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Constructing Better Health

Construction Health Action Toolkit (CHAT) 2 - making it even better

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CBH continues to develop their popular occupational health (OH) management tool CHAT 2. New enhancements have been applied to improve security and ease of use. The new features include:

- Using Identification numbers when adding new employees, either National Insurance Number or Passport Number;

- Archiving CHAT Users control;

- Improved Employee Data Import function.

The transfer of data to CHAT 2 is now in full swing with training sessions being carried out remotely using webinars and interactive tools.  CBH will be contacting all CHAT users over the next few weeks to arrange a short 30 minute session at your convenience.


New life saving vaccination recommended for welders

CBH has become aware of a report in the scientific journal, Occupational Medicine, which states that welders are prone to suffer from a certain type of pneumonia which is preventable by vaccine.

The author of the article, Professor Keith Palmer from the School of Occupational Medicine at the University of Southampton, says that employers are unaware that welders are susceptible to pneumonia (PPV23). He continues to say that a vaccine should be administered to welders or any workers exposed to metal fumes, as a standard preventative measure. There are between 50,000 and 70,000 welders in the U.K. who could benefit from this treatment. CBH is monitoring the situation and will advise the construction industry in six months time on how to effectively deal with the recommendation.

To read the full CBH news release on this research, please visit the CBH Media Centre.


GPs go electronic

From July 2012 GPs across the country have started issuing electronic fit notes.  Paper notes will not be entirely eradicated in the immediate future, as using the electronic method is dependent on the electronic resources and capability of each individual GP.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has decided to revise the traditional hand written note for a clearer computer generated model. In this way it eases communications between GPs and employers, improves data collection efficiency and enables barcoding for feeding into the employee record system. If you would like to see the DWP Guide for Employers on the new electronic fit note, visit the CBH Website and find it in the either the Contractor Members area or the Accredited Providers area.  


DWP strengthens business case for investing in wellbeing

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has created a business tool that helps to justify and calculate the cost of dealing with and investing in wellbeing. The Workplace Wellbeing Tool is an Excel document that helps employers to correlate actual business running costs, employee attendance, absenteeism, accidents, poor health and rationale for investment into a coherent business case. Occupational Health Providers can also use the tool to demonstrate to prospective clients how investment in OH can be rewarding to their business.

The Workplace Wellbeing tool is available for download at the DWP website: 


Asda now selling asthma inhalers over the counter

Asthma patients are now able to buy Salbutamol inhalers from Asda supermarkets, without seeing their GP.

Patients aged 16 years and over can purchase two reliever inhalers at a time for £7 - less than the current prescription charge. Patients will have a telephone consultation with a pharmacist and complete a questionnaire before the request is approved. However, Asthma UK has expressed concern over how the service will operate in practice.  Lead Asthma Nurse Cher Piddock said: "If people are using their blue reliever more than twice a week, it can be a sign that their asthma is out of control, which could put them at risk of a life-threatening asthma attack.  It is therefore crucial that GPs are informed when their patients are issued with inhalers and that people who are struggling with their symptoms go for an asthma review." Dr Bill Beeby of the General Practitioners Committee pointed out that if patients were using two inhalers every 8 weeks this would normally require them to have an asthma review with their GP.


Success stories - Helping to understand current industry practice on the risks from construction dust

CBH is always enthusiastic to share positive developments in OH within the industry, especially when CBH members are involved.  Recently CBH distributed an HSE survey addressing the risks from construction dusts, with the support of the IOSH Construction Group. The HSE produced the survey to gather up-to-date information to help understand current industry practices on this important issue. Results from the survey will shape the HSE’s future strategy on dealing with construction dust risks.

CBH member, VolkerWessels UK, have produced an exemplary response to the survey.  VolkerWessels UK and their OH nurses completed the survey and issued it to safety teams across their six companies.   They have also run workshops on silica dust with the HSE to an audience of employees and clients from VolkerHighways.  Michelle Aldous, CEO of CBH comments: “VolkerWesselsUK have taken the opportunity to address this important issue corporately.  Their approach on this matter will contribute towards improving occupational health industry-wide.”


CBH New Members Roundup

Even though we keep our website updated with new CBH members and accredited OHSPs, we  will now be including these in our newsletter too. This will become a regular feature, so look out for this section in future, “CBH New Members Roundup”.

Corporate Members:

Geotec Surveys Ltd.

Survey Associates Ltd.

Carnan Engineering

Portclean Services Solutions

RTG Rail Services Ltd.

CSN Project Planning Ltd.

Donaldson Associates Ltd.

H.S. Services

Corrundum Construction Ltd.

Plowman Craven Engineering Division

S. Walsh & Son Ltd.

Hadee Engineering Ltd.

Cheema Services Ltd.

Krisco Engineering Ltd.

Ardent Services Ltd.

Kilnbridge Construction Services Ltd.

Accredited Occupational Health Providers: