Health & safety is something of an obsession for the construction industry – and quite rightly, considering the industry’s record.
Deaths and injuries were once considered part of the inevitable cost of construction but no longer, thank God. As we report on page 9 of this issue, the number of fatal accidents in the construction industry has fallen sharply in the past couple of years despite a substantial increase in site activity. And while 35 deaths are still 35 too many, the trend is encouraging.
On the other hand, we are still reaping the grim reward of historic health & safety failures in the form of occupational diseases such as mesothelioma – the cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
Deaths from this cruel disease are currently running at over 2,500 a year and are on the rise.
Maybe this explains why leading contractors are taking a hard line not only on smoking but also on “vaping” at work (see our feature, page 36).
While it might seem excessive to ban an apparently harmless habit in locations where other, more immediate, hazards abound, why take the risk? Don’t be surprised if strong tea and bacon butties are next on the hit-list!
Health & Safety