Friday, March 16, 2012
Free porridge cut accidents in obese workers at Olympics (UK)
The 80,000-seater stadium and the 2,818 flats built for the Olympic Village in Stratford, east London, were constructed by a workforce who lived on 'takeaways', according to Olympic chiefs. It was only during construction that bosses from the Olympics Delivery Authority (ODA) realised that a staggering number of the 12,000 builders working on the Olympic showpiece were living an 'unhealthy lifestyle' and that many were significantly overweight. Lawrence Waterman, head of health and safety for the ODA, revealed the statistics at a health and safety conference hosted by the Police Federation last week. He revealed statistics from an occupational health report which showed that 28 per cent of the 12,000 builders - that's 3,360 - at the Olympic Park were classed as 'obese'. The report also revealed that 41 per cent of the workforce - a staggering 4,920 - were overweight and that 3,500 - 29 per cent - had high blood pressure. He said that accidents were being caused by workers skipping breakfast after indulging in fatty takeaways the night before - leaving them 'desperate' for something to eat by lunchtime. The conference heard how accidents at the massive 500-acre site 'peaked' in the one-hour period before lunch as workers' minds were on what they were having for lunch rather than on the job in hand. Mr Waterman said that as soon as bosses at the ODA realised how unhealthy the workers were they started offering bowls of porridge for just £1 to workers so they got a 'healthy start to the day'. He stated in his report: "They (the workers) were coming into work for three hours suffering really low blood sugar. "We had canteens offering porridge for a £1 and accidents in the morning went down."