B&CE, a not-for-profit organisation rooted in the construction industry, has taken a vital step forward in the creation of its new digital occupational health management scheme, as the sector backs its proposed approach.
Construction is inherently risky, and although the industry has made great strides in improving safety, its track record on health remains poor. Over 13,000 deaths each year are linked to dust, chemicals and other hazards*. B&CE’s vision is to create an occupational health management scheme that will improve the lives of construction workers by treating health equally to safety, catching symptoms of ill health early and helping them to stay in work longer.
Following consultation, B&CE is relaunching its Framework today. This will underpin the new scheme, which, when implemented, will lead to a more consistent approach to occupational health management across the construction industry. Employers will be able to identify required health surveillance more easily, and so detect work-related ill health effects early.
Margaret Grahamslaw, Head of Occupational Health at B&CE, said:
“We know that construction can be a risky and sometimes dangerous industry. And although health surveillance is a legal requirement, it’s often not complied with. Our Framework will make it easier for employers to identify health hazards, arrange health surveillance for employees, share their results with them and investigate any issues. It’s designed to work for all those construction workers who are exposed to dust, chemicals, noise and vibration – roughly 90% of those regularly exposed to health hazards.
“Last year we consulted with the industry, who agreed with the Framework’s approach.
“Occupational health professionals asked us for more information about the estimated 10% of construction workers who may show early signs of work-related illness or are exposed to specific hazards such as asbestos and lead. We have been engaging with them about those and specific clinical elements, and we’ve added these to the Framework to cover those workers.”
* HSE and HCLG statistics – 2016/17
Notes to editor
An explanatory video and the Framework document are available here.
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, and now 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.
For more information on B&CE’s proposed occupational health management scheme for the construction industry, contact Samantha Wilding, Communications and Public Affairs Manager 01293 766674 or firstname.lastname@example.org