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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh


    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Sunday, May 24, 2009




    PREMIER Anna Bligh has announced a new taskforce will tackle health problems in the construction industry as a shocking report reveals high levels of obesity, smoking and problem drinking amongst our builders.

    The study of over 1,000 Brisbane and Gold Coast construction workers took place between September 2008 and February 2009.

    “Builders have a hard physical job and that may have lulled many of them into a false sense of security on their health,” said the Premier.

    “What this study shows is that they drink, smoke and eat too much. They don’t exercise enough and they are putting themselves at risk.

    “This isn’t about being a wowser, this is about educating people about health risks they face.

    “The idea is to do our best to make sure they don’t die of skin cancer, they don’t drink themselves to death and they don’t die of a stroke or a heart attack before their time.

    “In 2008 I launched my Government’s Toward Q2 Tomorrows Queensland plan and one of our key targets was to cut obesity, smoking, heavy drink and unsafe sun exposure by one third by 2020.

    “I intend to work hard to achieve that target and this report shows that our builders and other outdoors workers are a good place to start.”

    The results of the shocking report show that 66% or two thirds of Queensland constructions workers are overweight or obese compared with the Queensland average of 61% for the general population.

    Around 64% drink alcohol at risky or high risk levels compared to 13% for the general population and 17% had at risk cholesterol levels.

    One in five of the workers who received skin cancer screenings had suspected skin damage and needed immediate specialist attention while one third (37%) of workers who took part in the study had ‘at risk’ blood pressure levels.

    The Premier said the Construction WorkHealth Initiative Pilot shocking study would be reviewed by cabinet on Monday with plans for a new taskforce consisting of Government, union and employer groups.

    “This taskforce will report back to Cabinet by the end of October this year with recommendations for a health promotion blitz among our outdoor workers,” she said.

    Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick said the study originated when the Builders Labourers Federation (BLF) approached the Building Employees Redundancy Trust and the former Department of Employment and Industrial Relations.

    “The BLF wanted assistance to conduct a health and wellbeing study in the construction industry,” he said.

    “The committee overseeing the project included the BLF, Civil Contractors Federation (CCF), Queensland Master Builder’s Association (QMBA), Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) and Construction Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).

    “The groups realised that it was important to take action to identify problems now, instead of when it might be too late.”

    Mr Dick said that by working together to turn the shocking statistics around, government and industry can help to make Queensland construction sites among the healthiest and safest in the nation.

    “We all agree that a healthy worker is a productive worker,” Mr Dick said.

    “In these tough economic times we all have to work together to ensure our businesses are as productive and profitable as possible.

    “The health and safety of Queensland workers has never been so vital to the prosperity of our state.”

    Media contact: 07 32244500