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Work Cancer Risk Warning Following Government Safety Cuts Even Before Brexit

With there being no dubiety about the major risk to health, safety and the environment legislation posed by Brexit and a Tory Government’s commitment to align all UK standards and appropriate laws with that of the USA in order to ensure a Trade Deal; the evidence of this already happening is undeniable.

Pic: Report on Rubber Dust safetyThe new evidence confirming a cancer risk to tyre and rubber workers may go ignored because of the UK government’s safety deregulation and cuts, the Union Unite has warned.

The new research study published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine  confirms earlier findings that “N-nitrosamines exposures are associated with mortality from cancers of the bladder, lung, stomach, leukaemia, multiple myeloma, oesophagus, prostate, pancreas and liver.”

Unite commented such findings were “particularly timely as it comes just before International Workers’ Memorial Day as the theme for this year’s event is dangerous substances – get them out of the workplace ” the Union sates on its website.

Occupational Cancer and its prevention is this year’s theme of the events this 28th April.

The union says on its website:

“…Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, representing thousands of workers in the tyre and rubber industry the union is unable to properly address the new health concerns as there is no effective body to raise such issues.
This is a result of the Conservative government’s attacks on safety laws. The Health and Safety Executive previously had a tripartite body the Tyre and Rubber Industries Safety Action Group (TRISAG) which allowed for safety concerns to be raised and dealt with. However TRISAG, has been scrapped as a result of government pressure and no similar body has replaced its work.”

It goes further in the action it is taking:

“In order to improve the health of rubber workers Unite supports the introduction of stricter controls on both N-nitrosamines (which are found in most rubber products), rubber dusts and fumes. This could be achieved by the application of local exhaust and ventilation in all rubber industry plants.
Unite is also lobbying for the re-establishment of TRISAG, in order to ensure that these matters are properly dealt with and effective measures are taken to reduce the risk to workers.”

Pic: Tony DevlinUnite’s national officer for the rubber industry Tony Devlin said:

“This authoritative study is a stark reminder of the long-term health implications of being exposed to rubber. These dangers are being neglected as a direct result of the government’s cuts which are denying workers an effective voice in the corridors of power.”

He added: “The lack of an effective forum to deal with exposure to cancer causing substances is another example of how the government has washed it hands of workplace health and safety. Cancer deaths will not be reduced unless effective measures are taken to cut exposure levels to N-nitrosamines and rubber dust.”

That this comes from the Unite trade union, who’s General Secretary is in favour of Brexit following the EU Ref in 2016; is quite bizarre according to some opposing leaving the EU because this example represents the precise reason why Trade Unions need to oppose putting existing legislation at risk by supporting a future Labour Government AND remaining in the EU.

The study report entitled ‘Lifetime exposure to rubber dusts, fumes and N-nitrosamines and cancer mortality in a cohort of British rubber workers with 49 years follow-up.’ published in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine, can be downloaded from the Unionsafety E-Library in the category ‘Cancer (Work Related)’

See also: Hazards Cancer Causing Workplace Substances Info-Graphic For IWMD 2019

Source: Unite

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