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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Health and Safety News

    Summit to address builders’ diseases

    By Jonathan Brown on February 7, 2016

    Summit to address builders’ diseases

    Construction giants are meeting to see what can be done to reduce the number of preventable ill health and disease cases in the industry.

    Figures show that deaths as a result of occupational disease are 100 times more likely than deaths by accidents. The inaugural Construction Health Summit (January 21) in London aims to address this statistic and raise awareness of builders’ diseases.

    Occupational cancer

    In the construction industry, occupational cancer accounts for over 40% of cancer deaths and registrations in the workplace.

    It is caused by exposure to carcinogens – agents that cause the development or increase the incidence of cancer – in the workplace.

    There are three different types of occupational carcinogens:

    • Biological carcinogens, such as Hepatitis B and HIV viruses
    • Chemical carcinogens, like asbestos and vinyl chloride
    • Physical carcinogens, examples of which include alpha, beta and gamma radiation

    The most common cause of occupational cancers is exposure to asbestos (70%) and silica

    Judith Hackitt, chair of the Health and Safety Executive, says the number of on-site related fatalities has fallen by two-thirds in the past 10 years thanks to a concerted effort by the construction industry. She hopes for a similar impact on the health of the workforce with an equally determined effort by the industry.


    The construction sector loses 1.2 million working days to work-related ill health every year. In a bid to significantly reduce this figure, the summit will also explore what can be done to address other causes of ill health.

    Breathing and lung problems caused by exposure to dust and diesel emissions will be on the agenda, as will dermatitis caused by hazardous substances.

    There will be also be a focus on ill health caused by noise and vibration as well as back injuries and upper limb disorders.

    With an unprecedented number of major construction projects in the pipeline over the coming years, the demand for construction workers is greater than ever before. Construction leaders want to ensure this demand is met by maintaining a healthy, productive workforce.

    Source: Balfour Beatty

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    Date Published: February 7, 2016

    Author: Jonathan Brown

    Category: News

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