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Communications and Public Affairs Manager
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?
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.
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?
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.
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
Read about the new occupational health framework for construction – how we’re making it simpler
|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.|