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Contact our public affairs team

Samantha Wilding
Communications and Public Affairs Manager
Samantha Wilding
01293 766674


Did you know that your workers are far more likely to be off work due to work-related ill health, than an injury caused by an accident?

In fact, work-related ill health can take years to develop. But when it does, the effects can be devastating. For employers, that means a less productive workforce and increased costs. So, what are the main issues, and how do you become a healthier company?

Health is too easily dismissed

If your workers are exposed to certain hazards, you won’t always see the effects straight away. So, unlike an accident causing an immediate injury, we can see how slow developing health issues can easily be dismissed.

Symptoms can take years to develop

The industry is more aware of work-related ill health these days. For example, we now know that exposure to asbestos during post-war years caused asbestos-related illness to peak in the 2000s.

More needs to be done though. It’s essential employers understand the health risks, and what steps they need to take to protect their workforce. So what’s the answer?

It’s time to treat health like safety

Work-related ill health isn’t – and shouldn’t be – part of the job. Workers shouldn’t expect to develop diseases caused by work.

It’s time to focus on health, for the good of the construction industry. Everyone involved in construction has a responsibility to manage risks to health.

5 ways to become a healthier company

Your commitment can reduce turnover, increase productivity and improve motivation. Create an occupational health and wellbeing policy with procedures and guidance that empower all.
Policies should be supported by strong management processes. Develop key performance indicators that measure the management of occupational health, keeping an eye on the data for any trends.
This is everyone’s responsibility. Train your managers and employees so they can manage health at work. Ensure you’ve got health representatives and advocates in place to support your managers.
Empower employees to perform at their best. Employers have a moral obligation to care for their workforce. Start by finding out what your employees want, and discuss ideas on wellbeing.
It’s vital to have positive, open communication and consultation. Develop a health and wellbeing programme – by setting up employee forums. Commit the people, time and money needed to improve health and wellbeing at work.

Under The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, Section 2 – employers have a duty to ensure (so far as reasonably practical) the health, safety and welfare of their employees.

Read about the complex actions an employer must take now

A list of complex actions .pdf

Read about the new occupational health framework for construction – how we’re making it simpler 

Occupational health framework for construction .pdf

Everyday hazards in construction

Dust/fumes Where an employee is exposed to dust/fumes or other hazardous substances that can be breathed in when performing their role, or working alongside someone else. And the risk assessment requires them to regularly wear a dust mask – there’s a residual risk to respiratory health.
Noise Where an employee is exposed to noise when performing their role or working alongside someone else. And the risk assessment requires them to regularly wear hearing protection – there’s a residual risk to hearing.
Vibration Where an employee is exposed to vibration when using handheld or guided power tools to perform their role – there’s a residual risk to hands and arms.
Hazardous substances Where an employee is exposed to hazardous substances which may irritate or damage the skin when performing their role – there’s a residual risk to skin.