Want to read the Law Reports

www.bailii.org is a charitable website which has full transcripts of nearly all Court of Appeal and House of Lords decisions from the last few years.


Optical radiation


An EU directive designed to protect workers from exposure to optical radiation was approved by European Parliament and Council at a meeting of the Conciliation Committee. The legislation will only cover artificial sources of optical radiation and not natural sources such as the sun.

The directive lays down minimum standards for the prevention and early diagnosis of damage to the eyes and skin from optical radiation and for the prevention of long-term health dangers. It sets exposure limit values and requires employers to carry out risk assessments. It includes provision of worker’s rights to information training, consultation and health checks.

There is likely to be a European Parliament plenary vote on the conclusions of the Conciliation Committee in February 2006.

Occupational cancer – burying the evidence

A report published in November 2005 by Hazards, the TUC backed health and safety magazine, concludes that the incidence of occupational cancer in the UK is between 12,000 and 24,000 deaths a year, the equivalent of 16 per cent of all cancer deaths in the UK.


Their publication Burying the Evidence says the reason official figures underestimate the scale of the problem is because HSE work is based on flawed US research conducted almost 25 years ago (the HSE says that just four per cent of the UK’s annual cancer death toll is as a result of exposure to carcinogens at work). The full report can be found at www.hazards.org/cancer.



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On the web


Information on chemicals: The US government's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has made available online the 2005 version of its Pocket guide to chemical hazards. It provides useful hazards summaries on several hundred substances. Go to www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/default.html