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Occupational Health Research Award

Are you a UK-based organisation carrying out an original research study focusing on improving occupational health? Our Occupational Health Research Award offers a £25,000 grant to carry out research aimed at improving the occupational health of people in construction.

Introducing our Occupational Health Research Award 2022 winner

Kingston University

Kingston University will be using their award to research one of the more neglected subsectors of construction, the railway industry. The railway construction sector is made up of different service providers, from the largest, Network Rail, to subcontractors’ companies providing maintenance and upgrades. Kingston University are conducting research to find out:

  • the extent of mental health problems, stress, and pressure in railway workers
  • if the workers inform their employer or seek help for mental health issues
  • if there is stigma around poor mental health in the workplace
  • and what support networks there are to support poor mental health.

Award: Occupational Health Research Award

Award date: 2022

Awarded to: Kingston University

“The Trustees were very impressed with Dr Butler’s application as they can see that there are, potentially, very real benefits to a key industry and to those who work within it. The Charitable Trust is committed to improving the working lives of all those who work in construction, which is why we are delighted to be able to support this excellent research project.”

Nicola Sinclair, Head of the B&CE Charitable Trust

About the Occupational Health Research Award

With our roots firmly in the construction industry, the B&CE Charitable Trust want to help work towards a safer construction industry for all. We help benefit the industry by providing grants to organisations carrying out studies to improve the health and wellbeing of workers within the construction industry.

Health and safety, including occupational health, is an ongoing priority for the construction industry and we want to support innovations within this space to create a safer work environment for construction workers.

“The Occupational Health Research Award is establishing a reputation for funding trailblazing studies which are already making a difference when it comes to looking after the health and wellbeing of those working within the construction industry. Our parent organisation has its roots firmly in construction and we are committed to supporting work that will improve conditions for those working within the industry.”

Nicola Sinclair, Head of the B&CE Charitable Trust

What it can do for you

Previous award winners have used their grant to expand their evidence-based research to better support their pioneering studies. These studies are already making a difference when it comes to looking after the health and wellbeing of those working within the construction industry.

The B&CE Charitable Trust has helped fund studies looking into mental health, musculoskeletal disorders and risk management. The Occupational Health Research Award helps fund studies into health and safety, including occupational health, which is an ongoing priority for the construction industry.

Applications for the Occupational Health Research Award 2022 are now closed, but if you’d be interested in applying for the Occupational Health Research Award 2023, find out what information you’ll need to have ready when you complete your online application and read the Occupational Health Research Award terms and conditions.

Who should apply?

We invite applications from researchers at UK-based organisations and are keen to hear great ideas that’ll:

  • make a significant difference to the occupational health of construction workers
  • help tackle occupational health issues in construction
  • help make an important scientific contribution to the construction industry.

To apply, you should be part of a non-governmental research organisation – for example:

  • charities with a focus on occupational health
  • occupational health practitioners
  • accredited research organisations.

If you’re not 1 of these, you can still partner with an organisation that is and apply.

 

Previous Occupational Health Research Award holder

Mates in Mind, in partnership with the Institute of Employment Studies, won the 2020/21 Occupational Health Research Award to research online tools to support the mental health of self-employed construction workers.

Mates in Mind and Institute of Employment Studies (IES) – 2020/21 Occupational Health Research Award winners

“It’s incredibly important for us to receive this award, because without it we would be limited to the amount of evidence-based research that we can do. During our four years of existence, we have touched the lives of thousands of workers, but we have still got a long way to go and there are millions working in the sector.” James Rudoni, Mates in Mind

Award:
Occupational Health Research Award
Award date:
2020/21
Awarded to:
Mates in Mind and IES
Researchers:
Stephen Bevan, Head, HR Research Development, Institute for Employment Studies (research lead for IES)
Dr Zofia Bajorek, Research Fellow, Institute for Employment Studies
Stephen Haynes, Head of Programme, Mates in Mind (research lead for MinM)
James Rudoni, Managing Director, Mates in Mind
Type:
The impact of poor mental health on self-employed construction workers – Mates in Mind and the Institute of Employment Studies

 

Previous Occupational Health Research Award winners

Find out which research institutions have received our
Occupational Health Research Award in the past and how they’ve used their
£25,000 grant to support research into occupational health in construction.

“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.” Dr Saad Sarhan, University of Lincoln

Award:
Occupational Health Research Award
Award date:
2019/20
Awarded to:
University of Lincoln
Researchers:
Dr Saad Sarhan, Professor Stephen Pretlove
Type:
Developing Construction Supply-Chain Management Standards (CSCMS) for Improving Occupational Stress management and Productivity in Construction Projects

“Occupational ill-health costs UK construction employers hundreds of millions of pounds every year and musculoskeletal disorders account for more than three-quarters of the total. A considerable proportion of that cost is believed to be from lost productivity through presenteeism and this work will make an important contribution to increasing understanding of MSD presenteeism, for the benefit of workers and employers alike.” Professor Alistair Gibb, Loughborough University

Award:
Occupational Health Research Award
Award date:
2018
Awarded to:
Loughborough University
Researchers:
Professor Alistair Gibb
Type:
Presenteeism related to Musculoskeletal Disorders in UK Construction
 

“Whilst design for health and occupational health management in construction in general have received limited attention, research-wise and in industry, this research will shed light and provide much needed guidance on this important subject.” Dr Patrick Manu, The University of Manchester

Award:
Occupational Health Research Award
Award date:
2017
Awarded to:
The University of Manchester and University of the West of England (UWE)
Researchers:
Dr Patrick Manu (The University of Manchester)
Professor Alistair Gibb (Loughborough University)
Dr Carolyn Drake (Loughborough University)
Dr Abdul-Majeed Mahamadu (University of the West of England)
Professor Michael Behm (East Carolina University)
Type:
Skills-Knowledge-Attitude-Training-Experience (SKATE) in ‘designing for occupational health of construction workers’

“Health often ends up as the poor relation of safety in construction, and it can be particularly difficult for smaller companies that don’t always have the right expertise, or who have limited budgets, to get the right arrangements in place. This research found that some small and micro employers are improving their management of hazards such as dust and musculoskeletal disorders as a result of working on major projects such as the building of the DNRC (Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre), which the research was centred on.” Dr Wendy Jones, Loughborough University

Award:
Occupational Health Research Award
Award date:
2016
Awarded to:
Loughborough University
Researchers:
Dr Wendy Jones, Professor Alistair Gibb, Phil Bust
Type:
Improving occupational health risk management in SMEs: the role of major projects