With 6% of workers suffering from work-related injuries or illnesses in 2014/15, health and safety is becoming a problem in the construction industry
What is the current state of health and safety culture in the UK construction industry?
The construction sector employs over 2 million workers in the UK. Reports from 2014/15 indicate that 3% of these workers suffered from work-related injuries, and a further 3% have suffered from work related illnesses, including musculo-skeletal disorders and mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Overall, this resulted in 1.7 million working days lost due to work-related causes. The report also indicates that there were 35 workers who were fatally injured in the industry, which is the highest number of fatalities for a single sector.
This evidence suggests that the health and safety quality in the industry is subpar, and that something needs to be done to improve this. Research has indicated that one of the key obstacles to this improvement is the male dominated nature of the industry and the perception that following safety guidelines can be seen as weak and not masculine. The industry is also notoriously slow at picking up new ideas, as a number of workers are quite traditional and set in their ways of doing things. These characteristics must be overcome if the quality of health and safety is to be improved, thus reducing the number of fatalities and days lost due to injury and illness.