What are the Facts about Bladder Cancer?
Bladder Cancer is more common than you might think. According to Cancer Research UK 1 in 50 men and 1 in 133 women will be diagnosed with bladder cancer in their lifetime. 49% of these cases are preventable.
Whilst the biggest risk factor for bladder cancer is smoking, there are certain jobs in a range of industries that can put you more at risk of contracting the disease from exposure to chemicals such as aniline dyes, benzidine and 2-naphthylamine. These include:
- Leather Tanning
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, your employer has a legal duty to protect you from risks to your health as far as is practicably possible. You may have been issued with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to reduce any risk to you. If this was not effective, your employer could be in breach of their duty of care to you. In 2002 the COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulations also came into effect. These state that an employer must protect both employees and visitors to the workplace from exposure to harmful substances which includes many biological hazards, such as benzidine, that are thought to be linked to cancer.
Medically speaking, if a harmful substance comes into contact with your skin or through inhalation, either directly or because of a failure of protective equipment, you are at risk of injury. If this has happened to you, you may be able to make a compensation claim. To do this you would have to prove that the company you were working for owed you a duty of care.
You should ask yourself the following questions.
- Was I working with or in the vicinity of harmful chemicals?
- Did my employer ensure a safe system of work?
- Was I informed of the dangers of working with a particular chemical?
- Did I raise a concern about the safety of my job and it wasn’t addressed?