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Eloise Henderson
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B&CE’s Charitable Trust has awarded £25,000 to researchers at the University of Lincoln, to fund research around the issue of stress within the construction industry.

Dr Saad Sarhan and Professor Stephen Pretlove will use the 2019/20 Occupational Health Research Award to fund a study, which will focus on the types and causes of occupational stress encountered by construction workers, as well as investigating the impact of work-related stress on performance, accident risk and cost.

It’s estimated that stress-related illness costs British industry £5 billion each year, with the Health and Safety Executive calculating that stress, depression or anxiety account for 44 per cent of all work-related ill health cases and more than half of all sick days in one year.

Project lead Dr Sarhan said he’s “delighted” to receive the grant, which the B&CE Charitable Trust has awarded for the past four years. Previous winning entries have included a study into musculoskeletal disorders in construction and a project with the aim of eliminating occupational health hazards at the construction design stage.

Commenting, Dr Sarhan, who has been working in this field for 14 years, said:

“Several empirical studies have identified work-related stress as one of the root causes of unsafe behaviours in construction. Other major social problems such as high absenteeism, alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide have also become increasingly reported as consequent to occupational stress in construction. This is a timely study given that the UK regulations for managing occupational health have not been updated for many years in response to the rapid changes in the way we procure, design and deliver construction projects.”

Roy Porter, spokesperson for the B&CE Charitable Trust, said:

“We were very impressed by the high standard of entries to this year’s Occupational Health Research Award, but the winning entry really stood out. The Charitable Trust has been supporting the construction industry for the past three decades and we are acutely aware of the high levels of stress among workers in this sector.

“This is an exciting piece of research, one which we are confident will ultimately support large numbers of construction workers in the future.”


1. B&CE’s Charitable Trust was set up in 1991 to give back to the construction industry by providing help for people working in construction in times of need, including grants towards education, financial support and retraining. It has given out more than £3.5 million in charitable donations. It is based at B&CE’s headquarters in Manor Royal, Crawley.

2. The HSE published its Work-related stress, anxiety or depression statistics in Great Britain, 2019: