The British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection, is warning against any slackening of pace in efforts to reduce what it calls “the unacceptable burden of work-related ill health in the UK and internationally” following Britain’s historic referendum vote to leave the European Union.
In a statement, the society highlighted the enormous death toll associated with occupational health hazards:
- In Britain every year, approximately 13,000 people die from diseases which were caused by the work that they do or used to do.
- The vast majority of these deaths are due to cases of work-related lung disease or cancer, caused by past exposure to chemicals and dusts at work.
- Globally, work-related diseases claim an estimated 2 million lives per year.
Steve Perkins, CEO of BOHS, said, “Research proves that occupational health hazards can be controlled, and work-related ill health prevented. In recent years, we as a society and a nation have made significant strides in raising awareness about the value of worker health protection, through initiatives - such as our Breathe Freely campaign, which aims to prevent occupational lung disease in the construction industry. Despite any political uncertainty, BOHS will continue to show leadership in the sphere of occupational hygiene to guard against any loss of these hard-won gains.”