Occupational Health And Wellbeing Campaigns

The health and wellbeing of our people is our top priority

To raise awareness of some of the health issues faced by our workforce on a regular basis, some of which can often have very serious, long-term and / or even life-changing effects, we are producing regular Occupational Health & Wellbeing Campaigns for our staff.

These campaigns are delivered to all our staff via email, Health and Wellbeing Posters, and via toolbox talks on site.

The construction industry is the deadliest profession in the UK- but it is not just onsite accidents that are killing us. Over 454 of our construction industry colleagues took their own lives in 2016, three times the national average.

Physical health is of upmost importance to everyone at A&E Elkins, as an industry we have signs everywhere reminding people to wear the appropriate personal protection equipment, talks on safety at the site, details of manual handling and lifting techniques, but the health and wellbeing of each and every one of our people must remain forefront in our objectives.

Some might say that the construction industry is predominantly male dominated and with that and the work that is being done, they are ‘tough guys. This perception makes asking for help, talking about feelings and mental health extremely difficult. So much so that mental health in the construction industry has been deemed ‘the silent epidemic’.

We are an industry staffed with people used to working under pressure and yet we struggle to admit vulnerability or accept that we might not be able to solve what is bothering us on our own.

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45. However, male site workers are three times more likely to commit suicide than the average male in the UK.

Suicide kills more construction workers than falls from height.

In a recent survey, 73% construction workers felt their employers did not recognise the early signs of mental health. Consequently, 23% of those surveyed were considering leaving the industry, in the next 12 months, due to poor mental health. Despite mental health being reported frequently in other sectors, the construction industry has the lowest self-reported cases. Research suggests that employees who are absent are more likely to lie about the reason when it is related to mental health, as opposed to physical health. Some research states that 95% of those taking time off because of stress gave a different reason for their time off.

Recent surveys suggest that 64% of construction workers want better physical and mental wellbeing support from their employers. There is also a call for the construction industry to have a greater awareness of mental health and eradicate the stigma that comes with it.

At A&E Elkins, we recognise that good intentions are not good enough, and that our people need training to respond confidently and consistently to colleagues in distress, recognise mental health warning signs early and guide people in crisis to the help they need. Depression, stress, and anxiety are the three main mental health issues that affect the UK workforce. Everyone who has one or more of these mental health issues exhibits their symptoms very differently with some being very good at masking them altogether.

In recognition of the above, we have now embedded two trained Mental Health First Aiders within the team, with more on the way, they are here to be the first point of contact if you, or someone you are concerned about are experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. They are not therapists or psychiatrists, but they can give you the initial support and signpost you to appropriate help if required.

There is plenty of different types of support out there, and a mental health first aider can help you access them or direct you to some of the very important charities who can help:

Mates In Mind

A charity dedicated to mental health issues in the Construction Industry.

Crossways Community

A mental health charity based in Kent.

Health in Construction Leadership Group

Construction Industry Helpline App

There is also an app, launched on the 7 December 2018, called the Construction Industry Helpline developed by Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and the Building Mental Health Campaign.
The app offers free information, advice and guidance on stress, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Strong Not Silent

The Strong Not Silent Campaign advocates for our need to share our struggles and open up the conversation around poor mental health.
The strong not silent campaign was founded in 2018 by MANOR, and advocates for our need to share our struggles and open up the conversation around poor mental health. Nobody should suffer in silence.

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