UK Health and Safety Week 2015 - What's it all About?

UK Health and Safety Week 2015 - What's it all About?

11th February 2015

Here at Safety Fabrications we pride ourselves on keeping our finger on the pulse – bringing you news not just about the construction industry, but also about health and safety.  Anybody working within the construction industry these days must be aware that this is the sector that sees most injuries and accidents in the workplace, so being up to speed on health and safety issues really is essential for your peace of mind.  We aim to provide our readers with interesting, informative and relevant information that covers the topics that we should all be aware of.  Today, we’re taking a look at SHP – the official monthly magazine of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

IOSH is the largest health and safety membership organisation in the world and is a global leader in health and safety training.  IOSH is committed to creating a world of work which is healthy, safe and sustainable and is a thought leader on all issues relevant to health and safety. 

SHP is an online magazine that covers the news on health and safety matters and is supporting UK Health and Safety Week which takes place from 15th – 19th June this coming year.  Although Britain enjoys one of the best combined health and safety records worldwide, there is always room for improvement and Health and Safety Week intends to shine the spotlight on the continuing need to both employers and employees to instigate initiatives and programmes that support health and safety in the workplace.

The main occupational health risks in the construction industry are:

  • Cancer – for every fatal accident that occurred in the UK in 2012 – 2013, around 100 construction workers died from a work related cancer. One of the biggest causes of cancer in the construction industry is asbestos – the modern world’s biggest occupational health risk. Even though the use of asbestos was banned here in the UK in 1999 that applies to using asbestos in new projects. There is so much asbestos still at large in buildings constructed prior to that date that it will carry on presenting a risk to construction workers for many years to come.
  • Skin Cancer – this is a particular risk for those who work out of doors. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that more than 1,300 cancer registrations every year in the construction industry can be blamed on solar radiation, coal tars and pitches, mostly causing non-melanoma skin cancer.
  • Diesel Engine Exhaust – we must all be aware by now that exhaust emissions are carcinogenic. When breathed in, they can cause all sorts of different illnesses from respiratory irritation to lung cancer.
  • Silica – this material is found in bricks, tiles, concrete, etc. Silica dust is the second biggest risk after asbestos. Inhaling silica dust can cause lung cancer and other respiratory diseases and accounts for up to 4,000 death a year from chronic pulmonary disease.
  • Work Related Stress – stress at work is the curse of the modern age and it’s a health risk no matter what industry you look at. Stress is linked to high levels of sickness absence and rapid staff turnover and can affect anybody, at any level of business.

The Health and Safety Week 2015 website launched last week and will be added to in the coming months as news comes in and events are organised.  We will keep our eye on the website and bring you regular updates so that you can be kept up to date at all times.