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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Alert24 - Safeguard Update

UK construction picture

UK construction picture
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New Zealand

UK construction picture

In his second presentation, Barnes said the typical UK construction worker isn’t a pretty picture: a male with an average age of 47, 69% of whom are overweight or obese, 30% have some degree of high blood pressure, many with early diabetes and eyesight problems. Many are migrant or itinerant workers who are poorly engaged with the health service and can’t afford to take time off work to get health issues checked out.

“These are people whose work dictates they are eating poorly and working harder.”

Barnes advised focusing health and wellbeing programmes on issues that will resonate on the work site. On London’s Crossrail project, for example, there are seven kilometres of driven tunnels with sprayed concrete lining, creating a high level of airborne concrete dust as well as diesel exhaust emissions.

Tunnelling, he said, is an insular sector in which techniques had hardly changed since the Channel tunnel was created 20 years ago. In a project with multiple joint ventures it was decided to create a working group just for dust. The group issued a short report to set a dust standard and what needed to be done to be above standard. Then it looked at individual worker health and liaised closely with nurse clinicians, resulting in more frequent lung function tests and audiometry, with logbooks for each person to take from job to job. The health and wellbeing programme was tightly focused on lung health.

“Make your health programmes relevant to the people you are targeting and the health risks they face, so they resonate and have greater impact.”

At the Battersea power station project cholesterol levels were used as the measure. A personalised dietary plan was developed for each person found to be at risk. After a month, 75 percent of people on this plan had reduced cholesterol levels.

“This is how you get the business case – by having a clear metric.”

People Mentioned:
James Barnes
Organisations Mentioned:
Safeguard; Park Health and Safety
Reference No:

From Alert24 - Safeguard Update

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