Industry urged to ‘take pledge’ over ill health


EVERYONE involved in the Scottish construction industry has been urged to ‘take the pledge’ to improve the long-term health of the industry’s workforce.
Speaking after an event at the Scottish Parliament, Constructing Better Health Scotland’s Chief Executive Michelle Aldous highlighted the huge impact of health issues on the industry and wider economy.
Across the economy, 98% of all health and safety related deaths in the workplace are caused by ill health rather than safety related accidents. CBH Scotland estimates the cost of occupational ill health in the Scottish construction industry to be in the region of £66 million every year.
The construction sector has one of the highest rates of work-related musculoskeletal disease of any industry with around 3,500 cases reported each year in Scotland. Overall, one third of construction workers are estimated to have occupational health issues. And a staggering 56% of all male occupational cancers are caused by working in the sector.
CBH Scotland has published an industry pledge outlining key measures to tackle occupational health in the Scottish construction sector, which it is looking for employers, trade unions and policy-makers to sign up to.
Michelle Aldous said, “Some of the figures around occupational health issues in the construction industry are truly alarming. Deaths from safety-related accidents tend to attract the headlines. Measuring the impact of long-term ill health is much harder since many of these conditions may only become apparent years after a worker has left the industry.”