AUSTRIA: 2000 deaths each year due to occupational cancers

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On the occasion of World Cancer Day on 4 February, the AUVA launched a vast campaign entitled “Gib Acht, Krebsgefahr!” (Warning, risk of cancer!). The aim is to make employers and employees more aware of the risks related to the carcinogenic substances present in many workplaces.

“Every occupational cancer is one cancer too many. Prevention is therefore an absolute priority. It is only if firms recognize that they work with carcinogenic substances and know how to use them safely that they can effectively prevent occupational cancers” assert two AUVA experts, Marie Jelenko and Silvia Springer. 

AUVA’s initiative is part of the EU-OSHA campaign on “Controlling the use of dangerous substances”. The insurer thereby makes an essential contribution to a healthier and more productive world in numerous work situations. Benzene is a carcinogenic agent, unburned when working with petrol-fuelled chain saws. In metallurgy, workers may be in contact with chromium (VI) compounds which are released during stainless steel welding or which are used in electroplating. In woodwork, the dusts in joinery workshops or formaldehyde in freshly stored glued wooden materials can pose problems. Formaldehyde solutions are used in the sick wards of hospitals. Cleaning products can also contain carcinogens. It is important to take into account the labelling and the hazard information shown on the packaging. Commercial chemical products are relatively easy to replace.

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