As many people are killed on construction sites throughout the world each year as die as a result of armed conflict.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) at least 60,000 people are killed every year on construction sites. That’s around one death every 10 minutes. The industry accounts for almost one in 5 of all fatal workplace accidents.

This death toll in construction is around the same as the number of soldiers and civilians killed through state-based armed conflict each year, over the past decade.

Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide also suffer serious injuries and ill-health through working in construction. The main causes of death and injury are falls, crushes, impacts and electrocution. Common health problems include deafness, musculoskeletal disorders and exposure to hazardous substances such as solvents and asbestos.

To help tackle these problems, NEBOSH has launched a new qualification that will raise standards of health and safety in the worldwide construction industry. The NEBOSH International Certificate in Construction Health and Safety is designed specifically for supervisors and managers working in construction anywhere in the world.

NEBOSH health and safety qualifications are increasingly among the most widely recognised in the world. The British based examinations body says that almost a third of all NEBOSH examinations are now taken outside of the United Kingdom. The number of overseas NEBOSH candidates rose by 17% last year and growth was particularly strong in Asia, up 76%, and Africa, up 63%.

Much of this growth has emerged through the global construction industry, with many international candidates up until now seeking to achieve the NEBOSH International General Certificate.

However, in Britain there is an industry specific NEBOSH Certificate qualification available for those working in the construction industry – the National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety. NEBOSH has used this highly respected qualification as a framework for its new International Construction Certificate. The new Certificate is based on ILO construction health and safety standards instead of British law, which means it can be applied anywhere.

This makes the new International Certificate in Construction Health and Safety an ideal qualification for managers and supervisors employed by companies outside of the UK, or who work for multinational construction groups.

Teresa Budworth, NEBOSH chief executive, commented: “Construction work leads to far too many deaths worldwide every year. We hope our qualification will help to raise health and safety standards wherever the industry operates.

“Our new qualification will equip supervisors and managers with the skills they need to control the major hazards that affect this industry. This is a much needed qualification, which I’m sure all safety conscious employers in construction throughout the world will value.”