CWU’s Work-Related Skin Cancer Drive Recognised by IOSH
To: All Branches
An international campaign to tackle work-related cancer has awarded the CWU’s National Health and Safety Department a special recognition award for its dedicated campaigning work on work-related skin cancer from sun exposure and solar radiation. Reproduced below is the article appearing on the CWU Website.
The “No Time to Lose” – NTTL 200 event (organisations working together to beat occupational cancer) was organised by Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH) to mark the campaign gaining 200 supporting organisations and to recognise and showcase the work of four outstanding supporting organisations and Campaigns with CWU being the only Union selected.
IOSH’s international “No Time To Lose Campaign”, which aims to raise awareness and tackle work-related, occupational cancer by helping organisations, businesses and unions to take action to prevent it, was launched 18 months ago and the Safety Organisation was hosting a special recognition awards presentation for leading organisations who have committed to preventing occupational cancer at a special presentation at the Crystal in London last month.
Shelley Frost, IOSH Executive Director thanked the Communication Workers Union for its support for the ‘No Time To Lose’ campaign and congratulated National Health and Safety Officer Dave Joyce on behalf of the Union for the excellent work the Union has done both individually and especially in partnership with Royal Mail Group and IOSH on Sun Safety and tackling solar radiation exposure at work and skin cancer risks and raising awareness. IOSH urged all supporting organisations to look at what the CWU and Royal Mail had done and to continue to keep the ‘No Time to Lose’ campaign message alive to help prevent occupational cancer. A Joint Royal Mail/CWU film was showcased at the London Crystal event and can be viewed at the following link:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8-t50gNoKc.
At the NTTL Launch event at Royal Mail HQ back in 2014 Kate Field, IOSH Head of Information had said: “IOSH urges all businesses to develop ‘sun safety strategies’ that include regular updates on the UV index from weather forecasts, minimising sun exposure in the middle of the day and asking outdoor workers to cover-up, wear long-sleeved, loose-fitting tops and trousers in combination to using high-factor sunscreen as a barrier to the harmful UV solar radiation sun rays. The ‘No Time to Lose’ campaign will work with employers and unions to raise awareness of solar radiation exposure at work and encourage employers and unions to launch their own campaigns including factsheets, posters, pocket cards to engage the work force."
Through the ‘No Time to Lose’ campaign, the Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH) has been highlighting the four common risk factors associated with work–related cancer registrations and deaths –
• Sun/Solar radiation
• Diesel engine exhaust emissions,
Research estimates that cancer caused by work claims a staggering 700,000 lives a year worldwide– one death every 47 seconds. In Britain alone, it is estimated that around 8,000 people die annually from this dreadful disease.
IOSH launched the ‘No Time to Lose (NTTL)’ campaign in November 2014 to raise awareness of occupational cancers and help organisations, employers with trade unions to take action with IOSH providing free support, expertise, research, information and factual, practical resources and input.
Since being launched in London, in 2014, organisations from across industry and the globe have formally supported ‘No Time to Lose (NTTL)’ and highlighted the issue to their workers/members, contractors and clients. 100 of those have taken their support a stage further by pledging to manage harmful exposures at work, to the combined benefit of around million workers.
After receiving the IOSH Certificate, CWU National Health, Safety & Environment Officer Dave Joyce said “I’m delighted that IOSH have recognised the great health and safety work of our Union and the great value of the combined efforts jointly with Royal Mail.” Going on to talk about the campaign he added "Having identified the concern around the growing number of skin cancer cases in the UK, the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department set about running its “Sun Smart – Skin Safe” campaign back in 2004 and its always been a priority for us. With the launch of NTTL in 2014 by IOSH, Royal Mail Group’s new Director of Safety Shaun Davis agreed to a high profile joint campaign with us – Royal Mail Group, IOSH, CWU and Unite CMA also backing a huge campaign, injecting a high level of resources and effort into awareness raising for the first time, with communications, briefings and messages through the media of Websites, internal publications, Posters, screens and TV, so at last the messages were coming from all stakeholders and not just CWU alone. The task now is to keep it alive and get through to front line staff to take the risk seriously. Outdoor workers aren’t the easiest of groups to communicate with and we will continue to press the employers to reinforce the commitment and we still want more from them by way of free Sunscreen for postal workers, because as the campaign states there’s ‘The No Time to Lose’ "
IOSH Executive Director of Policy, Shelley Frost concluded “We must continue to express the importance of employers controlling employee exposure to cancer-causing agents and the vital need for employees being made aware of the risks posed by work-related cancer and controls needed to be put in place to prevent such exposures. Prevention is always better than cure. It’s through campaigns like this that we stand the best chance of preventing people from becoming seriously ill as a result of the work they do.
”Footnote – News
The NHS have this month launched a new “Cover Up, Mate” Sun Safety Campaign as skin cancer in men continues to rise: Outdoor Workers who spend long periods of time outside are being urged to protect themselves against the sun this summer amid a rise in the number of people being diagnosed with skin cancer. Workers are being targeted by NHS England South’s “Cover Up, Mate” campaign because of their prolonged exposure to the sun – and men are a particular focus because research indicates that they are much less likely than women to slap on the ‘Sunscreen’. NHS England South Medical Director, Nigel Acheson, said: “You can’t feel UV radiation, so it’s very easy to get sunburnt in the UK, even when it’s not particularly warm. But sunburn causes skin cancer so it’s important people take more care, especially men and those who work outside. They need to use Sunscreen with good level of UV-A protection and apply it generously on all exposed skin.”
*Attachment: Photo of Shelley Frost, Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH) Executive Director presenting CWU National Health, Safety & Environment Officer Dave Joyce with the special recognition award certificate
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer
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