Case study 1 (400-1,400 employees). The interviews took place during the final year of a four-year green-field construction site for the building of a PowerStation where the client was closely involved on-site.
Interviewees were a client line manager, the site health and safety manager, and a Registered General Nurse (RGN) with 5 years of experience in occupational health. The latter two were both employed by the main contractor.
The full-time RGN and retained occupational health physician were available to all site employees. All site employees completed a health assessment questionnaire at the start of their employment and any health concerns admitted were followed up. Pre-employment medicals and health surveillance were not undertaken for site employees. The site nurse suspected that the majority of subcontracted workers concealed information regarding their health to avoid questions raised about their fitness for work, despite confidentiality being assured. It was considered that her role was more reactive than proactive, i.e., workers visited her in the clinic for treatments. She did not attend health and safety meetings or accompany health and safety professionals on on-site walkabouts, although she felt that her role could be more proactive, e.g., she could advise on manual handling, sun protection, health risk assessment, and check the welfare facilities (toilets, wash areas).
This site nurse thought that generally, workers did not have an interest in health, e.g., protecting their skin from irritants, but that given time, encouragement, and confidentiality workers would discuss their concerns. In support of this, it had been noticed that visits to the first aid facility by site managers, workers, etc. had increased and there was less stigma attached to them.
Regarding the management of health, difficulties were expressed as being the high cost to the industry, overall monitoring and maintaining confidentiality. Finally, when asked for ideas concerning how the health of subcontractors could be managed, a form of ‘swipe-card system that workers carried, containing details of medicals, surveillance, work history, etc. was suggested.
a. Details of Health Hazards
b. Effects of Health Hazards to the
c. Recommendation on controlling the identified