The Major Contractors Group has launched an occupational health strategy for its members to sign up to by March next year.
It will include help for hand–arm vibration syndrome, dermatitis and muscular skeletal disorders.

Firms will also be required to put in place arrangements to rehabilitate workers, keep a record of days lost because of sickness, and develop materials to improve the understanding of health risks.

Colin Busby, chairman of the MCG, said: "We believe that this represents an important step in improving the health of those who work on construction sites."

He said it met the commitment given by the MCG in February 2001 when its health and safety strategy was launched.

The group also announced the results of its latest workforce competency audit. The survey, which was carried out last month, revealed that an average of 55% of the workforce on MCG members' sites could prove they were fully qualified on the day of the audit, up 50% on last year's figure.