HSE estimates that 2,000,000 people within the UK currently suffer from an illness caused by, or made worse by the working environment. Ill-health can have a significant impact on the productivity of a business – sickness absence costs the UK economy an estimated £12 billion per annum. In 2005/2006 the construction industry had the second highest rate of self reported illness attributed to work at 3,800 cases per 100,000 employed persons (Health and Safety statistics 2005/06 HSE Books 2006). Construction workers have a high overall mortality rate, independent of social class, with bricklayers and labourers being recorded as having the second highest mortality rate (Snashall, 2005).
This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.
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