A survey by the Considerate Constructors Scheme has revealed an urgent need for greater awareness and understanding of air pollution across the construction industry
While 84% of survey respondents acknowledge there is an issue with air pollution in the construction industry, nearly two thirds (64%) feel the industry is not doing enough to tackle this issue.
The survey, which involved over 600 respondents from across the UK and Irish construction industries, also revealed:
- 91% said air pollution is a nationwide issue.
- 88% said the importance of minimising air pollution is being communicated to the workforce on their site.
- 62% said their site has appropriate measures in place to address air pollution.
- 56% have a good or detailed understanding of air pollution.
- 39% have an average understanding of the regulations surrounding air pollution.
The national Spotlight on…air pollution campaign has been launched by the Considerate Constructors Scheme to help raise awareness and understanding of how the construction industry can address the issue of air pollution from their activities in and around construction sites.
In addition to the devastating effects of air pollution on the health of the workforce and general public – which includes respiratory illness, asthma, bronchitis and even cancer – there is also a huge economic impact, with the cost to the economy as a result of health problems linked to air pollution estimated to be more than £20bn every year.
While some of the survey results were encouraging, there are clearly areas for improvement and the need for the industry to work together to help reduce air pollution.
Hosted on the Scheme’s Best Practice Hub Spotlight on…air pollution provides a variety of practical steps, case studies, resources and regulatory information to help the industry address this issue in the short, medium and long-term.
Practical case studies on how to address the issue include contributions from: Canary Wharf Contractors Ltd; Costain; the Institution of Civil Engineers; Interserve; Mace; Sir Robert McAlpine and TfL (Transport for London).
Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive, Edward Hardy said: “A staggering 40,000 deaths a year are linked to air pollution in the UK, and many people are suffering long-term health problems caused by poor air quality. As construction is a significant contributor to air pollution, it is essential for the industry to put measures in place to clean up our air by working together to reduce our impact on air quality.
“The Scheme’s Spotlight on…air pollution campaign provides everyone within the industry access to a practical suite of resources including best practice, guidance and case studies from Scheme-registered construction sites, companies and suppliers on how to tackle this issue, as well as guidance from organisations including the Institute of Air Quality Management, Healthy Air Campaign and the Greater London Authority.
“We are proud to be at the forefront of collaborative efforts to tackle air pollution, having partnered with the Institution of Civil Engineers to produce Scheme posters for registered sites, companies and suppliers to raise the issue of air pollution to their workforce. The Institution of Civil Engineers has also recognised the value of the industry being committed to the Considerate Constructors Scheme, having highlighted Scheme registration within its London Air Quality Taskforce report published in 2017.”
Professor Peter Hansford FREng FICE, Chair of ICE Air Quality Task Force added: “The Institution of Civil Engineers is delighted to be partnering with the Scheme for the launch of its Spotlight on…air pollution campaign. The Scheme offers a golden opportunity for the industry to ‘up its game’ in relation to air quality around our construction sites and is a key driving force in helping to address this issue across the industry.”
Spotlight on…air pollution will continue to be updated with more examples of best practice and case studies. If you have any ideas for additional resources to become part of the Campaign, please email email@example.com to send in suggestions.
Click here to read ‘Spotlight on…air pollution’.