Cancer and occupational exposure to cancer causing agents

04 April 2017

The IOSH Caribbean Branch held its first Branch Meeting for 2017 at the Cara Suites Hotel and Conference Centre, Claxton Bay, on Friday 24th March, 2017. The topic of the meeting was Cancer and Occupational Exposure to Cancer Causing Agents and was presented by Mrs. Patricia Tikasingh of SMARA Cancer Support Group and IOSH Caribbean Branch (CB) Executive Committee Member, Ms. Shazara Ali Bocas.

Mrs. Patricia Tikasingh, a Cancer Survivor of eighteen (18) years, is a Patient Counsellor/Coordinator, Southern Medical Oncology Centre and Founder of the SMARA Cancer Support Group, presented on the broader topic of cancer and was accompanied by Mrs. Rose Dean, also a Cancer Survivor of seventeen (17) years, and her husband. Her presentation identified Cancer Risk Factors and potential Cancer Hazards in the Workplace.

Her presentation included the following main Cancer-related areas:

1. What is Occupational Cancer
2. What kills at Work
3. Workplace Cancer Facts and Statistics
4. What types of Jobs might put one at Risk
5. 10 Jobs with High Cancer Risk

All attendees were given hand-outs on the various types of Cancer e.g., Prostate Cancer, Colon Cancer, Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer and, the question and answer segment at the end generated much interest and enthusiasm. Following her presentation and discourse, Mrs. Tikasingh was presented with a small token of appreciation on behalf of the IOSH CB by our Treasurer, Shazam Edoo.

Ms. Shazara Ali Bocas continued the topic focusing on Cancer in the workplace and using the IOSH No Time To Lose (NTTL) Campaign outreach put the spotlight on Diesel Fuel Emission. The presentation and discussion provided information on workplace exposures and identified safety measures which, if implemented could reduce the risk of cancer –related diseases.

Mr. Curt Cadet, Chair of the Branch, concluded the event by updating all present on the proposed amendment of the Trinidad and Tobago Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act No.1 of 2004 at the recently concluded stakeholder consultation, held by the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development and the Occupational Health and Safety Authority and Agency. His comments were in relation to the discussion surrounding the inclusion of stress as an occupational disease in Schedule 1 of the Act. The Chair then thanked Mrs. Patricia Tikasingh for her participation and information, and commended her and her colleague Mrs. Rose Dean for their strength and courage in their fight against Cancer. The Chair also thanked our own Ms. Shazara Ali Bocas for her valuable contribution and rich discussion, and, all members and visitors for attending.