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Scottish construction sector urged to pledge to tackle worker ill health
Published:  26 June, 2014

Constructing Better Health (CBH) Scotland is calling for those involved in the Scottish construction industry to pledge to improve the long-term health and wellbeing of the industry's workforce. Construction workers' ill health costs the Scottish economy £66 million a year, according to CBH Scotland.

The construction sector has one of the highest rates of work-related musculoskeletal disease of any industry with around 3,500 cases reported each year in Scotland. Overall, one third of construction workers are estimated to have occupational health issues, which according to CBH Scotland, costs the Scottish economy £66 million a year.

CBH Scotland has published an industry pledge outlining key measures to tackle occupational health in the Scottish construction sector, which it is looking for employers, trade unions and policy makers to sign up to.

CBH chief executive Michelle Aldous said: “Some of the figures around occupational health issues in the construction industry are truly alarming: one third of construction workers are estimated to have occupational health issues; more than half of construction workers are unable to maintain their performance in work until retirement age because of long-term health issues; and 56% of all occupational cancers are caused by working in the construction sector.

“For understandable reasons, deaths from safety-related accidents tend to attract the headlines – not least because they are measured annually by industry by the Health & Safety executive. Measuring the impact of long-term ill health is much harder since many of these conditions may only become apparent years after a worker has left the industry.