More than 100 leading businesses have given their support to IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign, which the charity says is the most successful campaign it has developed.
MPs and Peers who form the All Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health (APPG) have also given the initiative their endorsement, saying it is an “important campaign” which highlights the “frequently ignored” issue of carcinogen exposure in the workplace.
Over 20,000 visits were registered to the campaign’s website, www.notimetolose.org.uk, in its first six months – with over 13,700 downloads of resources developed to assist businesses in protecting their staff from coming into contact with occupational cancer risks.
The campaign also achieved over 460,000 social media impressions, while stories and features about No Time to Lose reached 37.6 million people in the UK and Ireland, as well as over 3.5 million others internationally, over the same six-month period.
Speaking during the Institution’s annual conference at ExCeL London recently, IOSH President Ian Harper said: “IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign makes me think about my leadership as a professional.
“It’s not necessarily the people who are operating plant machinery that are going to die. The person who is dying is the one who is cutting a piece of concrete with a disc cutter and making a big cloud of dust, but they are suffering a lot slower.
“Disproportionately, perhaps, my time is spent looking at the safety aspect of safety and health. No Time to Lose has provided leadership to me and my professional abilities to perhaps look beyond the normal things I would look at as a safety professional and change the dynamic of how I work, so I can protect more people, be more efficient with my time and have a greater impact.”
No Time to Lose 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.
IOSH recently presented at Westminster outlining the initiative and seeking to engage members of the APPG on Occupational Safety and Health.
In offering the APPG’s support to the campaign, group chair Ian Lavery MP said: “The APPG on Occupational Safety and Health is delighted to endorse this important campaign.
“Occupational cancers are by far the biggest workplace killers but are frequently ignored, despite the fact that they are often easily preventable. This focus on prevention within the IOSH campaign is something we welcome and support.”
Richard Jones, IOSH’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said: “Through No Time to Lose, we are calling for new joint action to reduce the substantial human, social and economic toll from work-related cancer. We welcomed this opportunity to alert politicians and others to the need for awareness-raising and for public policy that supports prevention.”
Among the businesses to have given its support to No Time to Lose to date is utilities company Southern Water, which was one of the campaign’s founder pledgers.
Keith Hole, Southern Water’s senior health and safety advisor for procurement and engineering construction, said the company’s involvement with the drive had encouraged some of its suppliers to also support the campaign.
Keith, who is a Chartered Member of IOSH, said: “As a business we are mature in the controls we already have, however, something we are very much focussing on is at the moment is wellbeing. No Time to Lose fitted very neatly with the direction we wanted to go.
“We have taken asbestos and silica dust seriously for a very long time. Diesel particulate exposure and solar radiation are interesting issues that we have been looking at with our suppliers.
“We have people going out to detect leakage and people working at height. The campaign’s guidance has been very helpful in actually giving us key facts that we can cascade to our workforce.”