I’ve had a scary week. Far from having the wine-dark, olive-infused, Greek idyll for my Mum’s upcoming 90th birthday we have found ourselves in the middle of a tragedy of almost Homeric proportions.
Mum and I were getting ready to join the Procession that goes around our village on Good Friday during Orthodox Great - or Holy - Week. She slipped in our tiled hallway and, the upshot is, we’ve spent nearly a week as guests of the Greek medical service. Mum has had to have her hip pinned. And I’ve been thinking about musculoskeletal injuries, treatment and prevention.
It’s understandable that construction work is a risky business for bones and joints. But something like Mum’s hip break brings it home that a moments inattention can have disastrous consequences. And I shouldn’t have waited until an accident happened before looking more closely at the risks around us.
It’s easy to become complacent about the commonplace. APS members have a duty not just to think ahead to manage out risk but to take stock now and again as things develop on the ground to ensure safety remains front and centre of any ongoing project.
But, more than that, I’d like everyone to take time out to consider the particular risks facing more mature workers. As we age we all lose bone density leaving us more prone to breaks and damage. Our skeleton, just like the frame of any building (and now the steel in my Mum’s leg), may be hidden but it needs to be carefully constructed and rigorously maintained. As people live longer - and work on into older age - the construction industry needs to factor the risks associated with ageing in as well.
On the work front, I’ve a couple of reminders this week:
There’s still time to get your entries in for this year’s APS annual CDM and student awards. The deadline is midnight on Friday 10 May and you can find the free to enter on the right-hand side of the page.
If you have an idea for innovative ground-breaking fire safety you should apply to come along to our free event at the IET on the 23 and 24 May. Our Hackathon is where new technology meets traditional construction skills and, together with our partners, the IET and Hack_Construct, we are looking to bring to market new products and services that can be commercially developed. Book and find out on the right of the page, as well.
Lastly, thanks to everyone who has wished Mum well. Something like this brings home the need for support and just who your friends are.