A mental health training and accreditation scheme is to be launched, aimed at promoting a consistent approach to mental health issues suffered by construction workers.
The new best practice programme, entitled Mates in Mind, is being launched by the Health in Construction Leadership Group (HCLG) and championed by the British Safety Council.
The scheme aims to promote positive mental health across the construction industry and has been set up to provide support to employers in the sector.
Around 69,000 of construction workers in the UK suffer from an illness they believe was caused or made worse by their work, according to the most recent figures published by the Health and Safety Executive.
Some of the most serious cases can lead to someone taking their own life, and the Office for National Statistics reports 6,188 suicides registered in the UK in 2015.
Clive Johnson, Chair of the Health in Construction Leadership Group, said: “The mission of HCLG as a group is to unite the construction industry in order to eradicate the ill health and disease caused by work-related activities, and this includes addressing mental health.
“It is estimated that the number of deaths from suicide in the construction industry could be 10 times higher than those from fatal accidents at work.”
Combined effort across the sector
Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, says the vision is that no-one should be injured or made ill at work, and that includes mental health.
“We are delighted to be able to support the Health in Construction Leadership Group in launching this important initiative,” he said.
“The construction sector has previously come together to address the challenge it faced in relation to the high number of accidents. It is now coming together to do the same in relation to occupational health,” he added.
Source: Safety and Health Practitioner
Date Published: October 2, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown