Moving and handling heavy or bulky objects on construction sites is needlessly harming the health of tens of thousands of workers every year. Work on construction sites can be physically demanding and many workers’ health is suffering due to pain in muscles, bones, joints and nerves that affect every aspect of their lives and in many cases their ability to work and earn a living.
HSE inspectors have been carrying out inspections of construction sites, focusing on the health risks of moving and handling materials on site and here at C&C Consulting, we fully support the Raising Your Awareness campaign running alongside the HSE Initiative: ‘Work Right Construction. Your health. Your future’ where you can access several promotional materials and guidance in support of moving and handling.
The law requires employers to control the risks of ill health of their workers, which includes pain in muscles, bones, joints, and nerves that can develop over time, known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). However, in the most recent period an estimated 42,000 people in the construction industry suffered from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder, which can cause years of agonising aches and pains. This amounts to 53% of all ill health in the construction sector.
If moving and lifting is managed properly, a physical job on a building site should not disrupt every part of workers’ lives.
Before work starts, moving and handling risks should be considered and prevented where possible at the design stage. Once on site, employers should talk to workers about controlling existing risks and make sure appropriate measures are in place, such as the right training, aids and equipment.