Sainsbury’s has become the first major UK employer to sign up to the Constructing Better Health (CBH) occupational health scheme for the construction industry.
The move means 50 of the chain’s refurbishment and development sites across the UK will now run health surveillance checks for workers and conduct talks on work-related health issues. Some 1,700 workers will be screened, with OH providers located on sites for four days at a time.
The health surveillance checks will cover issues such as hand-arm vibration syndrome, noise-induced hearing loss, respiratory diseases and musculoskeletal disorders such as lower back pain or repetitive strain injury.
CBH was due to begin rolling out its scheme to interested employers during August and has been working to sign up OH contractors as members.
Around three OH providers have already been accredited. Chesham-based provider Healthcare Connections was the first to be announced, in June, and another nine or 10 are understood to be in the process of receiving accreditation.
CBH chief executive Michelle Aldous said: “Sainsbury’s has been the first employer to recognise the importance of these national standards and this programme represents a very significant step forward, not just for the retailer but also the industry as a whole because it is being applied across the whole of the construction supply chain.”
Richard Rust, Sainsbury’s head of delivery and construction, said signing up to the scheme showed the chain was serious about the health and safety of its construction staff.
“In the construction industry there has been a real focus in recent years on improving site safety. Health issues are not always so visible but can have the same devastating impact,” he said.