Unfortunately, it is common for workers to be exposed to carcinogenic substances during the course of their employment which can lead to them being diagnosed with various forms of work-related cancers.
What is a Carcinogen?
A carcinogen is a substance or material or a mixture of both which can increase a person’s risk of developing various forms of work-related cancers, carcinogens take various forms including dusts such as asbestos, liquids, vapours and radiation.
Exposure occurs when the worker either inhales or swallows the carcinogen or in circumstances where the substance makes contact with the skin.
Most workplace cancers do not arise for a number of years after exposure to the carcinogen has ceased. This is known a the “latency” period. This varies depending on the type of carcinogen and the type of workplace cancer involved.
There is an extensive list of carcinogens now recognised as being present in the workplace and which are deemed to be harmful to health. The following are just some examples:
- Aromatic amines
- Diesel Fumes
- Manufacturing dyes
- Silica dust
- Wood dust
What Type of Cancer Could Exposure to a Carcinogen Cause?
The following list shows what can cause different types of work-related cancers:
- Bladder cancer – aromatic amines
- Bone cancer – ionising radiation
- Cancer of the larynx – inorganic acid mists
- Leukaemia – benzene, ethylene oxide
- Liver cancer – vinyl chloride, ionising radiation
- Lung cancer – asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, tobacco, ionising radiation, mineral oils, nickel, silica, tin mining and welding
- Nasal cancer – leather dust, nickel, wood dust (particularly hard woods such has mahogany)
- Thyroid cancer – ionising radiation
Who is at Risk?
There is a greater risk of developing a workplace cancer if you work in the manufacturing of plastics, textiles, rubber or petroleum, metal plating, paint production, leather treatment plants, the tyre making industry, the aerospace industry, the printing industry, chemical manufacturing and any industry involving exposure to hard wood dust.
Protection of Workers from the Dangers of Carcinogens
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) of 2002 introduced a strict framework for employers to follow in order to protect those who may be at risk of being exposed to various forms of carcinogens within the workplace.
The regulations clearly set out that known carcinogens must be removed from the workplace wherever possible and if this is not possible, the employer must take active steps to ensure that employees are trained and fully informed about the carcinogens they are working with.
The regulations also impose obligations on employers to ensure that employees are provided with adequate personal protective equipment such as respirators and protective suits.
How to make a Work Related Cancer Claim
If you think that you have developed a form of cancer due to the environment that you worked in, or as a result of the negligence of a previous employer, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts using the contact number below. We have a proven track record for successfully dealing with these types of claims, and will get you the compensation that you deserve.