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Raising the bar on health in construction – the way forward

22/04/2016 - 12:09PM

BOHS, the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection, has urged construction managers to join a diverse group of experts as they map out the way forward to better health in the construction sector at a one-day conference on 27 April 2016 in Glasgow, whilst giving a boost to a brilliant charity for sick and injured construction workers and their families.

Running as part of the Society’s Breathe Freely campaign aimed at controlling exposures to prevent occupational lung disease in the construction industry, this not-to-be-missed event will take place at The Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow.

The event is also being used to support the Lighthouse Club, a fantastic charity which provides emergency financial aid to families in the construction industry community during times of crisis following an illness, accident, injury or bereavement. The Charity is celebrating it’s 60th year and to mark this,  BOHS is designating 27 April 2016 as its very own ‘Lighthouse Day’, and has committed to donating £10 from every booking for the Glasgow conference to the Lighthouse Club Benevolent Fund.

The Breathe Freely conference will feature a dynamic line-up of presenters including:

  • Mike Slater, Chartered Occupational Hygienist and Immediate Past President of BOHS
  • Ian Strudley, Head of Construction Policy and Divisional Support Unit at the Health and Safety Executive, setting out the view from the regulator
  • Alan Dickson, Health Director, North Sea Region BP, speaking about lessons learned from the offshore oil and gas industry
  • Robert Atkinson, of Scottish Healthy Working Lives, on health promotion
  • Martin Coyd OBE, of Lend Lease, who will discuss MATES in Construction, an approach to tackling mental ill health and suicide within the construction industry
  • Melodie Gilbert, Consultant occupational hygienist and Senior Partner at Park Health and Safety, speaking about the role of wellbeing and health surveillance in delivering integrated occupational health management

The conference will also see the launch of two exciting new Breathe Freely resources. A construction managers’ toolkit, sponsored by Arco, will offer a wide range of new practical tools including checklists, visual standards and presentation material to assist managers in delivering talks to protect workers’ lungs. In addition, the new, more detailed version of the Health in Industry (HI) Management Standard will be released at the event: this invaluable self-assessment tool helps managers assess their current position in terms of how they are managing workplace health risks, and importantly, identify areas and actions of priority.

Finally, the event will conclude with facilitated group workshop sessions which will offer delegates the chance to share their insights into priority health risks in the sector and exactly what the industry needs in order to improve standards in health. BOHS has pledged to take this feedback on board for incorporation into the next round of resources to be developed under its Breathe Freely initiative.

Commenting on the plans for the Breathe Freely conference, Steve Perkins, Chief Executive of BOHS, said, “This event offers a unique opportunity for construction managers who have responsibility for health and safety to take an active role in shaping the future path of work-related health protection in their area.  I urge proactive construction managers who live in and around Glasgow to come and network with like-minded individuals.”

Further information about the event can be accessed at http://www.breathefreely.org.uk/one-day-conference.html.

More information about the Lighthouse Club can be found at http://www.lighthouseclub.org/




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