TUC formulates escape plan for UK workforce

More
than two million workers in the UK have been made ill by their jobs, and around
a quarter of them (575,000) can blame their illnesses on exposure to dangerous
substances at work, according to the TUC.

Dangerous
substances is the theme of this year’s European Health and Safety Week, and the
TUC is promoting a new ESCAPE programme to help workers steer their employers
safely away from processes and materials that put employees’ health at risk.

TUC
general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: "Work is killing several thousand
people every year, and making thousands more very ill. We must put a stop to
this annual roll-call of death and disease, and raising employer awareness this
week is a good way to start."

The
six point ESCAPE plan promotes:

E:
Elimination – finding ways of reducing risk by changing the way toxic materials
are used.

S:
Substitution – swapping the dangerous substance for something altogether safer.

C:
Control – if neither elimination or substitution are possible, then the
hazardous material must be enclosed, with any emissions dealt with properly, and
protective equipment always used.

A,
P and E: And Prevent the Exposure of as many of the workforce as possible.

By Michael Millar

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