How seriously do you take prevention of occupational ill health?

08 April 2015

On construction sites across the UK in 2013/2014 there were 42 fatalities. However, according to estimates there were over 100 times as many deaths from work related ill health and disease.

The HSE has acted upon this news by declaring that occupational health will be its focus throughout 2015. Heather Bryant, the Chief Inspector of Construction has said,

“Occupational disease and ill health are our key priorities. We will be significantly increasing our focus on preventing occupational ill health; including respiratory risks, hand arm vibration and occupational cancers across all sectors.”

What sort of occupational illnesses and disease can you pick up on a construction site?

  1. Manual handling is the most common cause of over 7 day injuries. Construction also has one of the highest rates of ill health due to vibrations and noise.
  2. Hazardous substances such as dust, chemicals and paint can cause significant breathing problems for workers, causing them not just short but long term illness.
  3. The construction sector has the highest number of occupational cancer cases out of all the sectors. It accounts for 40% of occupational cancer deaths and registrations.

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