Council becomes first Scottish local authority to back cancer drive
East Ayrshire Council has become the first local authority in Scotland to make a pledge to a campaign against the biggest cause of work-related deaths.
The council has signed up to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) No Time to Lose drive, which aims to raise awareness of exposure to cancer-causing substances found in workplaces and help organisations take action.
It joins more than 50 other organisations from across the world in signing the pledge, while many more have endorsed it.
By signing the pledge, the council has agreed to assess whether work activities staff perform have the potential to cause occupational cancer, and to develop and deliver a prevention strategy.
David Doran, the council’s Health and Safety Manager and a Chartered member of IOSH, said: “I’m proud we have become the first Scottish local authority to sign up to this excellent campaign, which is a clear demonstration of our commitment to reducing the number of people affected by this silent killer.
“The importance of safeguarding the health and safety of all our employees at work cannot be overstated and we’ll do everything we can to make sure our employees have access to the right information, advice and support they need as we highlight and promote No Time to Lose.”
In Britain, every year, nearly 14,000 new cases of cancer are registered which have been contracted while at work – and around 8,000 people die annually because of occupational cancer. Across the world, work-related cancer claims the lives of 666,000 people a year – far more than the number killed in workplace accidents.
IOSH launched No Time to Lose in November last year. Among the organisations which have supported it is the Scottish Government.
It 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.
Jane White, Head of Research and Information Services at IOSH, said: “We are delighted that East Ayrshire Council has made a pledge to our No Time to Lose campaign.
“Organisations in all industries should ensure their staff are covered by a culture of care. This includes taking whatever steps they can to prevent them from coming into contact with a potentially-deadly carcinogen.”
More information about No Time to Lose can be found at www.notimetolose.org.uk, and via @_NTTL on Twitter.