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Lessening Fears and Ignorance

04 December 2015 | Updated 01 January 1970

New guidance to encourage better management of occupational health risks by the HSE is urging the industry to put an end to the hundreds of construction workers that die of occupational diseases every month.

Its inspectors issued more than 200 health related enforcement notices during the recent HSE construction inspection initiative which it believes highlighted the widespread misunderstanding of what ‘occupational health’ means in the construction sector and many employers’ ‘misguided perception’ that health is more difficult to manage than safety.

The new guide – Occupational health risk management in construction – has been written by the Construction Industry Advisory Committee (ConIAC) Health Risks Working Group and formatted with the assistance of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

It gives practical advice on what ‘health risk’ means for the construction industry, and the role of occupational health service provision in preventing or controlling those risks.

“The misunderstanding of occupational health within the construction sector means that while the industry focus on managing the more familiar safety issues, serious health risks get ignored,” explained Ian Strudley, Chair, ConIAC Health Risks Working Group and HSE Principal Specialist Inspector said. “We cannot let this continue when figures show that construction workers are at least 100 times more likely to die from a disease caused or made worse by their work as they are from a fatal accident; the industry must take action.”

The guidance is freely available on HSE’s and IOSH’s website.

Picture: The HSE has published its latest construction guidance on occupational disease

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 04 December 2015


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