Call for Urgent Action for Diesel Fume Exposure
A call for Great Britain’s Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to take urgent action to prevent deaths in many workplaces due to exposure to diesel fumes was made recently at GMB Congress.
This followed the announcement from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), that Diesel is now listed as a proven human carcinogen. A HSE discussion paper in May 2012 estimates 652 deaths from occupational diesel exposure due to lung and bladder cancer and an estimated 100,000 workers exposed. [WCx]
GMB’s call is backed by Professor Andrew Watterson and Tommy Gorman of the Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group at the University of Stirling, Scotland.
Particular Concern for Professional Drivers
GMB has many thousands of members working as professional drivers and is particularly concerned about the crews of security vehicles which are loaded in security vaults and the many other workers who work with continually in and around diesel fumes.
Brian Terry, GMB senior safety representative from the security industry where workers are exposed to diesel fumes said, “In the past the HSE has said that diesel fumes might cause cancer. Now they are saying that it does.
GMB members across the UK working in many sectors, now know the dangers of diesel fumes in the workplaces where vehicles are used in confined spaces and the workforce are exposed. GMB is calling on the HSE to take immediate, decisive action to safe guard the many workers who will be worried by this report. [WCx]
Health & Safety to Prioritize Inspections
The HSE acknowledges that some professional drivers are a high-risk group, while other high-risk groups include railway workers and lorry drivers. Officials say these groups must be prioritized by HSE in inspections and for enforcement as it is thought that the biggest risk groups have a 40% increased risk of lung cancer due to diesel exposure.
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