Shaping the discourse of worker health in the UK construction industry

Sherratt, Fred (2018) Shaping the discourse of worker health in the UK construction industry. Construction Management and Economics, 36 (3). pp. 141-152. ISSN 1466-433X

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The UK construction industry is in poor health, statistics show rates of occupational illness significantly higher than for workers in any other industry. Recently, the scope of occupational health management on large sites has increased as public health has become included within the organisational remit. Concerns have been raised around the consequences of this development, its close relationships to Corporate Social Responsibility, and how this is now shaping the wider discourse. To explore this phenomenon, a critical discourse analysis of UK 'construction worker health' has been carried out, using the public-facing data of ten large UK contractors. Findings show that ‘public’ has now overtaken ‘occupational’, the latter restricted to legal compliance presented as corporate citizenship, the former championed as evidence of benevolent organisational values. Yet public health concerns are limited to those of lifestyle and individual responsibility, whilst more complex issues around the social determinants of health as associated with work are missing from the discourse, separating organisations from the impacts of their work on their workers. A contemporary mapping of ‘construction worker health’ is developed for consideration by industry and academics to support future health initiatives and research.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: This is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in 'Construction Management and Economics', available online:
Keywords: corporate social responsibility, construction worker, critical discourse analysis, occupational health, public health
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Fred Sherratt
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2017 10:35
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:57

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