New tool for construction to tackle occupational health issues

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a new tool to help construction firms better tackle occupational health issues.

The Construction Occupational Health Management Essentials tool is designed to give managers one-stop-shop practical advice on how to tackle growing occupational health issues, such as dermatitis, asbestos, respiratory diseases and musculoskeletal disorders.

Stephen Williams, chief inspector of construction at the HSE, said: “We want occupational health to move up the agenda for all construction companies. Large companies can show real leadership in influencing this cultural change. Properly managing occupational health is not a new legal requirement and we expect to see good practice in the industry.”

Construction industry union Ucatt has criticised HSE building site safety “blitzes” as being little more than a “sticking plaster” on a much greater problem.

The fact that the ongoing one-off inspections were normally pre-announced meant their effectiveness was limited, the union complained.

John Scott, regional secretary for Ucatt Northern region, said: “You do not increase long-term site safety by making a pre-announced one-off inspection.”

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