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64% of industry wants more action on pollution

22 February 2018 | By Will Mann

Almost two thirds of construction workers want the industry to do more work tackling the problem of air pollution, new research shows.

The survey by the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) drew more than 600 responses from across the UK and Ireland, and the organisation is now launching a campaign to raise awareness and understanding of poor air quality and its impacts on construction sites.

A total of 84% of survey respondents acknowledged there is an issue with air pollution in the construction industry, but 64% feel the industry is not doing enough to address it.

Other findings from the responses include:

The health impacts of air pollution on the workforce and general public include respiratory illness, asthma, bronchitis and even cancer. Health problems linked to air pollution are estimated to cost the economy more than £20bn every year.

The CCS campaign – ‘Spotlight on…air pollution’ – includes hosting on its website a variety of practical steps, case studies, resources and regulatory information to help the industry address this issue in the short, medium and long term.

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Practical case studies on how to address the issue include contributions from: Canary Wharf Contractors; Costain; Interserve; Mace; Sir Robert McAlpine and TfL (Transport for London). 

CCS chief executive Edward Hardy said: “A staggering 40,000 deaths a year are linked to air pollution in the UK, and many people are suffering long-term health problems caused by poor air quality. As construction is a significant contributor to air pollution, it is essential for the industry to put measures in place to clean up our air by working together to reduce our impact on air quality.

“The Scheme’s ‘Spotlight on…air pollution’ campaign provides everyone within the industry access to a practical suite of resources including best practice, guidance and case studies from Scheme-registered construction sites, companies and suppliers on how to tackle this issue, as well as guidance from organisations including the Institute of Air Quality Management, Healthy Air Campaign and the Greater London Authority.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of collaborative efforts to tackle air pollution, having partnered with the Institution of Civil Engineers to produce Scheme posters for registered sites, companies and suppliers to raise the issue of air pollution to their workforce.

“The Institution of Civil Engineers has also recognised the value of the industry being committed to the Considerate Constructors Scheme, having highlighted Scheme registration within its London Air Quality Taskforce report published in 2017.” 

Image: Zhaojiankang/Dreamstime.com

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