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Cancer

Workers in the construction and the timber trades are exposed to a variety of hazardous substances at work, some of which are known to cause cancer. Studies show that workers in our sectors have elevated risk of developing different types of cancer as a result of their occupational exposure.

ILO Convention 139 gives governments minimum standards to deal with cancer causing substances at work. It also has a Recommendation (R 147), which gives more detailed advice.

The global unions have produced a a new cancer prevention guide, which reveals that over 600,000 deaths a year – one death every 52 seconds – are caused by occupational cancer, making up almost one-third of all work-related deaths. The guide launches the first ever international zero occupational cancer campaign, involving 11 global trade union organisations together representing over 300 million members in more than 150 countries. Just click on the right hand side of the screen if you wish to download the "Union guide to prevention".