Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Still a Long Way to Go to Improve Health and Safety; CONSTRUCTING EXCELLENCE

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Still a Long Way to Go to Improve Health and Safety; CONSTRUCTING EXCELLENCE

Article excerpt

YESTERDAY marked a big day for our industry, Workers' Memorial Day, where we 'remember the dead and fight for the living'.

The industry remembered all those killed through work, while trying to raise awareness to make sure such tragedies are not repeated.

Around this day you often see workers campaigning for stricter enforcement with higher penalties for breaches of health and safety laws, so the results of the Electrical Contractors' Association, the Building Engineering Services Association and Constructing Better Health survey are a little surprising.

The survey, completed by nearly 400 people, found less than half of companies in the building and engineering sector monitor occupational health among their staff, with 55% admitting to not carrying out occupational health surveillance.

Of those who do monitor it, 75% said that managing occupational health resulted in a net business benefit, with 41% saying it was the main reason they did so. A net business benefit is obviously good news for any company, but it should never be the top priority, not when health and safety is concerned. It's surprising to hear so many people look at this as their top priority, and even more surprising that they happily admit to it!

I would be wrong to say the industry hasn't improved massively in terms of health and safety. The Association of Project Safety has been promoting health issues to the wider industry through up-skilling of members and full involvement with the Health in Construction Leadership Group. …

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