Global Asbestos Congress 2004

OSH Activities based on Participatory Approach at Construction Worksites

Naoki Toyama1 and Yuji Natori2
1 Tokyo Occupational Safety and Health Center, Japan
2 Kameido-Himawari Clinic, Tokyo, Japan

More than 90% of imported asbestos was used for construction materials, and most of the asbestos materials exist now. Japanese construction workers who work at demolition sites and renovation sites have been exposed to asbestos, and risk control of asbestos will be necessary for long into the future. A construction trade union organizing construction workers, self-employed worker and small businesses started integrated OSH activities including asbestos risk control, applying a participatory approach.

Construction workers of a district branch of the trade union formed a committee for improving the OSH conditions of construction worksites. The members of the committee agreed to provide a basic training course targeting small construction worksites applying participatory methods: risk assessment using an action checklist, group work and action oriented approach, and they also agreed to implement training courses in associated local trade unions.

Independent OSH activities were developed through the following process:

  1. indentifying risk profile,
  2. providing the action checklist,
  3. checklist application at construction sites and collection of local good examples,
  4. developing a basic training course and establishment of training materials, and
  5. expanding the training activities into the local trade unions.

1) Supporting construction workers' independent activity, 2) collection of good examples and their horizontal development, 3)trade union network, 4) simple and effective materials, were important for starting and facilitating the activities.