B&CE is advising construction companies of all sizes to provide at least one employee with occupational health (OH) awareness training to guarantee compliance with regulation and encourage understanding of occupational health and relevant standards.
The call follows the unveiling of a new report from Loughborough University Improving occupational health risk management in SMEs: the role of major projects which looked into how major projects such as the construction of the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) can support their supply chain to develop good practices in occupational health.
In light of the report’s findings, B&CE is also calling for improved training materials and improved education regarding OH obligations.
The research, which was carried out in the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering at Loughborough University, was made possible after they were named recipients of the B&CE Charitable Trust OH Research Award 2016 worth £25,000.
Margaret Grahamslaw, Head of Occupational Health at B&CE, said: “These recommendations centre around the importance of training in occupational health awareness to ultimately improve the wellbeing of workers in the construction industry across the UK.
“By ensuring at least one member of staff in any company, regardless of size, is trained in this area, this can encourage the spread of knowledge in both common OH issues and those that are less well understood.”
Lead researcher, Dr Wendy Jones, Loughborough University said: “Health often ends up as the poor relation of safety in construction, and it can be particularly difficult for smaller companies that don’t always have the right expertise, or who have limited budgets, to get the right arrangements in place.
“This research found that some small and micro employers are improving their management of hazards such as dust and musculoskeletal disorders as a result of working on major projects such as the building of the DNRC, which the research was centred on. This is good news and confirms that good practices ‘trickle down’ through the sector for health, as they do for safety”.