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March 18, 2013

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Bra protest at HSE’s approach to occupational cancer

Protesters hung up their bras outside an HSE conference to urge the watchdog to take a more hands-on approach to tackle occupational diseases.

Last week, the Hazards Campaign held a protest outside the British Library in London, where the HSE was holding an event to discuss ways to reduce instances of work-related cancer. Demonstrators hung their bras on a washing line as delegates entered the conference.

The Hazards Campaign claims the HSE has taken minimal action to prevent workers being exposed to carcinogenic agents in the workplace.

More than 12,000 people die from occupational cancer each year and approximately 450,000 new cases of workl-related ill health are reported annually.

The Hazard Campaign’s Hilda Palmer told SHP: “The HSE is taking almost no action to prevent occupational cancer. There is a lack of research in this area and the Executive must act now to remove all factors that cause these diseases in the workplace.”

In response, a spokesperson for the regulator said: “HSE recognises that more can be done to make a bigger impact in tackling occupational disease – that’s why we’ve hosted this event. We wanted to get a range of people, experts and those from industry to consider and discuss ways by which instances of work-related cancer and occupational disease may be reduced. HSE sees itself as a catalyst to this – it can’t do it alone.

“It was actually an update on the Burden of Cancer study that prompted the HSE Board to consider the wider issues of occupational disease and what was being done by HSE, and more widely. This directly led to this workshop event – an event to which Hazards campaigners staging the protest were invited in to.€

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Go on Hilda. Nice to see you are still receiving funding for your battle for oppressed workers.

With the support of all SWP and Militant Tendency members we will win this class war and gain justice for the workers of Europe.