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Guidelines aim to raise awareness of construction health risks

Guidelines aim to raise awareness of construction health risks

28 November 2015 Email this article

New guidelines have been published in a bid to boost awareness of occupational health risks in the construction industry.

Put together by CITB, the Construction Industry Advisory Committee (ConIAC) and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the guide aims to help the sector manage health risks more effectively.

In the construction sector, the authors say that some of the main risks include exposure to asbestos and other dangerous substances, frequent loud noise and excessive use of vibrating tools and discusses what employers and duty holders can do in order to mitigate the risk for employees.

Ian Strudley, chair of the ConIAC, says it is important for the construction sector to be aware of both health risks and safety hazards. He explains:  “The misunderstanding of occupational health within the construction sector means that whilst the industry focuses on managing the more familiar safety issues, serious health risks get ignored. 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 new guidelines come after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out a series of inspections recently in which more than 200 health-related enforcement notices were issued.

As a result of the inspections, the HSE found that many employers do not have a full understanding of health risks in the construction sector, seeing them as harder to manage than safety risks.