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Since acquiring Constructing Better Health (CBH) in April 2016, we've been taking steps to develop a better occupational health solution for the construction industry. This comes at a time when occupational health in the industry continues to rise up the agenda.
We wanted to get to grips with the problem of occupational health, and how it can be consistently managed to improve the workplace health of construction workers.
We've found one core problem causing a ripple effect. Why not read more in our research findings report.
On 26 January 2017, we spoke at the Health in Construction Leadership Group’s event 'Acting on our commitment to a healthier future'. We shared our occupational health research findings and presented what we believe the industry needs from an occupational health solution.
We'll now work with the industry further to develop this solution — to ultimately improve the health of construction workers. Making occupational health management easier to administer and more cost effective for employers.
Take a look at our Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Heath-Lay's presentation
We've also been busy updating our current CBH's operational systems for our members — to make them easier to use and give the best service we can.
Construction is an industry that has many health risks, both short and long term. Understandably, short term risk (immediate safety issues) have been the main focus to date – but we think that there needs to be a focus on long-term health risks too (such as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, noise-induced hearing loss and respiratory problems). Our research tells us that there’s widespread misunderstanding (and misinterpretation) of OH across the industry. 84% of contractors think that more needs to be done to improve the implementation of OH in the sector.
Our Board, rooted in the construction industry, recognises that more needs to be done to improve occupational health in the construction industry. B&CE acquired CBH in April 2016, and set out to find out what the industry wants and needs from a new OH solution. Our research told us that the principles that CBH was founded on still apply, but they weren’t implemented in a way that fully met the industry’s needs.
Our research showed that 84% of contractors agree that more needs to be done to improve how occupational health is implemented in the construction sector. We know they want greater clarity, consistency and efficiency, and we will be working hard to deliver a solution that meets those needs, as well as working to raise awareness on this important issue. We’re looking to create a new solution that can really improve the health of the industry, whilst adding new features.
There will be several key differences to this new solution. Firstly, it will be fully integrated, so that it can work with employers’ existing systems. The solution will be based on risk, rather than role, as we recognise that risks in the construction industry can change on a daily, if not hourly, basis. And finally, the system will include a portable digital record, owned by the worker, which they can take from site to site and contractor to contractor – this will enable them to own and manage their health records for the first time.
We’ve listened to the frustrations you’ve had with the system and that’s why we’ve put in place some improvements to help with the current administration. This includes improvements to the CHAT (contractor management tool) system’s file upload capabilities and usability (launched in November 2016). We’re currently developing an improved report dashboard, intended to be live by March 2017.
No, our aim is to create a system that is more efficient and that reduces the administrative burden on employers. System functionality should remove some existing administrative tasks, while enhanced system integration will reduce the administrative burden of managing the occupational health of your workforce.
Yes, it is important to continue using the current scheme to manage the occupational health of your workforce. This ensures continued visibility for employers on their workforce fitness for work results.
Uploading employee data to CHAT enables an employer to:
There are a number of benefits to the system, including:
An integrated, digital solution will enable a smooth transition of data, helping with collaboration and knowledge-sharing and support the mobile record for workers.