You're receiving this newsletter because you have previously expressed an interest in CBH

Not interested anymore? Unsubscribe. Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your browser.

Constructing Better Health

Merry Christmas and thank you


The team at CBH would like to take this opportunity to wish our members and supporters a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

During 2012, thanks to your support and feedback we have continued working to improve the standards of occupational health management in the UK construction industry. 

We look forward to achieving even more with you in 2013.



CBH online shop is having a Christmas sale

Main Content Image


For a limited time only during the Christmas season, the CBH online shop is having a sale. It will last during the month of December right up until the 12th January.

You will be able to purchase the best of CBH’s supporting materials for less than half price.

One set each of the Tool Box Talks, posters and Management Guidance Notes will cost only £125 + VAT and postage. (The normal price would be £440 + VAT.)

Of course members will receive their 30% discount.  Availability operates on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

Don’t delay and make the most of our sale - visit the CBH online shop now.



Drug and alcohol testing in the construction industry


As the party season approaches, we need to remind ourselves that being tough on drink and drugs use protects us all – not just now, but all year round. Constructing Better Health (CBH) has been consulting and working with construction industry contractors regarding drug and alcohol (D&A) testing procedures and the best way to ensure compliance with this important health issue.

Testing for drug and alcohol has been mandatory in the Railways Industry for some years and many Construction companies already undertake drug and alcohol testing to ensure that workers are safe to work on sites and to protect members of the public from accidents due to misuse of drugs and alcohol.

Following on from extensive research and requests for guidance, CBH can now publish its recommended guidance. It stipulates that, as a minimum, all construction companies/sites should have looked at the issue of drug and alcohol misuse and work to an agreed drug and alcohol policy document per company. Further, CBH has stipulated that safety critical workers on all construction sites undergo drug and alcohol testing in some form (according to company policy) and that the higher Railway Standard for alcohol be used as the norm for those in the construction safety critical workers category.

CBH defines safety critical work as:

‘Where the ill health of an individual may compromise their ability to undertake a task defined as safety critical, thereby posing a significant risk to health and safety of others’.

A list of safety critical job roles in the construction industry is available to view within the Industry Standards. They include roles such as tunnel boring gangs and steeplejacks, amongst others.

Results from the D&A tests will be displayed on the ‘Check a Card’ system of data display alongside other health check results. Those who pass the D & A will have results recorded as a PASS result and those who fail will have the notation ‘refer to employer’ displayed for a period of 3 months, after which the ‘refer to employer’ will disappear. Sponsors of the D & A testing (those who pay for the test) will be informed of the PASS or FAIL result.


The documents below are available via the member’s area of the CBH website for reference purposes and further information:

·         The Industry Standard

·         Drug and Alcohol guidance

·         Drug and Alcohol testing procedure

·         A template Drug and Alcohol policy to adapt

CBH will give further training to Occupational Health, Drug and Alcohol Service Providers and contractors using this new system of data entry via the Constructing Health Action Toolkit (CHAT 2 – the National Database).

Please contact CBH on 0345 873 7726 if you have any questions, require training or further information.



Cheryl Toms presents to TunnelSkills

Main Content Image


CBH’s Cheryl Toms was invited by TunnelSkills to present at one of their Forum meetings held on 1st November.

TunnelSkills is an organisation formed to foster high standards of competence in tunnelling and other underground operations.  TunnelSkills and its members are investing in up-skilling the existing workforce and training the workforce of the future.  Therefore, by aligning themselves with CBH and investing in occupational health (OH), this would help to create and maintain a sustainable tunnelling workforce.

A large proportion of the TunnelSkills membership are already members of CBH and carry out OH, so it was an extremely useful session that refreshed attendees’ knowledge of CBH and OH. The session included what OH is about, why it is carried out and the benefits of doing health checks both for the company and the individual.

Cheryl also demonstrated the capabilities of CBH’s CHAT2 software showing how it can fit in with a company’s existing OH system and help manage a company/individual’s OH policy; thus aiding and supporting the sustainable workforce of the future.

For further information on TunnelSkills go to their website



Construction Health Action Toolkit (CHAT) update

Main Content Image


CBH continues to enhance its unique occupational health management software, CHAT.

A new interface enables occupational health providers and Drug and Alcohol testing companies to enter results, which are then visible in the CBH “Check a Card” application.



Did you know?


Two research initiatives with the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) are underway.


Polyclyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) – reviewing all hazardous substance exposures in the construction workplace with a view to identifying any ‘gaps’ in our knowledge to help prioritise our efforts.

Dr. Rushton’s work identified a peak of cancer registrations due to PAH exposure in construction. This research is therefore looking at all PAHs, i.e. bitumen materials and coal tar pitches to establish whether this is a historical issue (as coal tars are no longer used), or whether there is an ongoing real hazardous substance exposure issue as in the roofing industry.

Health Management Competence- looking at producing a self-assessment tool for duty holders on their competence to manage occupational health issues. Termed ‘HeRMMIn’ (Health Risk Management Maturity Index), it is envisaged this will provide a useful leading indicator for health where little such measures currently exist.



Did you know?


The loss to our industry due to work related ill health?


HSE highlight that in 2010-11 more than three times as many working days were lost due to workplace ill-health (1.7 million) than due to workplace injury (0.5 million).

Whilst there were 49 fatal injuries to construction workers in 2010-11, each year there may be as many as 100 times as many workers lives lost through occupational disease.



Did you know?


Smartphone technology catches up with occupational health.


A new smartphone app to help people with muscle, back and joint problems which was launched 8 weeks ago in September has now had 2,000 downloads.

Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions affect joints, muscles and backs and are both common and costly for patients, the NHS and employers. They also represent one in four GP consultations. The app contains a wide range of information for people affected by MSK problems, including what to do, short exercise clips and a log and reminder feature offering prompts for exercise and healthcare appointments.

Included in the new app is a special section on work which has been developed in partnership with The Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives. The section provides information, advice and links to other useful websites for people of working age and managers. Links to occupational services, health choices, diet and wellbeing are available in this section.

The new MSK app is free and can be downloaded for iPhone, iPad and Android phones from the usual app stores. Follow the MSK app on Twitter:

·         @MSK_app

·         @Fraser_msk

·         @Lesley_msk

For further information please contact NHS 24 Communications on 0141 337 4501.


New members round-up


Boskalis Westminster Ltd

Applied Acoustic Design Ltd (AAD) 1 ind

Taliesin Conservation Ltd

Kaefer C&D Ltd

Capita Symonds Ltd

Premier People Recruitment Ltd

Anderson Acoustics Ltd

Morson International

Southdowns Environmental Consultants Ltd

Trad Scaffolding Company Ltd

Waterwise Solutions Ltd

Craige Worth Sutcliffe S/E

Spence Ltd

ICL Solutions

Island Commercial Services Ltd -S/E

South Coast Concrete Pumping Ltd

C.B.S Maintenance Services Ltd

Mane Contract Services Ltd

Loughney Construction & Drilling Ltd

H.McGovern & Son Plant Hire Ltd

J Coffey Construction Ltd

Barhale Construction Plc