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Constructing Better Health

CBH supporting the 2014 Construction News Awards

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Sponsors of the 'Supply Chain Excellence' Category


CBH to host Lead Training course in January

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A significant health risk in the construction industry, the dangers of lead treated surfaces remain under the radar most of the time. That is why CBH is hosting ‘Managing Construction Lead Hazards’ – a one day course aimed at Project supervisors, Managers, Operatives and Health & Safety Advisers.

This course will inform about the potential dangers to workers and others from inhaling or ingesting lead dust - even in microscopic quantities.

It will also address the legal duties of employers and employees who manage risks arising from the disturbance of lead containing materials (LCMs) Finally, it will highlight what measures to take to operate a ‘lead-safe’ work system.

Course attendees will be under the expert guidance of Tristan Olivier, accredited lead survey specialist and risk assessor and Tony Putsman, risk management consultant and accredited trainer.

If you would like to attend this informative course, visit the CBH website for booking details. It will be held on 16th January; £225 for CBH members, £295 for non-members.


CBH at the 2013 Healthy Workplaces Summit in Bilbao

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CBH, an official partner of the 2013 Healthy Workplaces Summit, was represented by its team in Bilbao at the recently held event. The summit was hosted by EU-OSHA (The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work).

The Summit took place on 11-12 November and marked the official end of the EU-OSHA’s most successful campaign to date. It brought together delegates from across the EU, including occupational safety and health professionals, researchers, doctors, decision makers and policy advisers, representatives of employers and trade unions, communications professionals and press.

The two day event encompassed workshops and presentations covering topics such as practice benchmarking, worker participation, organisational and individual intervention strategies. With the successful input and participation of the 2013 summit, organisers and attendees ended the event looking forward to even more success in 2014.

This was an excellent opportunity for CBH to network and share work-related health intelligence with a wide spectrum of European experts and colleagues. For a full summary of the event visit:


CBH Data Protection - your details are safe with us


We recently received a call from one of our contractors saying that an operative, who had a health check carried out a few months previously, received a call from a National advice line, offering to help him with his claim for hearing loss, this had led him to be concerned that his personal details had been passed on, it also set alarm bells ringing with CBH as we take data protection and confidentiality very seriously.

An investigation was started immediately by us to look in to this matter; the number that he had been called by belongs to a National advice service that deals with, amongst other things, Industrial disease claims.

We did a bit of research in to this company and discovered that there had been a number of complaints about them for contacting people out of the blue, stating that as they had worked in industry they may be entitled to compensation for hearing loss, this included people who had never worked in a noisy environment, there was evidence to suggest that they also buy in lists of people information from third party companies and  it also appeared that for some these calls had started after they had used a comparison site for van insurance. When we asked the operative involved it turns out that he had also requested some quotes for insurance prior to receiving this call.

These events may have transpired due to a lack of care in ticking or unticking a box about permission to share your personal data with a third party; for example, mobile number or email address.

To ensure that your personal data is kept safe, the CBH IT infrastructure consists of two separate systems; CHAT used by employers to manage the occupational health of their employees, and the occupational health system used by nurses and doctors to record the results of the health assessments. Both systems are hosted on servers housed in secure premises, and accessed by users using the same security protocols as used by people when accessing their online bank accounts, or ordering an item on Amazon. Employers and occupational health professional users of the systems require a password that only they know to login and access the systems. NO clinical data is exchanged between the systems.

A company’s system administrator can control what information is available to their users of the systems, in order to meet specific company policies regarding access to personal data.

CBH will never pass you details on to a third party without your consent.


Dust. Minor irritant or potentially fatal toxin?

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Dust.  Almost completely avoidable.  Often invisible.  A nuisance and an irritant.  Generally, more toxic than we realise and sometimes deadly - as we know from asbestos.  There is another risk:  lead dust. It arises from the disturbance of previously lead-painted surfaces and other lead containing materials (LCMs). It is so widespread, underestimated and ignored, that it deserves much greater attention – a view supported by CBH.

Excluding asbestos, ‘construction dust’ generally describes silica, wood and lower toxicity dust categories (e.g. gypsum) – with no consideration of the paint dust often produced in combination with them.  This is a careless oversight considering the great extent to which toxic lead compounds were used in paint manufacturing.  Even though responsible paint manufacturers no longer use lead in the majority of their paints, these can only be described as containing “no added lead” – which does not mean “lead-free”.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the construction industry, poured billions of pounds into dealing with asbestos. Despite the recent focus on dust in general, and respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in particular, lead continues to be overlooked.

Dust damages the airways and causes blockages that gradually reduce lung function. But, it is also toxic, with the ability to poison.  Even low levels of lead exposure can affect irreversibly, the brain, nervous system and other essential organs.  It can harm fertility and cause neurological and development problems - especially in children. It has also been linked to cancer.

In refurbishment, decommissioning, repair, maintenance and demolition there are few jobs that do not involve the disturbance of painted surfaces.  Wherever paintwork is liable to be disturbed, lead hazards must be identified and the (frequently) significant lead exposure risks mitigated and managed.

It is a legal requirement for lead surveys to be provided as part of clients’ pre-construction information obligations to identify hazardous materials.  This applies to all projects likely to involve paintwork disturbance, regardless of the age of the building or structure involved.  Although prosecutions are rare, the HSE has already started to issue Improvement Notices and Fees for Intervention for lead paint oversights.

In 2013, even the biggest contractors are being caught out and clients are likely to follow.

For more information about lead hazards and their dust exposure risks, see

This item courtesy Tristan Olivier of LIPSA – CBH guest features contributor.


Trevor Walker and Rosemary Beales retire from CBH Board


CBH says goodbye to two of its longest incumbent Board Members who are retiring from service.

Trevor Walker has been an ardent and consistent supporter of CBH since its inception in 2001. He served as CBH Chairman from 2005 to 2012 as well as other industry committees and bodies in various capacities. These include, CSCS, CECA, FCEC and the Construction Federation.

Rosemary Beales has been a CBH Board Director since 2009. A practising barrister for several years, she then became the Legal Director of the FCEC. Subsequently she was instrumental in the formation of CECA as a National Founding Director.

Both have been dedicated supporters and the CBH team would like to say a big thank you to Trevor and Rosemary for their contribution to CBH’s development and success to date.


Book now for your CBH online CHAT training session

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CBH offers easy and convenient online training to users of CHAT (Construction Health Action Toolkit). In a few easy steps, with one to one training, you can learn to use CBH’s popular health risk management tool.

The whole training process is so simple. During the session you will be shown, step by step, the CHAT2 user process and how to enter your company’s relevant data so that CHAT2 can work for you and make managing Occupational Health for your company easy.

Call to book now on 01293 586 622.


CBH speaks at Utilities Week H&S Conference

CBH’s Polly Begy attended and presented at the 2013 Utility week Health and Safety Conference on the 19th November.

The event focused on the importance of employee health, well-being and engagement, as well as safety. Polly presented with Susan Gee from Yorkshire Water at a workshop about reducing sickness absence, covering key facts and figures around occupational ill health.

Polly presented to a varied audience as the conference brought together health and safety professionals from UK water, gas and electricity utilities and contractors. It was an opportunity to share practical solutions to identify risks to both employees and the public and innovative ways to help prevent them. 

There were also a number of expert speakers offering updates on legislation, industry initiatives and new technologies.

Copies of the presentations from the event are available at


New updates to the CHAT system

To give the best service to our members, CBH continuously improves its resources.

There are two new updates to our popular risk management software CHAT (Construction Health Action Toolkit). They are:

-The capability to specify a second Administration Contact for a company, division or site has been added

- Administration Contacts now receive system generated emails from CHAT


Legal News – work related health enforcements and prosecutions


CBH shares legal enforcement news relating to work-related health issues in the construction industry. Here are some news announcements our readers may find informative:

Family-run construction firm fined over vibrating tool failings.

School and glass company fined for asbestos failings.

Doubt cast on anti-vibration retrofits.



New members round-up


  • Modular Space Ltd.
  • Rosewood Engineering
  • Sustainability Inc. Ltd.
  • Delmatic Ltd.

Accredited D&A Testing Companies

  • Synergy Health Laboratory Services Ltd

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