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OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH RISK MANAGEMENT ‘MATURITY’

Research reveals good OH possible and achievable within construction

HSE has now published Research Report RR1045 Development of a Health Risk Management Maturity Index (HeRMMIn) as a performance leading indicator within the construction industry

The current research aimed to develop an OH management maturity index for the construction industry and use the index to survey OH management maturity in the industry.

Index development entailed an initial evidence synthesis and subject expert consultation to establish the index’s theoretical basis/scope. This identified the key constituents of OH maturity as:

  • senior management commitment;
  • continuous improvement; communication;
  • fairness;
  • learning;
  • foresight and
  • employee involvement.

Knowledge of OH issues was the criterion for separating 5 levels of maturity from ‘unknowing’ to ‘enlightened’. The index was piloted to assure reliability, validity and usability before conducting a main survey with the sector.

Survey not consistent with other evidence

The survey results revealed good levels of OH maturity but must not be interpreted to imply that the sector is performing well already and there is no room for improvement. Maturity scores were significantly higher for those with access to an OH provider and a specific OH policy.

Key areas important for improving OH culture maturity included: the role of Principal/Tier 1 contractors, the business case for OH management and the importance of visible senior management commitment to OH.

Two key messages identified by the research are:

“Good performance in OH risk management is possible and achievable within the construction sector. However this must not be interpreted as implying that the sector is performing well and that no improvement is necessary.

Given that the levels of performance reported in this survey are not consistent with other sources of evidence, examining the relationship between self-reported maturity levels and actual knowledge/practices may therefore be warranted as the next research step. This may take the form of targeted inspection. “

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