In 2014, forty years on from this life-changing piece of legislation, Health and Safety Week was launched to celebrate the achievements of UK practitioners and bring back some pride to the industry.
However, there is still room for improvement. Despite fatal injuries being at their lowest in 20 years, occupational health cases are on the rise.
The latest statistics show that 2,535 people died of mesothelioma (asbestos-induced cancer) in 2012 due to past exposure to asbestos, while more than 1.2 million people are suffering from a work-related illness
Occupational health issues include:
- Cancer – from asbestos, silica, shift work, etc;
- Other asbestos-related illnesses;
- Respiratory diseases – lung cancer, asthma, emphysema, bronchitis;
- Noise-induced hearing loss;
- Musculoskeletal disorders;
- Work-related skin disease;
- Mental health; and
- Hand arm vibration.
The aim of Health and Safety Week 2015 is to inspire employers and employees to embrace health in the workplace by instigating initiatives and programs throughout the year.