Our industry covers a broad range of work, across a multitude of sectors, with a variety of complexities, bringing with it a set of challenges setting it apart from any other industry. As one of the largest industries in the UK, with over 2 million employed, it is also one of the most hazardous in the UK.
The HSE frames the challenge in stark terms stating “around one third of all workplace fatalities occur in construction, and more than 750 people having died from injuries because of construction work in the last ten years.” The HSE continues, stating that the industry has not kept pace with safety, resulting in occupational health issues also arising from construction works – around 4,500 construction workers die each year due to work related ill health.
Mental health is also a massive challenge, but has all too often been received less attention. 1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental health concern in any given year, so it’s an important issue for employers and individuals. The Construction Industry has some of the highest statistics – between 2011 and 2015 1,409 construction workers committed suicide and many more suffered in silence.
So, as an industry, we face a multitude of challenges, both short and longer term, all relating to protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of the workforce. This is why, as a collaborative industry, it is important to keep positively improving the culture and performance towards safety in our industry.