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to be concerned about working for the company i currently work for?

(9 Posts)
juicychops Mon 03-Nov-08 10:07:42

i work part time for a pharmaceutical manufacturer. there are 200 members of staff in the company and 7 of them have cancer at the moment.

is this cause for concern?

TheArmadillo Mon 03-Nov-08 10:09:55

I think, sadly the % of the population that get cancer is higher than that.

1in6 maybe?

ninedragons Mon 03-Nov-08 10:11:33

Raise it with your boss and your union rep. They should be investigating anyway. Could be coincidence, could be something unrelated to the work itself (there has been a small cancer cluster in suburban Sydney on a street that used to have a factory that made glow-in-the-dark clock faces).

ninedragons Mon 03-Nov-08 10:13:39

TA is right - 3.5% isn't necessarily a huge statistical anomaly. But your company should want to set everyone's minds at ease anyway.

juicychops Mon 03-Nov-08 10:23:24

i dont really want to make it obvious its me, but do you think if i wrote an anonymous letter to hr that would do the trick? there must be more than just me a bit concerned about this. there are loads of chemicals coming in and out of the building daily and machinery blending these chemicals 24/7

ninedragons Mon 03-Nov-08 10:32:01

Are you in a union? They could approach the company on your behalf.

I wouldn't worry too much about anonymity if I were you. Whistleblower protection legislation is pretty strong these days, I believe. Any decent boss would address the issue and be grateful that you took your concerns to the company rather than run off to the Daily Mail so they could run a bullshit scare story.

NewspiritsFromOldghosts Mon 03-Nov-08 10:33:24

Where are the risk assessments, COSHH data sheets etc?
What type if cancer is occurring, is it the same form?
If your company is using chemicals etc then they have to have these things and you should be aware of them.
In this day and age it's unlikely that a comapany would be using carcinogenic substances in a way that had caused sickness in it's employees and no one had noticed.

Health and Safety is so tight for firms like yours that to be honest i think you are barking up the wrong tree here.

Currently, my company employs approx 350 people in the uk. Of those we have about the same proportion who are either being treated for or recovering from cancer.Unfortunately it's not uncommon for people to develop a form of cancer.

juicychops Mon 03-Nov-08 10:35:31

not in a union. il speak to my manager about it, but yes, maybe it is just coincidence. its very sad

ninedragons Mon 03-Nov-08 10:52:38

It almost certainly is coincidence but it's natural to be worried. 3.5% is not a huge number statistically but it feels like it is if you know all the people concerned.

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