On the occasion of International Cancer Day on 4 February 2015, EU-OSHA presented a report on the evaluation of carcinogenic substances used in the workplace, as an essential step for better prevention of work-related cancers.
In publishing this report, EU-OSHA has several objectives:
- Describe carcinogenic substances and conditions responsible for the occurrence of work-related cancers;
- Examine sources of information and highlight shortcomings in scientific knowledge;
- Make recommendations to overcome these shortcomings;
- Describe preventive measures.
The report deals with the chemical, biological, organizational and physical factors which contribute to the development of work-related cancers. It also deals with specific issues such as subcontracting, temporary employment, multiple jobs, static work, female work on exposed work stations, atypical working hours and multiple exposures.
According to the authors of the report, raising awareness of the risks – especially physical and biological risks – of work-related cancer is not yet sufficiently developed in Europe. They consider that the information concerning occupational exposure to carcinogenic agents in Europe is obsolete and incomplete. In their opinion, it is necessary to update the CAREX database (International Information System on Occupational Exposure to Carcinogens in Europe) for which the latest data dates from 1990. This update should be considered as a priority task with a view to better prevention of work-related cancers in Europe.
The report recommends improving:
- Application of the legislation;
- Awareness raising strategies, especially for SMEs and VSEs;
- Access to compensation for victims.
To Find out more : Read the Eurogip Report Work-related cancers: what recognition in Europe? (In English)