B&CE calls for change in culture on health in construction in evidence to Lords Select Committee

B&CE has submitted written evidence 1 to the Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, as part of their inquiry into ‘Offsite Manufacture for Construction’ 2, calling for a change in culture so that health is treated equally to safety.

Our evidence discussed the health benefits and opportunities presented by offsite manufacture, including:

  •  reducing the likelihood of work-related ill health
  • improving productivity on site
  • reducing the risk of workers developing latent health conditions.

Margaret Grahamslaw, Head of Occupational Health at B&CE said:

“We believe that the construction sector should focus on treating health equally to safety – often safety takes priority and hazards to health are not addressed.  There should be a greater emphasis on designing out risks and hazards at the start of the construction lifecycle, along with the provision of a wider variety of ‘standardised’ products so that offsite manufacture becomes easier and more convenient for contractors of all sizes.

“We believe Government should lead a change in culture, by setting the expectation for major projects, for example, that there are no risks to health.  This will not be achieved quickly, as it requires cultural and behavioural change, but it should be our ambition.” 

Notes to editor

B&CE is a not-for-profit organisation – we operate for the benefit of our members and their dependents. We were founded in the construction industry back in 1942. Now we offer a workplace pension, employee accident cover and employee life cover. We are a now developing a new approach to occupational health management for the construction industry. Our new scheme will have a digital, portable record at its heart, that workers can take from site to site and contractor to contractor, enabling them to own and manage their occupational health records for the first time.  Find out more and sign up to our newsletter here.

  1. B&CE’s written evidence is available here
  2. This inquiry is exploring how off-site manufacture might contribute to lowering costs, improving productivity and offer potential benefits to health and safety in the construction industry.  Further information can be found here.