European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

Health and Safety in Construction Sites

A constructive cooperation between Employers and Trade Unions

The role played by Companies selecting work equipment and making it available to workers is primordial to guarantee a better standard of safety and health in the use of work equipment. ETUI is engaged in raising awareness of the need to establish a clearer connection between the two legislative domains regulating the design and use of machinery, namely the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and the Use of Work Equipment Directive 2009/104/EC, thus making it completely unambiguous that the safe design of machinery for all the phases of its life cycle is a precondition for safe use. This principle must not be challenged by controversial topics such as the modification of machines, including machines with learning capabilities, during their operational service life.

Ing. Martin Sonnberger is the initiator and animator of a Task Force aimed at making progress in the prevention of health and safety risks for workers using machinery in construction activities.

The Task Force operates by combining visits in construction sites and technical workshops intended to study the technological, economic, organisational and human factors in construction work, where accidents and occupational diseases are still too high and the level of physical and mental health, safety and overall well-being of workers is generally unsatisfactory.

The current efforts are directed to monitor the progress in ergonomics, automation and robotics in off-site and on-site construction activities, from organisational, managerial and process-related tasks to physical production works.

Martin Sonnberger

The Task Force includes the following partners: Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt (AUVA) – Austrian Accident Insurance; AFJ – Ministerium für Arbeit, Familie und Jugend – Ministry of Work Family and Youth; Constrution industry Companies: STRABAG, PORR, Swietelsky, Franki – Stump; Health and Safety experts, mechanical departments; HDB Hauptverband deutsche Bauindustrie -  Federation of German Construction Industry; Alpines Kolloquium (Alpine Colloquium); FIEC, EFFC (european federation foundation contractors (