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Cancer Concerns: in my workplace
Growing awareness about health and increased concern about exposures to occupational hazards among workers has led to many questions in recent years about occupational cancers. The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) fact sheet: “Known Occupational Causes of Cancer” [pdf 164k] provides information about cancer and how the NJDOH responds to reported concerns about cancers at work
How are reports of cancers at work responded to by the NJDOH?
A concern about cancer at work may be reported to the Cancer Surveillance Unit (CSU) of the NJDOH Environmental and Occupational Health Surveillance Program by a worker, a union representative, or an employer. The CSU responds to a report of concerns about cancer at work with the assistance of the person who reported the cancers.
Collecting data about cancer occurrence and the working population
Response to a report of cancer at work begins with the concerned party providing as much information as possible to CSU staff about the types of cancer involved and about affected workers. Information relating to who, what, when, and where is an important part in making a determination of whether or not an occupational exposure or exposures may be linked to the development of reported cancers.
Associated health and safety concerns
Even if a set of reported cancers cannot be linked to an occupational exposure in the workplace, the person who contacted us often has other health and safety concerns that should be addressed. It is always important that any potential occupational hazards that violate federal or state standards be identified and rectified properly.
The CSU addresses cancer concerns in the workplace but does not directly address any occupational exposure and workplace safety concerns. There are two agencies that are responsible for the enforcement of occupational health and safety regulations, depending on whether the workplace is public sector or private sector. If concerns involve public employees in New Jersey’s municipal, county and State offices, as well as New Jersey’s public schools, colleges, universities and hospitals, one may wish to contact the NJDOH Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health (PEOSH) Unit for further assistance. Otherwise, if concerns involve private sector employees in private schools, colleges, universities and hospitals, as well as private companies and Federal offices, one may wish to contact the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for further assistance. These respective agencies may be contacted by Internet or telephone, as follows:
- PEOSH – http://www.nj.gov/health/peosh/; (609) 984-1863
- OSHA – http://www.osha.gov; 1-800-321-6742
OSHA Area Offices in New Jersey and Counties covered:
- Avenel – (732) 750-3270 (Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset, Union, and Warren)
- Hasbrouck Heights – (201) 288-1700 (Bergen and Passaic)
- Marlton – (856) 596-5200 (Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean, and Salem)
- Parsippany – (973) 263-1003 (Essex, Hudson, Morris, and Sussex)
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