HSE launches occupational health management tool for construction industry

Monday, 11th Feb '08 at 15:47

Last year 1.8 million days were lost in the construction industry due to work related ill health compared to 0.9 million days lost due to accidents. As the construction industry, which employs nearly 2.0 million site workers, continues to work hard to reverse the trend on fatalities, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has challenged it to make remarkable changes to its attitude towards health.

In a bid to help the construction industry tackle occupational health issues, HSE today launched its Construction Occupational Health Management Essentials (COHME) for construction companies. Stephen Williams, Chief Inspector of Construction at HSE said: “We want occupational health to move up the agenda for all construction companies. Large companies can show real leadership in influencing this cultural change. Properly managing occupational health is not a new legal requirement and we expect to see good practice in the industry.

The COHME tool will equip all construction companies with practical advice on how to tackle rising occupational health issues such as dermatitis, asbestos, respiratory diseases and musculoskeletal disorders.

The COHME tool will facilitate the initiative and leadership that the construction industry needs to take to tackle the occupational health issue. I urge large construction companies to act on this, with smaller companies adopting this as a part of the supply chain process. Time is ticking and now is the time to show ownership of this issue.”

COHME is a web-based guidance tool on the management of occupational health risks faced by large construction companies. This guidance is designed to help large construction clients, designers and contractors to understand the management of occupational health risks in construction.

The tool will provide the industry with a single point of access to clear guidance on managing health risks, customised for construction. The website also provides links to further material, including other parts of the HSE website and other useful websites and case studies giving practical examples of solutions developed or adopted in the construction industry.

The COHME tool can be viewed on the HSE website:
www.hse.gov.uk/construction/healthrisks/index.htm

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