22 December 2015

Industry to Hold Construction Health Summit

The inaugural Construction Health Summit will be held in London on Thursday 21 January 2016 to unite the industry on tackling the issue of work-related ill health in construction. “Committing Construction to a Healthier Future” will bring together leading organisations and industry influencers, including Build UK and its members, to explore occupational disease and ill health within the industry and the need to urgently address it.

Supported by Build UK, the breakfast summit will look at how to reduce deaths caused by asbestos and silica, lung problems caused by exposure to dust and diesel emissions, dermatitis caused by hazardous substances, ill health caused by noise and vibration as well as back injuries and upper limb disorders.

Following a concerted effort by the industry, on-site related fatalities have fallen by two-thirds in the past 10 years but 100 times as many people now die from work-related ill-health in construction each year than accidents at work. The Construction Health Summit aims to replicate the cultural shift seen in the industry that led to the reduction in on-site fatalities and injuries by treating health in the same way as safety.

Build UK has identified health and safety as a priority and will be identifying where common industry standards could significantly improve health and safety performance and developing a framework for consistent occupational health requirements. The summit will provide a forum to discuss the key issues and gain commitment to develop an industry-wide solution to eliminating and managing occupational disease and ill health in construction.

The Construction Health Summit is an invitation only event and will be chaired by Judith Hackitt CBE, Chair of the HSE, with speakers including Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People, and leading clients including Crossrail and Thames Tideway.