Two out of five construction SMEs believe safety laws will weaken post-Brexit
A survey by Constructaquote.com of small to medium size construction businesses found that 40% of them believe that construction site health and safety laws will be weaker if and when the UK exits the European Union. Around 30% believed that leaving Europe will make no difference to health and safety laws.
Lyndon Wood, CEO of Constructaquote.com, said:
“While nobody quite knows the full impact Brexit will have on UK construction companies yet, it is clear there will be challenges ahead for all of us."
Lyndon added that because there are more than 2.2 million workdays lost annually due to illness or injury, nobody should ignore health and safety on construction sites.
Construction sites have strict policies about workers wearing protective workwear, such as hard hats, gloves and steel-capped work boots, but the injury statistics show that more needs to be done. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) data, 30 construction site workers were killed in 2018/2019 and 79,000 suffered from ill-health related to work. There were also 34,000 non-fatal injuries in this period. The HSE issued 2,926 notices concerning health and safety issues and prosecuted in 158 cases in the construction industry.
Not all health conditions are physical, with 21% of construction workers' illnesses caused by work-related stress.
The HSE says that the duty to protect workers will not change because of Brexit and only minor changes to regulations will be made. It insists that safety standards will remain high when withdrawal from the EU is complete.