Health in the construction industry
According to the INRS (French occupational risk prevention research institute), occupation illness in the construction industry multiplied by six over the last 20 years. It seemed stabilized in 2006, but the large increase of 2007 continued in 2010. This is leading to greater allowance for and better recognition of occupational illness, especially MSD and periarticular complaints (shoulder, elbow and wrist) which progressed 79% over five years.
Today MSD is the leading cause of occupational health problems in France and affects some 9 out of 10 cessations of work in the construction industry. Since 9 November 2010 and the law on pension reform, the requirement to prevent work strain is one of the general principles of occupational risk prevention. Also a building and public works sector agreement was signed on 20 December 2011.
his has international recognition as there are relevant European Directives:
- 89/391/EEC: on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers
- 90/269/EEC (and decree No. 92-958): on the minimum health and safety requirements for the manual handling of loads
- 2002/44/EC (and decree No. 2005-746): on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to vibration
The issues are referred to by the OPPBTP (French professional safety organization for the construction industry) in its "work strain" guide:
- The social and ethical requirement to preserve the health of people at work
- High direct and indirect health costs (MSD is the No. 1 cause of absenteeism at work)
- The attractiveness of construction industry trades and companies