How to manage healthcare costs in the construction sector
For construction workers, health insurance is a must.
Construction workers have a staggering 75 percent chance of suffering a disabling injury on the job, according to the Centre to Protect Workers’ Rights.
The most common injuries among construction workers are strains and sprains, with workers also at risk of trips, slips and falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and being trapped in small spaces or by heavy objects.
With so many potential on the job hazards, arranging health insurance is a wise move for anyone working in the construction industry.
Here are five reasons why:
Health insurance pays for good treatment
Construction workers face the threat of a variety of disabling injuries.
Add to that the fact that construction workers are often paid on a by-project basis and it's easy to see the financial impact of having to take time off work for medical treatment.
Health insurance pays for good quality treatment, letting the care provider know that treatment costs are covered and opening up a wider range of treatment options.
Health insurance covers a range of treatment options
Construction workers face a range of hazards, some of them complex or capable of causing serious injuries.
Men and women out in the field could find themselves dealing with anything from a long term sprain to a broken bone to the after effects of handling dangerous substances.
Having health insurance means a wider range of treatment options will be available than if they remain uninsured, which is particularly important given the range of potential hazards.
Health insurance offers financial protection
As "5 Reasons It's Vital to Have Health Insurance" points out, insurance protects policy holders from large bills that can ruin their finances.
Between their fluctuating income and the dangers they face on the job, having a buffer between themselves and a huge health care bill is an absolute must for construction workers.
Health insurance covers ongoing treatment and medication
Construction workers may find themselves long term disabled as a result of an on the job injury.
Sprains and strains can lead to chronic pain and recurring problems which will require long term treatment.
Some construction workers may find they can continue working if their injury and pain is well managed by treatment and health insurance is a way to cover that treatment and prevent problems caused by leaving an injury untreated in the long term.
Health insurance covers preventative care
Lastly, in order to do their jobs, construction workers need to take care of their health in order to stay as well and strong as possible.
Health insurance covers preventative care as well as primary care, including exams and screening for potential problems.
Finding problems early often means quicker and less invasive treatment, which means less time missed from work and less risk of the condition getting out of control further on down the road.
Construction is a vital part of the American economy, providing both employment and infrastructure around the country.
For construction workers, the occupation comes with its own hazards.
Good health insurance provides support if an injury happens and can also help to prevent injuries and provide long term treatment, which means better health and less financial worry for workers in the construction industry.
Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, construction, health insurance and SEO.
Environment Agency clamps down on plastic films and wraps
Businesses in the waste and construction industries must ensure they deal with waste plastic properly to stop illegal exports, the Environment Agency (EA) has warned.
The warning comes as the Agency is increasingly aware of plastic film and wrap from the construction and demolition sector being illegally exported.
Exports are frequently being classified as ‘green list’ waste of low risk to the environment, but are often contaminated with materials such as mud, sand, bricks and wood, posing a risk to the environment and human health overseas, and undermining legitimate businesses in the UK seeking to recover such waste properly.
During the last year, the EA has intercepted shipments to prevent the illegal export of this material on numerous occasions. The Agency inspected 1,889 containers at English ports and stopped 463 being illegally exported. This, combined with regulatory intervention upstream at sites, prevented the illegal export of nearly 23,000 tonnes of waste.
Those convicted of illegally exporting waste face an unlimited fine and a two-year jail sentence. But construction firms could also face enforcement action if contaminated construction and demolition waste plastic is illegally exported.
Malcolm Lythgo, Head of Waste Regulation at the Environment Agency, said it is seeing a marked increase in the number of highly contaminated plastic film and wrap shipments from the construction and demolition industry being stopped by officers.
“I would strongly urge businesses to observe their legal responsibility to ensure waste is processed appropriately, so we can protect human health and the environment now and for future generations. It’s not enough just to give your waste to someone else - even a registered carrier. You need to know where your waste will ultimately end up to know it’s been handled properly. We want to work constructively with those in the construction and waste sectors so they can operate compliantly, but we will not hesitate to clamp down on those who show disregard for the environment and the law.”
There are a number of simple, practical steps that businesses can take to ensure that C&D site waste is handled legally.
Construction businesses should check what’s in their waste
- Different waste types need different treatments and so must be correctly categorised to ensure it goes to a site that is authorised to handle it safely. Businesses can also check if their waste is hazardous as different rules might apply.
- If you are removing the waste yourself, you must be a registered waste carrier- registration can be carried out here. When a waste collector is transporting your site waste, you must check they have a waste carrier’s licence from the EA.
- You must also check that the end destination site any waste is taken to is permitted to accept it and has the right authorisations in place. Keep a record of any waste that leaves your site by completing a waste transfer note or a consignment note for hazardous waste which record what and how much waste you have handed over and where it is going.
Waste management industry must adhere to export controls
- Contaminated C&D waste plastic - including low-density polyethylene (LDPE) wrap and film - must be exported with prior consent from the EA as well as competent authorities in transit and destination countries.
- Those involved in the export of such waste must ensure that it meets the requirements set under the relevant export controls, such as being almost free-from contamination; the destination sites are appropriately licensed to receive and treat the waste; and waste is correctly managed once received.
The EA will continue to actively target those who export contaminated C&D plastic waste illegally, including any accredited packaging exporters who issue Packaging Waste Export Recovery Notes (PERNs) against such material in breach of their Conditions of Accreditation.
Businesses involved in the shipment of waste are required to take all necessary steps to ensure the waste they ship is managed in an environmentally sound manner throughout its shipment and during its recycling.
Anyone with information regarding the illegal export of waste including C&D waste plastics can contact the EA’s Illegal Waste Exports team at: [email protected] or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their website