In response to widespread demand from the construction industry, BOHS, the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection, has launched a new and unique course specifically for the sector, to provide training in controlling health risks.

The Certificate in Controlling Health Risks in Construction (CCHRC) is a unique course – the only 1-day course1 to specifically cover the control of health risks in the construction sector. To develop this bespoke course, BOHS has partnered with industry experts to undertake extensive research, and has also trialled the course with industry personnel.

Why it’s needed

Demand for health training has become more of a priority in the construction industry, due to the growing recognition of the need to do more to reduce the incidence of ill health amongst workers in the sector. Current – and shocking – statistics illustrate the extent of this need:

• Construction workers are 100 times more likely to die as a result of ill-health caused by work, than from an accident
• There are around 5,500 new occupational cancer cases in construction, each year
• There are around 76,000 cases of work-related ill health

Additionally, the profile of workplace health issues in the construction industry has grown significantly during the last couple of years, highlighted by initiatives such as BOHS’ Breathe Freely campaign, and the work of the Health in Construction Leadership Group (HCLG). At last, there is significant recognition of the need to do more to reduce the incidence of ill health amongst construction workers.

So, ‘health’ is now firmly on the agenda in the construction industry – the focus is no longer solely on ‘safety’. However, ‘health’ can feel like an overwhelming subject for Health and Safety Managers, and other professionals responsible for this area: also, there can be confusion and misunderstanding around other health-related areas such as ‘wellbeing’ and ‘occupational health’ – and how it all fits together. Now, BOHS – which has over 60 years’ expertise in the area of qualifications and worker health protection – has directly addressed this need with a new course – which is bespoke to the construction sector.

The solution

The CCHRC has been specifically designed to provide training for anyone who has a functional responsibility for controlling health risks on a construction site – such as site supervisors and site managers – to ensure that relevant personnel are trained to better recognise and control workplace hazards, and the health risks specific to their workplace, by:

• Identifying the most commonly present health hazards found on construction sites
• Understanding the principles of risk control
• Identifying the measures needed to control common health risks from construction activities

Benefits of the course

At-a-glance, the course benefits include:

• Ensuring personnel are trained to recognise and control workplace hazards
• Equipping personnel to ensure workers’ health is better protected
• Providing a highly cost-effective and convenient form of training
• Providing comprehensive teaching and learning materials
• Offering ongoing cost savings – the course can be delivered by the company2 to its employees

Karen Bufton, President of BOHS, commented: “I’m delighted that, as a long standing Royal Charter Society, BOHS is actively maintaining its role as the pre-eminent and leading authority in its work in the field of occupational disease prevention – and continues working towards its aim for a healthy working environment for everyone. This new course demonstrates the Society’s continuing relevance in today’s workplaces, and its capacity to respond to market demand, by delivering a bespoke and industry-leading training solution.”

Karen concluded: “BOHS’ collaboration with key industry stakeholders – as part of its Breathe Freely initiative – has clearly highlighted an overwhelming need for help with training around ‘health’ within the construction industry, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to provide assistance and a bespoke solution. Via this new course, and our ongoing activities to raise awareness of the wider subject of worker health protection, we will continue to provide support for the construction industry, and ensure that ‘health’ continues to move higher up the agenda.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about the new CCHRC course can access further information here. A comprehensive range of free resources and training materials, specific to the construction sector, can be accessed here.

1Prior to the one-day training course, candidates are required to complete a two hour online distance learning module.
2Companies that meet the required standards, can become BOHS Approved Training Providers, and are then able to deliver the course to their own personnel. More information can be accessed here.