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Industry leaders called for action to tackle the huge burden of bone, joint and muscle conditions on people in the construction industry, in a report released today (30/05/2019).

Physically demanding work means the construction industry has one of the highest rates of musculoskeletal disorders costing £646 million every year – accounting for overthree-quarters of all occupational ill-health costs.

The report from the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) followed a roundtable meeting of industry leaders.

The key issues identified were:

  • Prevention – requires proactivity and understanding people’s motivations to change behaviour.
  • Early support helps bone, joint or muscle disorders, but people first need to feel comfortable talking openly about them, not as a sign of weakness and without fearing job loss.
  • SMEs – In construction, small companies employ many workers, including transient workers. Solutions could include building control officers, who go on every site, flagging issues with smaller companies, or largeremployers influencing supply chains to prioritise this.

Adrian Shah-Cundy from VolkerWessells UK, a speaker at the roundtable said,‘We recognise the need to refocus efforts on the continued issue of MSDs in construction, as part of our responsibility to maintain a workplace free from injury and ill-health. This is a challenging subject due to the physical nature of our activities but, as the figures demonstrate, as an industry we still have a way to go to practically improve working practices and preventive measures. We welcome the opportunity to work with, and learn from, a diverse range of stakeholders for the betterment of health and wellbeing. ’

Adrian Shah-Cundy from VolkerWessells UK

Industry leaders concluded that all employers needed:

  • a musculoskeletal disorders action plan, developing awareness of bone, joint and muscle problems beyond just manual handling;
  • awareness of MSDs and to encourage open conversations and support when employees are struggling;
  • routine monitoring of employee musculoskeletal health and wellbeing.

Download the full report here Musculoskeletal Conditions in the Construction Industry,

(Article source: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA)

Issues related to musculoskeletal disorders across our sector are being reviewed through the FIS Working Groups Click here to find out more.

FIS members have access to a comprehensive suite of H&S resources available here.

If you haven’t already done so, please complete the Build UK Accident Survey here.