The Canadian government is spending $6 million to help track and prevent workplace cancers and to create the tools and training to support workers in a wide variety of industries, including restaurants, petroleum refining, entertainment and manufacturing.
“Cancer is still the number one killer of Canadians,” Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn said. “There are few more preventable, but devastating, diseases than lung cancer, even though in most cases it is avoidable through smoking. We have a real opportunity with this collaboration to empower workers to lead healthy lifestyles.”
About eight to 12 million workers may have cancer, Flynn said.
“We must invest in technology to identify the work environment as a cancer risk. We must invest in health promotion. We must invest in tools to identify and monitor changes and risk factors,” he said.
The initiatives also will track non-cancer related risks, including the screening and evaluation of employees. They will also develop materials to teach workers on how to avoid contact with carcinogens, especially in the workplace and their homes.
“We need to prevent cancer on the job,” said CDC director Brenda Fitzgerald. “We share the ministry’s commitment to eliminate cancer as a workplace and we know it can be done.”
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