News - Construction News

Research grant to help improve construction worker’s health

A new research project is to be conducted, which will investigate the impact of presenteeism culture and ways to improve construction worker’s health.

Loughborough University and Professor Alistair Gibb, will conduct the research after B&CE Charitable Trust awarded its 2018 Occupational Health Research award to the team.

Every year tens of thousands of construction workers suffer illnesses – including musculoskeletal issues – caused or made worse by their work. This £25,000 research award will enable Professor Gibb and his team to conduct research in to the impact of presenteeism – where people come to work in poor health relating to musculoskeletal disorders in the construction industry.

The study hopes to understand if and why people continue to come into work with musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), whether it compromises productivity and aims to help employers address underlying causes of musculoskeletal disorder presenteeism.

Commenting on the award, Barbara Dinsdale, Head of B&CE Charitable Trust, said: “We’re delighted to present this award to Professor Gibb and his team. This research study will help provide valuable insights into why workers with musculoskeletal disorders continue to go into work when ill in UK construction, and the impact this has on employers. The study may also help to inform future consideration around occupational health provision for musculoskeletal disorders.

“As advocates for the health and safety of construction workers in the UK, we very much look forward to the findings of this important research study.”

Professor Alistair Gibb, Loughborough University, said: “Occupational ill-health costs UK construction employers hundreds of millions of pounds every year and musculoskeletal disorders account for more than three-quarters of the total. A considerable proportion of that cost is believed to be from lost productivity through presenteeism and this work will make an important contribution to increasing understanding of MSD presenteeism, for the benefit of workers and employers alike.”

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