What are construction’s biggest safety challenges?

3 June 2019

CM, in partnership with Hilti and Travis Perkins, has been running an initiative to examine and highlight key health and safety issues in the industry. The results of our recent online polls illustrate the concerns of construction professionals.

In the May edition of Construction Manager, we hosted a round table that looked at the key health and safety challenges facing the industry.

The event, Consigning Poor Health and Safety Practices to Dust, run in conjunction with supply chain partners Hilti and Travis Perkins Tool Hire, brought together leading experts from across the industry – including major contractors, SMEs, trade associations and the HSE – to discuss what impact new technology and innovation will have on health and safety practices.

To support the discussion, we ran four online polls to get the views of the wider industry, and the results give interesting insights into where the sector stands today, as well as a glimpse into the future.

We asked whether construction is doing enough to tackle dust on site, with 84% saying more needed to be done and 16% believing the issue is in hand. We also asked what were the biggest issues in controlling dust on site, what technology-led initiatives would make a difference and the biggest challenges construction faces to improve its performance in health and safety.

However, the discussion doesn’t end there. Since the round table event, the HSE has announced a consultation on proposals to implement amendments to the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (2004/37/EC). This introduces or revises occupational exposure limit values for a number of carcinogens including hardwood dust. The directive also classifies respirable crystalline silica (RCS) as a carcinogen where it is generated as result of a work process. ­­

CM will continue to monitor this area, but in the meantime the conversation continues online. Join the discussion on Twitter with #ConstructTheFuture and to read the full whitecpaper report from the round table, visit:


Often the most likely workers to be exposed to dust are the lowest educated and foreign workers who are challenged in being able to speak and read english. Often these workers are provided through labour brokers and whodont provide safety training

Roger Ward FCIOB PQS(F), 3 June 2019

Leave a comment