Health and Safety Consultancy Services for SMEs in Birmingham, West Midlands and beyond

The Risks of Occupational Illnesses
Posted by David Cant on December 10, 2012

Annual Health and Safety Statistics

The HSE released their annual health and safety statistics back at the end of October. The figures were promising as they showed that there was a drop in the number of fatalities caused by work and the amount of serious injuries. This is great news, although some of the figures haven’t moved much it is something to work on. There is no room for complacency and the figures have shown that there is still plenty of work to be done and areas that need attention.

Diseases can be Avoided by Careful Planning, Preventative Measures and Training

While workplace fatalities are shocking and cause a large amount of distress for families, friends and employers, not enough is being done to draw attention to occupational illnesses. There are thousands of people who lose their lives due to an illness that was contracted due to their working activities. Premature deaths are often caused by industrial diseases, and because of the difficulties in tracking the sufferers outside of work it is impossible to give exact statistics. However, there are estimates and it is thought that around 8,000 deaths caused by occupational cancer occur each year in the UK.

Asbestos is another killer and results in 4,500 deaths. Those exposed to asbestos face several diseases, most of which are terminal. Further estimates have suggested that as many as 15% of pulmonary diseases are caused by work. This amounts to approximately 4,000 deaths that have resulted in diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis. These diseases are often the result of being exposed to dust, fumes and chemicals.

You Have Lives in Your Hands

When working on health and safety it is important to think about the lives you can affect and not simply to avoid prosecution. The individuals are not the only people affected by occupational illnesses. The families and friends all suffer too. Whether facing instant trauma from an unexpected accident or a long term illness each situation is sobering and distressing for everyone involved.

Health and safety consultants can work with you to keep everyone within your organisation safe. It is essential to perform risk assessments and introduce control measures that can help to reduce the hazards that come with working in certain environments. Whether you can introduce new protective clothing and equipment, or introduce a safer chemical every little improvement works towards saving lives and reducing suffering.

Risk assessments and strong health and safety training are not the only services available. Health and safety consultants are able to provide asbestos surveys to ensure no one is exposed to the fibres that cause so many horrendous diseases. If you would like to talk to us about our services, or request an asbestos survey and information on how to deal with asbestos in your building you can speak directly to one of our team. Do so by calling us directly on 0800 1488 677.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner with a brain you can pick. Fluent in practical advice. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the Director of life at Veritas Consulting.

You can find him on – Twitter and Facebook also Linkedin

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