Author Bio ▼

Nick Warburton is former editor of SHP Magazine. He is currently working as a freelance journalist and as an account manager at Technical Publicity.
April 29, 2015

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BOHS launches Breathe Freely initiative

The British Occupational Hygiene Society has launched a new collaborative approach that aims to prevent occupational lung disease in the construction industry.

Working in partnership with HSE, Land Securities, Mace and Constructing Better Health, and supported by many others, including IOSH, BOHS launched its ‘Breathe Freely’ initiative on 28 April at Merchant Taylor’s Hall in London.

Setting the scene, Professor David Fishwick, consultant respiratory physician and chief medical officer at the Health and Safety Laboratory, drew on real-life cases that he’d come across in the NHS and emphasised the importance of preventative action within the construction industry.

Lawrence Waterman OBE, managing partner at Park Health and Safety Services Ltd, touched on the good practice developed at London 2012 and more recent developments such as Crossrail and Thames Tideway Tunnel to emphasise the need for greater preventative action across the wider construction industry.

During 2013/14, there were 42 fatal injuries across the UK construction sector. Over the same period of time, HSE estimates that there were about 5,500 new occupational cancers, 5,000 deaths from asbestos and 500 deaths from exposure to silica dust alone.

As part of the launch, Mike Slater, president of BOHS, called on attendees to sign up to the Health in Industry (HI) Management Standard, which explains what ‘good’ looks like and what standards need to be met.

The ‘Breathe Freely’ website provides a wealth of information for the construction industry, including how it can recognise the hazards, evaluate the risks and control exposure.

In November, the BOHS will be launching a toolkit for managers, which will cover common risks, an audit checklist, visual standards, practical guidance on COSHH and RPE and toolbox talks.

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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