New business standard aims to improve health and safety in the construction industry
A new international business standard, ISO 45001, is helping to manage workers’ physical and mental wellbeing and is being embraced by the construction sector.
Safety has improved in the construction industry, but according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 43 construction workers suffered fatal injuries during 2018-19 and there were 60,000 non-fatal injuries. The most common causes of accidents are falling from heights and being struck by vehicles.
The HSE says that 80,000 workers in the construction sector claim they have had work-related illnesses and 12,000 reports that they have mental health difficulties including anxiety, stress and depression. The industry loses around 23 million workdays each year through work-related illness or accidents.
Faced with these statistics, construction companies are asking themselves how they can make construction sites safer workplaces. The new ISO 45001 standard answers this question by showing how companies can take more responsibility for their employees’ wellbeing.
Currently in a three-year migration period, the British Standards Institution (BSI) ISO 45001 details the requirements for an effective health and safety system that focusses on risk-based thinking and proactive leadership. A successful health and safety management system include risk assessment, hazard identification and the use of PPE (personal protection equipment).
Health and safety are about more than complying with legal requirements and reducing financial reliably. The BSI has stated that:
”Just as importantly, by investing in robust health and safety management, construction companies can be sure that staff morale, brand perception and commercial performance will be bolstered as well.”