Constructing Better Health News Updates

Sainsbury's first to issue workers health card

02/09/2008

 

The construction industry’s first ever ‘fitness for task’ occupational health card – the CBH Card – was presented on 20 August at Sainsbury’s, Emersons Green, near Bristol.
Sainsbury’s has been the first major UK retailer to recognise the importance of the national occupational health standards and has provided the funding to implement the CBH card throughout its construction supply chain.
The CBH Card is part of a national scheme for construction to help employers access information and support in work-related health issues. A voluntary scheme, with consent reaching 98% among construction employees – the CBH Card is the first of its kind in the industry to provide information on an employee’s occupational health status.
Cliff Price, a site manager for Dudley & Sons which is the main contractor for Sainsbury’s, was the recipient of the first CBH card. He said: “The health surveillance checks are a very good idea because some health problems can creep up on you without realising it.”
Trevor Walker, Chairman of CBH, presented this first CBH Card to Cliff Price and said: “The construction industry has made great strides in addressing its safety record, now it has turned its attention to managing the risk to work-related health. The potential impact of the CBH scheme is to significantly improve the work-related health of its workforce, which currently sees over 1.8 million working days lost through ill health.”
Issued following a surveillance health check by an accredited occupational health service provider, the CBH Card only contains an employee’s name, unique reference number, date of health surveillance check, length of validity and any considerations that the site manager needs to consider. Michelle Aldous, Chief Executive Officer, explains: “Any restrictions or considerations noted in the employee’s records will always be presented in a positive way. So, for example, ‘use mechanical handling or team lifting’. The aim is not to exclude people but to correct problems and improve health and well being.”
As one of the main contractors on the Sainsbury’s project to refurbish and develop stores across the UK this year, Dudley’s has been keen to support the values of its client and the objectives of CBH. Adrian Cecconi, Key Account Manager at Dudley’s says: “We want to carry out in practice one of the Sainsbury’s values of ‘respect for the individual’. Our supply chain labour is one of our most important and most valuable assets which we value. We aim to improve the quality of life working within Sainsbury’s and safeguard our colleagues’ health to our utmost capability.”
Early response to the CBH Card has been excellent and consent from the workforce has been overwhelming. To date, over 400 health surveillance and safety critical worker ‘fitness for task’ checks have so far been completed on Sainsbury’s sites using the CBH industry standards, with a 98% consent rate. CBH intends that the fitness for work data will be available via a secure web log on towards the end of this year.

Sainsbury’s is the first employer to issue workers health card

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