A total of 18 construction firms including the likes of Laing O’Rourke, Skanska and Morgan Sindall have joined a new pilot aimed at improving workers’ occupational health across the industry.
Construction workplace pension provider B&CE is developing a new product that it says will make it easier for employers to comply with health and safety legislation and identify work-related illnesses earlier.
The move is part of a bid to cut down the number of construction workers who suffer illnesses caused or made worse by their work, currently estimated at 80,000.
The programme will see workers who join the construction industry and are likely to be exposed to a health hazard, or those workers who are about to be exposed to a new hazard, being tested by an occupational health service provider (OHSP) so that their level of health is known before they undertake any hazardous work.
The OHSP will take measurements of the workers’ health via a questionnaire and a series of physical tests.
The results will be shared with the worker, who will then be asked to complete at questionnaire every 12 months to monitor if their work has impacted their health in any way.
The process will continue in a three-year rolling cycle until the worker is no longer exposed to any health hazards.
Nicola Sinclair, head of business development Health at B&CE, said: “Every year, tens of thousands of construction workers suffer from illnesses caused or made worse by their jobs. We shouldn’t allow this to be considered the ‘norm’ – everyone working in the industry should have the right to a healthy working life and future. With 75 years of experience in the construction industry, B&CE is in a good place to start challenging the industry to change.
“It’s fantastic that so many major construction firms and occupational health service providers are supporting our ambition to improve the health of workers across the construction industry. The clinical and industry expertise from this pilot group will play a vital role in developing an effective product that will improve the health of workers across the industry.”
Alice Cook, project manager at Build UK said: “The creation of this pilot group is an important step in developing an improved occupational health provision for everyone in construction. Caring for workers more effectively will help our industry increase productivity and recruit, train and retain the best talent.”
B&CE’s pilot group members include:
- Murphy Group
- Skanska’s internal OH provider
- Morgan Sindall
- KML OH
- JCJ Demolition & Construction
- Midland Occupational Health Services Ltd
- Laing O’Rourke
- Walker Construction (UK)
- Stanford Industrial Flooring
- Coulson Building Group
- Express Medicals
- Jason Hunt