IOSH’s first annual conference to address health and safety in construction

health and safety in construction

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health will host its first annual conference on the 7th November to address concerns over health and safety in the construction industry

The conference is aimed at safety practitioners, health and safety leaders and employers to open the conversation up around health and safety in construction.

The conference will explore mental health issues, musculoskeletal disorders and respiratory diseases caused at work – and how these issues affect a considerable number of workers in the construction industry.

The Health and Safety Executive has recently published figures which show that in Great Britain 526,000 workers in the construction industry suffer from work-related stress leading to debilitating mental health, depression or anxiety.

A further 507,000 workers suffer from work-related musculoskeletal disorders, with a high proportion working in construction; and the construction industry has the largest burden of occupational cancers among industrial sectors, with over 40% of the occupational cancer deaths and cancer registrations from construction and allied trades.

Figures published today by the HSE show that a total of 144 workers were killed at work in Great Britain in 2017/18, with 38 deaths in the construction industry accounting for the greatest number of occupational fatalities from an individual sector.

It is estimated that for every one of these deaths, 100 workers died in the same year from occupational cancers.

The core focus is to enable those working in construction, including SMEs and those supporting them, to take positive action to improve the health of their workforce.

Dr Michael Cash, Chair of the IOSH Construction Group, said: “The main focus of the conference will be delivering health improvements in the construction industry and will be closely aligned with the [UK] HSE’s construction sector strategy.

“We wanted to focus the conference on health for a number of reasons. Historically, companies have focused on the management of safety risks but the elephant in the room has always been health hazards.

“Unfortunately, the statistics speak for themselves, with huge numbers dying each year from past exposure to dusts and chemicals at work and one in four suffering from a mental health problem.

“The micro and SME sectors find the management of health particularly challenging. We hope that our conference will enable delegates to go back to their organisations and take positive action to improve the health of their workforce.”

The event is being held at the Radisson Blu Hotel at Manchester Airport.

For more information on the conference, visit


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