar, drilling in […]

  5. PRESSURE MOUNTS ON CONSTRUCTION HEALTH ISSUES | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] of the top ten cancer prevention priorities place construction at the heart of HSEs interventions reflecting the earlier finding that 56% of cancer registrations in men are attributable to work […]

  6. HSE TURNING UP THE HEAT ON HEALTH RISKS | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] remains one of the top priorities for HSE in relation to occupational cancer and respiratory disease, with exposure to asbestos and other dusts, primarily respirable […]