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September 10, 2015

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CCS: occupational cancers spotlight

ImageThe Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) has published a new ‘Spotlight on…’ initiative focusing on occupational cancers, which aims to raise awareness of how the industry can help to safeguard its workforce against occupational cancers – where protection and early intervention is critical – before it’s too late.

The scheme’s ‘Spotlight on…’ series aims to look at different areas associated with improving the image of construction, and hopes to raise awareness among registered sites, companies and suppliers on how they can help with the issues.

The construction workforce is at a greater risk of developing cancer, notably skin and lung cancer at work compared with any other industry group, if the risks posed fail to be appropriately managed. A number of the substances potentially causing risk include asbestos, silica, diesel engine exhaust emissions, paint and prolonged exposure to UV radiation. Without appropriate control measures in place, the workforce can be harmfully exposed by breathing these substances in or absorbing them through the skin.

It is difficult to determine the true extent of occupational cancers as in many cases individuals fail to develop any noticeable symptoms of either skin or lung cancers until many years later. Therefore, occupational cancers are often not viewed as a high-risk health and safety issue.

Edward Hardy, CCS CEO, said: “A staggering 40 per cent of total occupational cancer deaths arise within the construction industry. There’s no doubt that more awareness raising and preventative measures need to be adopted across the industry. CCS monitors around 8,000 sites, companies and suppliers every year, and therefore plays a critical role in helping to raise awareness on the ground.

“The good news is that many of those registered with the scheme are taking action. Examples include proactively removing carcinogen and hazardous substances, isolating high-risk areas, introducing controls to reduce exposure, providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to match the working conditions, raising general awareness and offering appropriate support and advice.”

The scheme’s ‘Spotlight…on’ initiative includes links to case studies and many more resources and organisations available to help tackle occupational cancers.

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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