New podcast explores preventing construction site injuries


A new podcast for the construction industry has been launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Supporting the Work Right Construction: Your Health. Your Future campaign, the episode discusses the impact and prevention of serious aches, pains and strains that can affect every part of a construction worker’s life.

Matt Birtles, principal ergonomics and human factors consultant at HSE, and Peter Crosland, national civil engineering director at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), talk about what the industry can do to promote change and protect its workforce.

HSE said 40,000 construction workers last year reported suffering with work-related MSDs.

The conversation covers the impact these injuries can have on workers, employers’ legal responsibilities, and sensible control measures that can be introduced regardless of the size of the construction site.

The podcast launches as HSE inspectors carry out 1,000 inspections this month and next, checking how workers are moving heavy or bulky materials. Matt said that if moving and lifting is managed properly, a physical job on a site should not result in aches, pains and strains which affect every part of workers’ lives.

He said, “They can struggle to get themselves dressed and undressed, they can be unable to pick up their children or grandchildren. They can struggle to sit down and stand up, they can struggle to keep still and move around. The most intimate parts of their lives can be severely affected – they might be desperate to go the toilet but find themselves unable.

“It’s not something that many people feel comfortable talking about, perhaps particularly on a building site, but if your back has gone or if you’re in agony whenever you move your arms, measures need to be put in place to address the causes.”