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Sun July 12 2020

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Occupational health scheme runs aground

12 Feb Work on the development of new occupational health system for the construction industry has been suspended after delays and increased delivery costs.

B&CE, the construction industry pensions and benefits organisation, has been developing People’s Health, a new occupational health system for the construction industry.

People’s Health is intended to replace Constructing Better Health (CBH), which is also owned by B&CE. The CBH scheme has continued to run, despite its perceived flaws, while B&CE has worked on building a replacement occupational health scheme.

B&CE says: “The aims and principles of CBH were right, but it didn’t achieve what the industry required. We also recognise that the fee structure wasn’t representing good value for money.”

By contrast, People’s Health is intended to be “a simple, cost-effective, digital end-to-end solution for managing occupational health in construction,” B&CE says. “This will mean that employers will be able to comply with legislation and manage their workers’ health-at-work more easily. So work-related ill health effects can be detected earlier.”

But it has been revealed that B&CE has now suspended the development of the People’s Health toolbox.

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A statement released by Build UK, the industry trade association that counts B&CE among its members, said: “Build UK Partner B&CE has been developing People’s Health, a new occupational health system for the construction industry, taking learnings from key stakeholders on what they would find useful in such a system.

“However, fulfilling the occupational health needs of the industry is challenging. As the project has progressed, there has been added complexity as the system’s functionality has been improved which, in turn, has led to delays and has increased delivery costs.

“The build has therefore been paused while B&CE review the information they’ve gathered so far. There is a responsibility to ensure that what is built will be successful, so the priority is to find the best way to address these complexities and make the system more efficient.

“The aim remains the same as it ever was – to build a successful and commercially viable occupational health system that can do exactly what the construction industry needs it to do.”

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