The American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA®) issued today a guidance booklet, “Focus Four for Health: An Initiative to Address Four Major Construction Health Hazards,” to raise awareness about health hazards in the construction industry. The new publication was developed by AIHA’s Construction Committee to highlight the significant impact that health hazards, not just safety hazards, have on workers and businesses and to provide practical steps that can be taken to control them.
The booklet addresses an important problem: Construction workers are exposed to significant health hazards, but awareness about occupational health hazards lags behind that for workplace safety — resulting in less attention to construction employer environment, health and safety (EH&S) programs. As described in the booklet’s introduction, this is partly because illnesses and disorders from many types of health hazards develop slowly — making them harder for employers and employees to recognize compared with injuries.
“Unfortunately, health hazards, such as noise or air contaminants, are common in construction. When health problems occur, they can cut careers short, cause pain and disability, and even cause premature death,” said Matt Gillen, team leader for the Focus Four for Health project.
The guidance booklet spotlights these four common health hazards:
The new AIHA publication provides a health companion piece to go with the construction industry’s long-running Focus Four program that targets the top four fatal injury hazards. It employs similar and familiar safety strategies, such as pre-job planning and job safety analyses, to guide employers to successfully address the four health hazards.
“This new publication provides a one-stop, easy-to-use booklet to get employers started on the road to better on-the-job health. We want to stimulate new activities and partnerships among construction and safety and health professionals to better control health hazards. Ultimately, that will be good for the U.S. and Canadian construction workers and employers who build our homes, roads, bridges and buildings,” stated Gillen.
AIHA represents the professionals and experts dedicated to identifying, evaluating, controlling and preventing occupational health hazards. To download a free copy of the guidance booklet, please visit AIHA’s website.
Founded in 1939, AIHA is a nonprofit organization serving professionals dedicated to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, control and confirmation of environmental stressors in or arising from the workplace that may result in injury, illness or impairment, or affect the well-being of workers and members of the community. AIHA provides comprehensive education programs and other products and services that help its members maintain the highest professional standards.
More than half of AIHA’s nearly 8,500 members are Certified Industrial Hygienists, and many hold other professional designations. AIHA serves as a resource for those employed in the industrial, consulting, academic and government sectors. For more information, please visit www.aiha.org.
Sue Marchese American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) 703-846-0742 email@example.com