The day provides an opportunity to reflect on how to prevent occupational deaths, injuries, diseases and illnesses. It is also a day to remember those who have died from a work-related injury or illness.
This year’s theme is ‘Act together to build a positive safety and health culture’. It encourages workplaces to foster a strong work health and safety culture in which everyone contributes to a safe and healthy working environment.
On average, workers spend a third or even more of their lifetime in the workplace. It’s undeniable that the workplace influences and impacts workers’ health behaviours and quality of life.
According to Cancer Council research, over 5,000 work-related cancers are diagnosed each year in Australia. These cases do not necessarily involve just the workers who consume tobacco directly, it also includes workers who are exposed to environmental and occupational second-hand smoke.
There’s no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals, with 69 known to cause cancer.
Second-hand smoke causes immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, which have short-term and long-term impacts. Non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke have a 20-30% greater chance of developing chronic diseases such as lung cancer.
Making the environments where we live, work and play, smoke-free is the most effective way to reduce second-hand smoke exposure.
To support employers, Cancer Council NSW has launched a ‘Guide to smoke-free workplaces’. This resource outlines the dangers of second-hand smoke, benefits of going smoke-free, six steps for making your workplace smoke-free and links to important and helpful resources.
Employers have clear legal obligations to ensure that indoor or enclosed working environments are free of harmful second-hand smoke exposure.
Why go smoke-free at your workplace?
Better health for employees
To meet legal obligations
Cost savings for employers
Caring for the environment
Cancer Council NSW is encouraging workplaces to build a positive safety and health culture by implementing a smoke-free policy this World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Workplaces can learn how by downloading the ‘Guide to Smoke-free Workplaces’.