Protecting Long Term Health

May 31, 2018


Reflecting on a CPD session led by the RVT Group, our Health & Safety Director Mark Sullivan considers the impact of health hazards on construction sites, with a focus on uncontrolled dust, fumes, noise and ventilation.


During the presentation RVT Group highlighted some of the astonishing statistics that confront our construction workforce.

The HSE estimates:

  • 800 people die from silica related diseases per year;

  • 4,000 die of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) linked to work conditions;

  • 14,000 new cases of breathing or lung problems reported annually.

If we compare these figures with the number of fatal injuries arising from accidents at work in 2016/17 – 137 - it shows how big the issue really is.


The construction industry has done exceptionally well in relation to safety on site, however now it needs to tackle health issues in the same way.  The message is clear: effective protection from health hazards must be based on an in-depth assessment of specific site conditions; tailored protection is what prevents poor health and hearing impairment in later life. Moreover, real strides can be made to consider impacts on health during the design stages with appropriate selection of materials and consideration of build sequences.


If you would like more information on this matter or wish to discuss some of the measures that could implemented through design stages or on construction sites, please contact Mark Sullivan at

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