Minutes: 20th of September 2018 – Building and Civil Engineering

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There were 18 members and guests present. Roddie McLean introduced Nicola Sinclair and Andrew Percy Business Development from Building and Civil Engineering (B&CE).

B&CE have been around since 1972 and are familiar to the Construction industry for their work with holiday pay and the Peoples Pension. A not-for-profit organisation B&CE believe they are saving time and effort for workers as well as organisations. Each employee pays a bit into a pension pot, employers pay in some more and tax relief is added too.  B&CE then invest it. Lots of changes over the years with the removal of National insurance concessions which assisted with access to pensions, accident and life insurance and NI free holidays (old stamp Card).

Holiday stamps and cards were revoked with the Government introduction of the Working Time Directive (WTD) because they couldn’t have stamps for all the different rates of pay that everybody was on; i.e. if you were a labourer taking holidays you were benefiting, and craftsmen were losing out because the stamp was one value. NI Concessions were revoked because of the introduction of Automatic enrolment on Pension Schemes in 2012/2013. When the WTD was introduced B&CE went computer based and work with the system they have now.

B&CE are now moving into the OH area with the ethos being to protect individual workers through ensuring they have access to occupational health services.

B&CE is working to improve the health of the construction industry by developing a new product to make it easier for employers to comply with health and safety legislation and identify work-related illnesses earlier. They are finding it difficult to explain to the Industry the difference between Occupational Health, Health Surveillance and general Wellbeing and are keen to hear the view of the Group to help to better explain this to the industry and help in the development of the system to help build a better OH solution.

In 2016 B&CE acquired Constructing Better Health (CBH) and to understand what the construction industry required, they engaged with employers, construction workers, industry representatives and occupational health service providers and found a lack of understanding about what occupational health is and how it should be managed.

Safety would seem to be shouted about and Health is whispered about and particularly in our industry, B&CE want Health to be equal to safety.

Occupational Health Surveillance – The effect of work on health, things people are exposed to i.e. HAVs, noise induced hearing loss, asthma, eczema, dermatitis, cancers i.e. Mesothelioma and silicosis.

The effect of health on work; People that come to work with health issues e.g. diabetes and epilepsy these need to be advised on to assist companies in managing the work they do. A pocket of employers do Health Assessments with everybody and in some cases, this is not required, some employers do assessments with some people but it’s not consistent and some employers do nothing. Some employers are putting everyone through face to face assessments annually, but this also is not necessarily required on a face to face basis annually. Duplicate medicals and the lack of a health records means that workers aren’t getting a consistent and effective overview of their health. This has not been helped by the CBH Matrix which was based on a role-based model and not the risk the individual is exposed to. Occupational health surveillance framework research has found the role-based approach is very confusing and means workers’ get repeat medicals unnecessarily. This needs to change

The B&CE occupational health management scheme will catch the symptoms of ill health earlier and make it easier for employers to understand and comply with health and safety legislation by developing a simple end-to-end solution for managing occupational health in construction. An overview of an individual’s health via Apps ensures each worker can keep in touch with their own health over their working lives and carry their records with them from job to job.

This section of the meeting raised several questions and good discussions with the group and the presenters. Primarily dealing with the worker not being totally honest with their answers in fear that they could loses their position/job.

Data Security – Under the new occupational health management scheme, the employer will only have access to the information they need to see to comply with their obligations under legislation and not necessarily what they want to see as it is not relevant to the employer therefore employers will not be able to see all details of an individual’s health data. Permissions will vary dependant on role, i.e. OHP will be able to see more than employers, the BIG plus is for the individual concerned who owns their complete record.

The current CBH scheme will still operate while B&CE build the new occupational health scheme. Its believed the aims and principles of CBH were right, but it didn’t achieve what the industry required, and the fee structure wasn’t representing good value for money. B&CE intend to offer a price reduction as the new occupational health scheme is developed. Existing members will be eligible for the reduced rate at their next renewal.

B&CE has launched a pilot group of 18 companies to help develop the new product and are keen for any company wishing to participate to contact them. A new pilot group will commence in 2019.

Download the BCE presentation (pdf)

Roddy McLean thanked Nicola and Andrew for their presentation before moving on to other business.

Any Other Business

Nothing raised.

Next Meeting

18th October 2018