Healthcare Boss Urges Welfare Support For Construction Staff

More Financial Support Is Needed for Injured Construction Staff


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397
The boss of a Bradford-based healthcare company has called on employers within the UK's construction industry to provide welfare support to their workers.

Chief executive of Sovereign Health Care Russ Piper has urged companies to consider this following the publication of the results of a survey carried out by his firm, which showed 57 per cent of those who regularly work on construction sites believe their employer should have insurance in place to provide them with financial support following a workplace incident.

However, this is not the case, with the majority of businesses in the sector having no such measures in place as they are not legally required to do so.

This means that if for instance an employee was left unable to work due to a limb being amputated as the result of an accident at work, they will not necessarily receive any money from their employer.

Only 21 per cent of respondents said they knew their company did not have adequate cover to support them in such a situation.

Mr Piper commented: "Given the obvious dangers of working in the construction industry, the results indicate a worrying ignorance or misunderstanding among respondents about the extent of the protection employers must provide for them if they become ill or injured."

The survey also found 40 per cent of construction industry employees do not have their own private medical insurance in place in case they are injured at work, with 27 per cent stating they did not have a personal accident cover plan.

Just six per cent of workers said they had both private insurance and personal accident cover, with 34 per cent only having the former and 20 per cent possessing the latter.

Worryingly, 37 per cent of respondents admitted that they did not know whether or not they had personal accident cover, indicating further confusion and reiterating the need for employers to make it clear if they are going to provide support to injured workers.

The construction industry is deemed to be one of the most dangerous to work in, with Labour Force Survey statistics showing that between 2011 and 2012, 1.4 million days were lost due to ill health or workplace injury in the sector.

Expert Opinion
While providing welfare support for construction staff would of course be a welcome addition for employees, it is vital that employers implement the correct health and safety procedures to prevent incidents from taking place in the first place. Recent figures have indicated that construction is still one of the most dangerous industries to work in.

“We have seen first-hand the impact serious injuries as a result of accidents at work can have on workers, with many cases of people suffering life-changing injuries. It is crucial those involved in an accident at work are provided with the correct care and support to recover from their injuries and it is vital employers within the construction industry take their duty to care for workers and contractors working on their site seriously.”
Stephen Nye, Partner