Hazards calls for a workers enquiry to fight cancer
Responding to an HSE intervention paper on occupational cancer presented to an HSE Board meeting on 22nd August in Bootle, Simon Pickvance of Hazards says:
“We are sick to death of being treated as second class workers in Europe, who can wait for preventative action till research is carried out, for example on shiftwork, when other member states have adopted a precautionary, pro active approach. It is not more science that is required before more humane shift patterns can be introduced.
HSE’s intervention strategy is based on ignorance, denial and a false view of work today, and its response to the biggest workplace killer is utterly pathetic. It is hard to see what will be achieved by more of the same without the active involvement of workers themselves in finding out where the main problems lie.
What is needed is a picture of the risks we face in the jobs we do today via a Trade Union backed workers inquiry to identify all workplace cancer exposures. Plus a massive preventive proactive enforcement of elimination, and an abandonment of the use of cost-benefit analysis in setting exposure limit for carcinogens in EU, as there are no safe levels of exposure to carcinogens”
- HSE supplementary paper on occupational cancer: ‘Occupational cancer, priorities for future intervention – supplementary paper’ The initial paper was rejected by the HSE board in May 2012.
- Simon Pickvance’s criticisms of the HSE strategy on work-related cancer include:
- Silica Dust – No evidence for the HSE technical innovations on control.
- Welding and Painting – no active involvement of workers in finding where the main problems lie.
- Shift work – no action on safer working patterns only a call for yet more research.
- Dry cleaning – no interventions on safer substitutes, only low cost ‘awareness raising initiatives’.
- Epidemiology – focus from HSE is on widespread, long established problems while ignoring high risk exposures affecting smaller groups of workers.
- Lack of participatory approach to risk detection – HSE fails to engage workers in identifying risk in their work places.
- Lack of Toxic Use reduction methods – HSE ignores reducing exposure to existing and known carcinogens and setting targets for elimination.
More here This Man Knows all about Cancer or call Simon Pickvance Tel: 0114 268 4197