Exposure to harmful substances in the workplace can cause cancer. Workplace-cancer contributes significantly to work-related illness in Aotearoa. Unprotected sun exposure while working outside is a common cancer risk. Others potential hazards include:
- Some jobs. Over 50 known and 100 possibly or probable causes of cancer exist in workplaces. For more information see here.
The most common are industrial chemicals, dusts, asbestos, metals and combustion products such as diesel engine exhaust and pesticides. Workers in agriculture, construction, health and manufacturing can be more exposed to these risks.
- Shift work at night or the rapidly crossing of time zones such as by airline crew, may increase the risk of some cancers. IARC classifies shift work as ‘probably’ cancer causing. For more detail see here.
What can you do?
Learn more here:
Specific cancer risk factors see here.
- Laws regulating hazardous substances here.
- To ensure employers protect the health and safety of their employees see the NZ Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
- To protect workers and help your workplace reduce known causes of cancer see Work Safe NZ Mahi Haumaru Aotearoa
- Cancer Society SunSmart resources for your workplace, here.
- To protect other cancer risks see Cancer Society resources that support healthy diets and limiting alcohol, here or at the Health Promotion Agency here.
- To build a healthier workplace (healthy food, being active, smoke and alcohol free) see Well Place.