Insight #8: Wellbeing
Concrete structures and finishes can improve quality of life
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Any sustainable development strategy needs to address a variety of social aspects to maintain the health and wellbeing of employees, neighbours and building users. The health and safety of employees is the first priority of the concrete industry and it has established continuous improvement targets with the overall aim of zero harm.
Two key measures are reported: lost time incidents (LTI) frequency rate, which has reduced by 40% since 2010, and reportable injuries, which have fallen by 19% since 2008. In 2017, the industry also added its support to Mates in Mind, to raise awareness of mental health issues and dispel the stigma surrounding them. The concrete industry strategy includes metrics on local community liaison and its emphasis on manufacturing sites having certified environmental management systems helps to minimise unwanted emissions to air and water.
There are also industry initiatives in place to protect vulnerable road users, as well as sector guidance for the safe installation and handling of concrete products. Concrete structures can also make a significant contribution to society by improving the local surroundings, providing a secure and comfortable space for the activities of its occupants and being an adaptable and durable asset within the built environment.
Concrete’s inherent performance credentials, such as fire and acoustic separation, thermal mass with no off-gassing, are increasingly being understood as an important part of their contribution to the health and wellbeing of tenants and occupants.