EU-OSHA report investigates identification and prevention of work-related cancer

The report evaluates current assessment methods and highlights gaps in our present knowledge of occupational cancer risk factors and work-related cancer. It also provides recommendations on how we can fill these gaps to help us move closer to preventive measures.

The report concentrates on the assessment of carcinogens and work-related cancer with the following objectives:

  • to describe carcinogens and cancer-causing conditions in the workplace

  • to evaluate sources of information and identify knowledge gaps

  • to give recommendations for filling these gaps

  • to describe prevention measures.

The report looks at chemical, biological, organisational and physical factors that contribute to occupational cancer. It also stresses the need to consider the current work environment, characterised by increased subcontracting, temporary work, multiple jobs, static work, female employment in exposed occupations, atypical working times and multiple exposures.

The issue of groups which are particularly vulnerable to cancer (e.g. young people, women, those experiencing high exposures or precarious conditions) is also addressed.

A key finding of the report is the need to broaden our knowledge base on occupational cancer. It identifies several key ways to do this, including information exchange at the international level and considering new and emerging risks, such as nanomaterials, endocrine-disrupting compounds, static work, and shift and night work.

An overview of possible solutions is given, but the report stresses that the most effective measure is avoidance of exposure. To achieve this, efforts are required at all levels, including in legislation, awareness- raising, specifications of preventive measures, improved implementation and enforcement, and lowering barriers to compensation.

More Info - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work