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Constructing Better Health
 

Happy New Year to our readers from all at CBH

 

CBH welcomes Sophie Joy

CBH would like to welcome its newest team member, Sophie Joy, who joins us as the scheme's Project Coordinator. Sophie brings with her a wealth of experience in client and in-house training and is well versed with practical implementation of regulatory requirements. We're happy to have her on board.

Welcome to the team Sophie!

 

Risk of anthrax on building land

Anthrax. Not a risk commonly associated with building land contamination because the instances of it occurring are so rare.  The UK has an exceptionally low rate of anthrax, and nearly all cases since 1981 have been associated with imported material. In spite of the rare occurrences, Public Health England, with the Health & Safety Executive, has issued new guidelines specifying protocols for dealing with anthrax contaminated land on building sites.

Bacillus anthraci, is a spore forming bacterium that causes the anthrax disease. Although it mostly affects herbivores, humans can be infected through contact with spores from contaminated sources such as contaminated meat, animal hides, horse hair plaster and contaminated bone meal.

Even though there is no evidence of any worker or member of the public being infected with anthrax as the result of development of brownfield or greenfield sites previously used for livestock, vigilance is still required. If there are building works scheduled on areas where there is documented evidence of anthrax contamination, the site can be sampled and specimens sent for analysis for anthrax spores. Advice on dealing with areas shown to be contaminated can be obtained from Public Health England or the Health and Safety Executive.

If there is planned development of potentially contaminated sites, such as old tanneries, building regulations come in effect. There is a legal requirement under the COSHH regulations to consider the possibility of anthrax contamination on these sites before work commences. Even if there is a possibility of a low residual contamination, testing of the site for spores is recommended and suitable procedures implemented to protect workers.  In England and Wales there are sample collection kit guidelines which should be followed, including correct PPE and its disposal after use. 

If an animal carcass is found during site works, work should be stopped immediately and the local office of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) notified. 

For further information about these guidelines, please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/anthrax-assessing-risk-of-anthrax-on-building-land  or http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/healthrisks/hazardous-substances/harmful-micro-organisms/anthrax.htm

 

Working under pressure

Stress is a part of all our working lives and has a serious impact on mental and physical health and wellbeing. However, the taboo subject of bullying in the workplace continues to cause untold mental and physical ill health.  CBH is sharing this to a You tube video made by Neil Moon recounting his personal experiences of excessive workplace stress, bullying and mental illness. http://youtu.be/XiXUf58I0EU

Neil is trying to link with various organisations like CBH to raise awareness of these issues.   He is liaising with Bullying UK, ISMA and has written articles for Mind, the mental health charity. Neil will also be giving talks with Working Well Together in 2015. Watch this space for more updates.

 

CBH events and sponsorship

CBH is giving its support to occupational health in construction by sponsoring a variety of awards and initiatives for 2015:

Once again, CBH is offering its sponsorship support for the Construction News Awards. (2015) – celebrating best practice in the construction industry.  If you would like to enter your company’s achievements, the entry deadline is 16th January 2015.  See:  http://constructionnewsawards.cnplus.co.uk/

Last year, CBH supported the Constructing Excellence SECBE awards.  We plan to do the same in 2015. http://www.constructingexcellence.org.uk/ceawards/

CBH will be supporting IOSH’s ‘ No time to lose’ campaign.  If you want to take a stand against beating occupational cancer, then get involved. For more information visit: http://www.notimetolose.org.uk/

 

Legal News – work related health enforcements and prosecutions

 

In every issue of our newsletter CBH tries to share topical legal news and enforcement updates about work related health in construction. Here are items that our readers might find of interest:

Health issues rise to the top of the agenda: http://www.ppconstructionsafety.com/newsdesk/2014/12/02/report-on-hse-construction-regulation/

Views on Hand Arm Vibration gloves, http://www.ppconstructionsafety.com/newsdesk/2014/11/03/views-on-hand-arm-vibration- band-gloves/

Contractor fined for asbestos risk, http://press.hse.gov.uk/2014/contractor-fined-for-potential-asbestos-risk/

 

New members round-up

ABC Electrification Ltd
AD Porta Ltd
B&M McHugh Ltd
F B Taylor (Cable Contractors) Ltd
Freyssinet Ltd
JD Scott Welding Services
Liebherr GB Ltd
Onsite Central Ltd
Pro Steel Engineering Ltd
Sunray Engineering Ltd
Swallow Site Services Ltd
V Cook Ltd
Vitpol Building Services
Walker Construction (UK) Ltd

 

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