Anatomy of a cancer cover up
The UK’s official workplace health and safety watchdog is helping the microelectronics industry cover up worrying evidence of occupational cancer risks, a campaign group has charged. Phase Two, which represents workers who believe their health was damaged by exposures at National Semiconductor’s (NSUK) plant in Greenock, Scotland, was speaking out on the 24 August publication of a Health and Safety Executive-backed study into cancer rates at the factory.
Hazards Green jobs blog, 25 August 2010 • see print version Cancer collusion, Hazards 112, October-December 2010
Phase Two refute the National Semiconductor clean bill of health claim
The UK’s official workplace health and safety watchdog is little more than an industry lapdog when it comes to the real occupational cancer risks presented by the microelectronics industry, a campaign group is warning. Phase Two, which represents workers who believe their health was damaged by exposures at National Semiconductor’s plant in Greenock, Scotland, was speaking out on the publication of a worrying study into cancer rates at the factory.
Phase Two news release, 24 August 2010
HSE should think of lives lost, not just statistical analysis
The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) is to write to HSE Chair Judith Hackitt seeking an explanation of how the HSE justifies issuing a press release headed: “Research indicates no increased cancer risk at Greenock factory”. STUC says the report quite clearly states that incidences for some types of cancer were higher than they had anticipated.
STUC news report, 25 August 2010
Research indicates no increased cancer risk at Greenock factory
Workers at a Scottish semi-conductor plant are not at increased risk of developing occupational cancers, new research suggests. An independent investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) has concluded that earlier concerns about occupational cancer at the National Semiconductors UK (NSUK) factory in Greenock were unfounded.
HSE news release, 24 August 2010
HSE observes hi-tech horror show
Microelectronics firms in Britain have neglected health risks to workers, tampered with crucial safety alarms and have shown no consideration of the risks faced by entire groups of workers, an official report has found. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) uncovered “weaknesses”, “misunderstandings” and poor practices in vital safety procedures across the sector.
Unite news release • Sunday Herald • Rob Edwards website • Control and management of hazardous substances in semiconductor manufacturers in Great Britain in 2009, HSE, July 2010 [pdf] • Risks 464 • 10 July 2010
Two new official studies have confirmed the long-neglected workplace cancer crisis. But while the US report recommends urgent preventive action, the UK report is just another body count.
Hazards 111, July-September 2010
Computer chip firms in cancer ‘fantasy’
The microelectronics industry is inhabiting an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ fantasy world when it comes to facing up to possible cancer risks to its staff, the union Unite has warned. It is pressing for the UK computer components and semiconductor industry to initiate industry-wide research into the risks.
Global Unions zero cancer campaign • Risks 354 • 3 May 2008
After hearing reports that women workers at the National Semiconductor microchip factory in Greenock were serious health problems, local advice worker Jim McCourt set up Phase Two, a group representing sick employees. The company's response was a dirty tricks campaign. Jim tells his story.
Hazards 76, October-December 2006.
Nat Semi cancer toll is “tip of the iceberg”
More than 70 cancer deaths at the National Semiconductor plant in Greenock, Scotland, could be the tip of the iceberg, health experts have warned. Experts have identified several types of cancer, including brain and breast tumours, which are four to five times higher than normal.
Hazards online, 3 June 2006
Five year delay on microchip cancer study
A study into cancers at a Scottish microelectronics plant has not started after years of delays, with just eight months to go before it's supposed to finish. Top boffins from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) promised five years ago to undertake the study at the National Semiconductor in Greenock, says health and safety campaign group Phase Two.
Risks 253, 22 April 2006
HSE webpage: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/nsuk/index.htm
A further study of cancer among the current and former employees of National Semiconductor (UK) Ltd., Greenock - 2010
• Leaflet summarising the findings of the follow-up study
• Main report for the follow-up study
• Appendices to the main report
• Detailed Historical Hygiene Assessment
• Protocol for the follow-up study
HSE investigation of concerns about cancer among current and former workers at National Semiconductor (UK) Ltd, Greenock - 2001
• Leaflet summarising the findings of the first study
• Main report for the first study
Hazards coverage of the Nat Semi cancer scandal
Hazards cancer webpages www.hazards.org/cancer