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News

Constructing better health

HSE InfoLine : 25 July, 2003  (Technical Article)
Plans for the Occupational Health Support Pilot Scheme, now called Constructing Better Health, took another step forward this month, following the creation and first meeting of the Action Forum tasked with bringing about the scheme.
At its first meeting the Action Forum began by agreeing on its role and selecting Chris McEwen, from the National Federation of Builders, as Chair and spokesperson for project.

Chris McEwen said: 'I am passionate about the enormous benefits that this scheme can bring to construction workers and I was delighted to be asked to Chair the Action Forum. It proved to be a challenging meeting, but the first step is the hardest and all Forum members are committed to see the pilot succeed and evolve into an effective national occupational health support scheme for the industry.'

The aim of Constructing Better Health is to offer employees and employers best-practice management solutions to reduce exposure to key health risks. It will allow construction employers to receive free on-site risk assessments and provide a source of free advice and guidance for employers and workers, as well as a gateway to further specialist support, if required.

The construction industry has by far the worst rate of musculo-skeletal disorders of all industries and high rates of other illnesses such as noise induced hearing loss, hand arm vibration syndrome, asbestos and cement dermatitis.

The Action Forum will be seeking funding for the establishment of Constructing Better Health and began this process by endorsing the idea of engaging a funding consultant to investigate the best way to raise funds for the pilot scheme.

Constructing Better Health was first initiated by the Construction Industry Advisory Committee, which is aware that health is often considered a poor relation to safety in the construction industry.

The Action Forum members were nominated by CONIAC to represent the construction industry, in taking forward the Occupational Health Support Pilot Scheme.
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