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    PRESSURE MOUNTS ON CONSTRUCTION HEALTH ISSUES

    Government call on industry leaders to ‘pledge’ action on health 

    Five of the top ten cancer prevention priorities place construction at the heart of HSEs interventions reflecting the earlier finding that 56% of cancer registrations in men are attributable to work in the construction industry. 

    In October 2012 Dame Carol Black took on the challenge of health improvement among workers across the construction and civil engineering industry.

    Dame Carol was hugely impressed with the example set by the construction of the Olympic Park where the ODA worked closely with the main contractors to develop health and well-being programmes for all the workers on site. 

    The Government Responsibility Deal health at work network set up a construction and civil engineering subgroup, with key industry players including Kier Construction, Costain Ltd, Arup, Mount Anvil,  HSE and Duradiamond.

    Pledge includes reporting, OHS and sub-contractor ‘encouragement’

    The group has now developed a new ‘collective pledge’ to take action to improve the health and wellbeing of employees. Larger companies will also pledge to encourage their supply chain and sub-contractors to implement health and wellbeing activities.

    The draft wording of the pledge is as follows:

    “As organisations working in the construction / civil engineering industries we pledge to take action to manage the causes of occupational disease and improve the health and well-being of people working across offices and sites large and small.

    We recognise that prevention and early intervention is the key to success and will take continuing action on the following:

    (1) Annual reporting of the health and well-being of employees;

    (2) The provision of clinical Occupational health services (OHS) that work in accordance with the relevant standards e.g. SEQOHS; and

    (3) Arrangements to develop a programme to actively promote health and wellbeing and the effective management of health.

    We also pledge to encourage our subcontractors and our supply chains to endorse at least one of the actions to implement good health and well-being activities, above.”

    Foundation signatories to the pledge are Arup, Costain, Crossrail, Lend Lease, London Legacy Development Corporation, Park Health & Safety and Wates. The pledge has been developed with the support of the Department of Health and HSE.

    Dame Carol Black will launch the pledge on 10th October 2013, at Arup, 8 Fitzroy Street, London, W1T 4BQ and key construction / civil engineering companies have been asked to attend and sign up to the pledge in recognition of the importance of this issue.

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