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Grant awarded to university for study into work-related stress in construction industry

  • 19.03.2020
  • JessicaMG
  • Personal-injury
  • Personal Injury Mental health serious injury occupational stress accident at work work-related stress injury at work

A team of researchers at the University of Lincoln have been given a £25,000 grant to investigate occupational stress encountered by construction workers, as well as the impact it has on performance, the cost to employees and the risk of accidents.

According to the 2019 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) publication on work-related stress, anxiety or depression statistics in Great Britain, it is thought that stress-related illness costs British industry around £5 billion each year. The HSE estimates that stress, anxiety or depression account for 44% of all work-related ill health cases and over half of all sick days taken in a year.

"Unsafe behaviours"

Dr Saad Sarhan and Professor Stephen Pretlove from the University of Lincoln’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment will lead the study. Dr Sarhan has worked in the field for 14 years, he said: “Several empirical studies have identified work-related stress as one of the root causes of unsafe behaviours in construction.

“Other major social problems such as high absenteeism, alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide have also become increasingly reported as consequent to occupational stress in construction. This is a timely study given that the UK regulations for managing occupational health have not been updated for many years in response to the rapid changes in the way we procure, design and deliver construction projects.”

Occupational Health Research Award

B&CE Charitable Trust, which awarded the grant as part of its Occupational Health Research Award, was set up in 1991 to give back to the construction industry by supporting those who work in construction in times of need, including financial support, retraining and educational grants. To date, the trust has handed out over £3.5 million in charitable donations.

This is the fourth year this particular grant has been awarded, and past winning entries included a project with the aim of eliminating occupational health hazards at the construction design stage and a study into musculoskeletal disorders in construction.

Roy Porter, spokesperson for the B&CE Charitable Trust, added: “We were very impressed by the high standard of entries to this year’s Occupational Health Research Award, but the winning entry really stood out. The Charitable Trust has been supporting the construction industry for the past three decades and we are acutely aware of the high levels of stress among workers in this sector.

“This is an exciting piece of research, one which we are confident will ultimately support large numbers of construction workers in the future.”

Richard Edwards, Partner within our Personal Injury team who specialises in handling occupational stress and serious injury at work claims, comments here:

I very much welcome news of this grant. Work related stress is an issue that impacts upon all sectors of the economy. In order to tackle it effectively, the scale of the problem must first be identified and understood. I look forward to seeing the results of this research and hope that it will help contribute to the push for an improvement in standards, for the benefit all employees who struggle with work place stress.

Richard Edwards secures over £400,000 for a man who was left brain damaged after inhaling harmful chemical fumes at his job as a probationary plant operator. Read more here...

Richard is a Partner within our Personal Injury department. If you would like to speak with Richard regarding work-related stress or personal injury claims, or indeed any other aspect of this article, please call 0800 027 2557 today or fill out a contact form on the side of this page. Alternatively, you can contact Richard directly here.