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HSE explores ways to protect men in construction

HSE explores ways to protect men in construction

This week, Men’s Health Week (14-20 June), the HSE (Health & Safety Executive) explores ways in which men in construction can better protected. Employers have a legal duty to protect workers from harm and for those that work in construction the health and safety considerations are numerous.

The HSE has highlighted the management of stress, the dangers of moving and handling materials, as well real concerns over lung damage that many who work in the building and construction sector face on a daily basis.

Stress, depression and anxiety are the second biggest cause of work-related ill health in the construction industry. Recognising the signs of stress will help employers to take steps to prevent, reduce and manage stress in the workplace. The HSE’s recently launched Construction Stress Talking Toolkit provides a practical step-by-step guide on how to tackle some of these issues.

Builders lift and carry heavy objects as part of their job and as such are at an increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). These include pain in the back, neck arms or legs, which can develop over a period of time. The HSE suggests that small changes, like planning ahead and delivering goods nearer to where they’ll be used, investing in specialist machinery, and using lifting aids, can all help to reduce the strain.

The construction industry is also a high-risk sector when it comes to exposure to breathing in harmful gases, fumes, vapours and dusts. Last year in the UK, 12,000 people died from lung diseases estimated to be linked to past exposure from work in a range of sectors. Having good risk control assessments and measures in place, and following them, are essential.

For more details on all these issues:

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