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Scotland: Workplace Related Diseases Kill Thousands Annually

As many as 2000 people a year in Scotland are dying from workplace related diseases according to a new study published by Stirling University.

The study was published to coincide with International Workers Memorial Day commemorating those have died as a result of their job.

One of the studies contributors, Rory O'Neill, stated that their analysis of cancer in Scotland suggests 8-16% of cancers are workplace related. This translates to over a thousand preventable deaths every year. O'Neill and others involved in the study claim the lack of action by businesses and officials amounts to "criminal neglect."

The report on Scottish jobsite exposure risks listed asbestos as the most common carcinogen with various silica, metals, solvents, and oils also making the list.

O'Neill is coordinating a "zero cancer" campaign among trade unions worldwide and noted that most employers worldwide still use carcinogens in place of safer chemicals mainly on the basis of cost.

"Occupational diseases - particularly cancers - are Scotland's hidden killers, yet there's a scandalous lack of action," said Prof. Andrew Watterson who also worked on the survey.

He feels that workplace hazards can be avoided if legislators work towards tougher enforcement, health surveys and financial penalties on employers.

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