Fight against unhealthy working positions in the building industry
Throughout a year the construction company HHM has worked on mapping unhealthy working positions among their workmen. The mapping of the working environment has resulted in more than 1,000 photos that will form the basis of an improved working environment with better working procedures and new tools.
As some other industries, the building industry is characterized by heavy physical work and unhealthy working positions. The construction company HHM from North Zealand is no exception, so when they in an examination in 2008 saw that their employees rated their health lower than the national average, they decided to do something about the problem.
HHM contacted ALECTIA with an idea of a possible cooperation, and together, ALECTIA and HHM developed a method for mapping the working positions of HHM’s workmen. A mapping where the workmen, equipped with paper, pen and camera, were given the task of documenting unhealthy and healthy working positions from their daily work life. ALECTIA and HHM applied for grants for the project at the Danish Prevention Fund and received the grants in 2010.
The mapping resulted in approx. 1,000 photos and a modest amount of text that, together with several interviews with the workmen, have helped HHM to form a general view of the unhealthy working positions. This has given rise to new knowledge, which HHM plans to include in their business processes. For instance, the workmen will now be involved in new building projects right from the start in order to plan the most appropriate work routines.
Important experiences for the building industry
According to the health and safety consultant Anne Sofia Lønvig from ALECTIA, who has been involved in the project, such initiatives will not only benefit the working environment of other companies in the building industry, other companies can also with financial advantage learn from the experiences of HHM:
“I am sure that the results can be transferred to other companies. And you will not only be able to see the results at smaller strains on the musculoskeletal system, such as the workmen’s soreness and body ache, you will see it on the sickness absence as well. Furthermore, it can be seen on the time and the economy, as the things will be planned so that the materials are present when they are to be used and will not be transported or carried far, then things will go faster and a better building process is achieved, where money is actually made at the end”, she said to the Danish radio channel P1 on the 3rd of January 2012.
Anne Sofia Lønvig
T. +45 22 222 105
T. +45 27 618 828
HHM A/S is a Danish construction company with approx. 180 employees. The company has three core competencies: Turnkey and main contracts within industrial construction and residential construction, construction service for housing associations and public and private companies and construction of single-family houses.