Work related illness

HSE defends its impotence in the losing battle against work’s diseases

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a legal duty to provide a medical service, making sure our bodies aren’t chockful of deadly substances or otherwise wrecked at work.

But, finds Hazards editor Rory O’Neill, its medical division is nearing extinction, the whole occupational medicine profession could follow suit and the UK’s workplace diseases crisis is continuing unchecked.

Occupational cancers

A worldwide epidemic of occupational cancer is claiming at least one life every 52 seconds, but this tragedy is being ignored by both official regulators and employers. These deaths are not just statistics, they are stories of pain, hardship and bereavement. 

The HSE have important information about occupational cancer, official relevant standards, guidance on what to do and official statistics.  

Stress

Work-related stress

What is stress?

HSE define stress as the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demands placed on them.  Work-related stress is not just confined to particular sectors but is widespread across all types of workplace - and is on the increase. 

According to the TUC website, surveys conducted by trade unions and others have confirmed that spending cuts in the public sector and job insecurity throughout the economy after the banking crisis are causing increasing levels of stress.

Musculoskeletal disorders

What are musculoskeletal disorders?

The term MSD covers any injury, damage or disorder of the joints or other tissues in the upper/lower limbs or the back.

Upper limb disorders (ULDs) can affect any part of the arm from the fingers to the shoulder or neck, and can involve muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and blood supply. 

Symptoms include pain, aching, tingling, tenderness, burning sensation, numbness, redness or swelling. ULDs also include Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).  ULDs are frequently caused or made worse by work. 

Common causes of ULDs are:

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