Raising awareness about employee risks of lung cancer
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Its principal aim is to encourage people who display symptoms to see their GP. Symptoms can include persistent cough, chest pain as well as becoming out of breath either when doing normal daily tasks or at resting.
A high percentage of sufferers will be smokers or ex-smokers, but we also know that passive smoking and other environmental factors are causes too. Employees must be safeguarded in the workplace and protected against being put at risk to lung cancer as well as other lung diseases such as asbestosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma.
Lung cancer – common causes
Lung cancer and lung diseases can be caused by solids, liquids, vapours, gases, or dust and can be breathed in, absorbed through the skin, or swallowed. Workers need to be aware therefore if certain work activities, such as exposure to dust, mild steel welding fume and heavy and prolonged exposure to silica, can cause either lung cancer and other serious respiratory diseases.
A risk assessment is a primary tool for identifying and managing the risks associated to work activities where there is exposure to dust, fumes, etc. The risk assessment should be shared with employees.
You can read our health and safety articles to find out more about managing ‘asbestos’, ‘legionella’, ‘personal protective equipment’, ‘risk assessment’ and ‘smoking’.
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