Trade bodies launch building services sector initiative on employee health

A major initiative on occupational health in the building services engineering sector has been launched by the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and Constructing Better Health.


Starting with a new sector-wide survey, the collaboration aims to provide essential baseline data which will lead to practical occupational health information and support for contractors.

The move follows the recent construction industry ‘Occupational Health Summit’, which was attended by dozens of chief executives and directors of construction firms and trade bodies, including senior representatives from the building services engineering sector.

According to Paul Reeve, director of Business Services at the ECA: “There are numerous examples of effective occupational health provision in our sector and, managed properly, it delivers business benefits and the career health of tens of thousands of engineering employees. But while there have been major sector-wide improvements in workplace safety, many contractors still struggle with occupational health.

“Our survey – which is aimed primarily at employers – aims to find out much more about the current situation, to give us an informed baseline for helping contractors to engage with both physical, and mental, health issues.”

Tim Rook, director of technical at BESA commented: “The contracting and construction environment is one of the most demanding sectors to work in, and the health of those working in our sector should be considered vital to success. By using the results of this survey we will be able to target and promote best practice, to help both on-site operatives and managers.

“I would encourage everyone to take part as fully and honestly as they can to make this initiative really valuable to the sector, the wider industry, and their own businesses”.

Bob Blackman MBE, chairman of Constructing Better Health, added: “Our collaborative survey will help us to further demystify the cloudy perceptions about occupational health and target those areas where our members and industry colleagues aren’t making the most of the resources at hand.

“The most important message to share with employees is that occupational health management exists to ensure that your job doesn’t affect your health negatively. Ill-health impacts physical and economic well-being, so therefore, utilise all the occupational health services available to you. There’s help at hand.”

Reeve concluded: “We urge all building services engineering companies to complete this short, confidential questionnaire, so we have the best possible information to help the sector move forward with cost effective occupational health management.”

The overall survey findings will be shared with key stakeholders across the industry in the second quarter of this year. The occupational health survey can be completed here, and is open until Wednesday 13 April.

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