Construction occupational health management site covers issues such as asbestos, dermatitis, hand-arm vibration and stress

The Health and Safety Executive has launched an occupational health website for the construction industry.

The site, called construction occupational health management essential (COHME), is aimed at clients, designers, principle contractors and contractors.

It outlines their roles in occupational health and how to manage conditions such as asbestos, dermatitis, hand-arm vibration, muscular skeletal disease, noise, respiratory disease and stress.

It also links to other health and safety websites of other organisations, including Constructing Better Health and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.

The HSE said the tool was currently a framework and they expected contractors to come forward with relevant case studies on how they manage occupational health.

Stephen Williams, chief Inspector of construction at the Health and Safety Executive, said: “What we really want the industry to do is manage the risks, not the symptoms of the exposure to the health hazard. Everyone in the industry has got their part to play.”

In the construction industry 1.8 million days a year are lost through occupational health problems – twice the number lost through accidents.

Of the whole construction workforce, 4.5% – 9,000 workers – are affected by illness caused and made worse by work.

The project is the result of a three-year consultation period.