Market Insight: Does the resurge in modular housing have implications for health and safety?

When you hear the words ‘home building’, what do you think of? Materials are probably the first thing that come to mind: Bricks, sure. Cement, naturally. Concrete, a must! The history of building homes in England is as interesting as it is diverse. Methods changed over the course of time depending on major global events. Dating as far back as the introduction of concrete that came with the Roman invasion of Britain in 43AD to a severe lack of materials during and after both World Wars in the 20th century.

One such method that has risen in popularity of late is the modular home but make no mistake, modular housing is nothing new. In fact, the first modular building was recorded in the 19th century! In 1837 to be exact, the brainchild of a certain Henry Manning who wanted to build a home for his son who was emigrating to Australia.

This relatively fast way of erecting houses has once again come into high demand but not with the connotations it has held previously as a cheap, second-class way of constructing. Today, modular buildings are trail blazing the housing sector and importantly, have positive implications on workplace health and safety and in turn, accident reporting.

Additionally, and as an important side note, the new wave of modular homes couldn’t be more timely as the UK embraces its worst housing crisis since 2008. Ticking boxes in terms of sustainability, affordability and aesthetics, a report from the University of Cambridge for Places for People has called for the government to work more cohesively with the home building sector to create more houses using modular construction.

Let’s switch back to when we talked about workplace safety implications above. Here at Logincident, we’re all for transforming workplaces into safer, healthier and happier environments and our research tells us that many industries fall short in some areas. A lack of clear protocol, outdated reporting forms that are simply not applicable to the sector and a reluctance to report accidents for a variety of reasons, all contribute to a high incident rate. For this rate to decrease, a robust, transparent workplace accident reporting process needs to be in place.

So, what if the intrinsic nature of the work meant less accidents in the first place? Oh hi! Nice to see you again, modular construction. We’ve been doing some digging and we’ve learned that that, yes, modular building is potentially safer than the old bricks and mortar way of doing things and can maybe sway in favor of a reduced rate of workplace incidents. Happy days!

Continuing along that vein, why is this way of building safer? Are the methods more stringently risk assessed? Working at a height will be reduced for sure, decreasing the more dangerous working environments that result in more serious injuries or worse, fatalities. Is the modern-day interpretation of modular construction perhaps more forward-thinking and deploys a more streamlined way of health and safety reporting? Maybe health and safety is just more of a priority. Surely a resurge in a building method underpinned by environmental and sustainable prerequisites is only a good thing for all parties involved? Here’s hoping.

Whether you’re involved in the modular, offsite construction industry or the traditional, onsite homebuilding sector – you might be curious to know how we can create a bespoke incident reporting package for you that will have direct consequences on your incident reporting rate, leading to a reduction in accidents over time. Get in touch with us today for an obligation- free conversation with one of our expert consultants.