Whether calculating costs or laying bricks, the goal for any construction professional is to create safe, useful buildings, developments, and infrastructure that make a positive contribution to the health and well-being of those who use them.
This issue of the Construction Journal asks two questions. First, how do professionals, particularly project managers and quantity surveyors, ensure their projects fulfil this aim?
Often, this is achieved through meeting certain standards, as Susan Logan details in her article on the array of sustainability rating systems available, and the specific benefits each has to offer.
It's also achieved by thorough risk assessment, and Trevor Rushton and Terry Walker offer guidance on this in relation to plastic materials in fixtures and fittings.
Secondly, what about the health and well-being of the construction professionals themselves?
Between 2011 and 2015, the industry accounted for more suicides than any other industry, and in 2017/18 there were 3,500 deaths from work-related cancer in construction. Dr Judith Grant discusses why these statistics require organisations to take a more holistic approach to health, by addressing their employees' psychological well-being as much as their physical health and offers some key steps that companies can take to ensure they have an effective health and well-being policy in place.
It's not just the construction companies, however, that should be taking responsibility for health and well-being. Kevin Bridges highlights why, when it comes to safety, construction workers must also take responsibility or face the potential legal consequences.
Elsewhere, we look ahead to how we can secure the future of the industry, as a group of McKinsey & Company employees outline the three major imperatives that emerged from the Global Infrastructure Initiative 2018. And in terms of financial security, Chris Green shares his thoughts on what construction professionals can do to reduce the impact of credit withdrawal on the industry.
David Reynolds provides an overview of some of the best apps available to project managers, while Simon Nightingale shares his experiences as a quantity surveyor in the oil and gas sector. And in the second article in our client views series, Ann Allen at the University of Glasgow discusses what qualities and skills she values most when working with project managers and quantity surveyors.
The issue also features two short guides on how APC candidates can approach the competencies most relevant to this issue's content: Health and safety and Sustainability. Meanwhile, RICS associate director of commercial property Nigel Sellars summarises the new professional statement: Countering bribery and corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing, which comes into effect on 1 September.
Once you've digested this issue, I'd like to join the author of our lead article Tim Fry and ask you to reflect on what socially responsible best practice you or your company demonstrates. Get in touch, share that best practice with us, and let's work together to give the health and well-being of our professionals the same priority as we do our end users.
Steph edits the Construction Journal and conservation-related material for the Built Environment Journal. What she enjoys most is the skills exchange involved in editing the journals – combining the technical knowledge of the authors with her understanding of writing, language and the publishing process. Her previous experience includes work on newspapers, magazines and medical journals.