Occupational ill-health

Occupational ill-health

Occupational ill-health is the general term for a variety of health problems and diseases that have been caused by or made worse by a person’s work.

Occupational ill-health is a major problem in the construction industry. The most common work-related illnesses affecting building workers are musculoskeletal conditions, asbestos-related diseases and the effects of noise and vibration exposure.

There were an estimated 36,000 new cases of work-related ill health in construction in 2010/11 with rates of musculoskeletal disorder significantly higher than average (LFS).

About 2.3 million working days were lost (1.1 days per worker) in the construction industry due to self-reported work-related illness or workplace injury. Just over three quarters of this was due to health problems and only one quarter to injuries.

In 2010/11, 1.2 million working people were suffering from a work-related illness in all industrial sectors. 26.4 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury. Workplace injuries and ill health (excluding cancer) cost society an estimated £14 billion (in 2009/10).

Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) employers must report injuries which result in over 7 days' incapacitation (not counting the day on which the accident happened).

What to do if suffering from workplace ill health

If you suffer from any health issue that could be work related please get in touch with your UCATT Safety Rep or UCATT Regional Office. This will ensure that you get all necessary support.

It can also be the first step to seeking compensation.

Further information:

HSE Website: Occupational Health Risks in Construction: www.hse.gov.uk/construction/healthrisks/

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