Health of the Industry

A small survey recently undertaken by the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner (OFSC) reveals ‘diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue caused by incidents such as slips, trips and falls’ is considered to be the number one health issue for building and construction companies.

Focusing on health and fitness issues affecting employees in the workplace, the survey asked participating companies to indicate health issues of most concern and the strategies they use to address problem areas.

The next health issue listed as causing concern was alcohol and other drugs (AOD). Diseases of the nervous system and sense organs and neoplasms were also listed as key health issues.

The majority of companies noted they had policies in place to address health and fitness in the workplace, although the length and subject matter varied significantly from company to company.

Undertaken by a sample of accredited companies in December 2008, the information gathered from the questionnaire will be used by the OFSC to help identify areas of health where companies may require additional information and assistance. To this end, the OFSC is planning an AOD Forum for early April as part of the overall health strategy. This free Forum will provide industry stakeholders with an opportunity to share ideas and hear from expert speakers. More information on the Forum will be released shortly.

We are also very interested in gaining your views on health issues affecting the building and construction industry. We welcome your feedback through our email address at

As always, we are also interested in hearing about initiatives your company has put into place to combat particular OHS issues. By sharing information and lessons learnt, you can be part of the drive to create a positive cultural change in this industry.