HSE builds construction support to protect workers’ mental health

The construction industry has stepped-up its efforts to combat work-related stress and promote good mental health by joining Great Britain’s workplace regulator campaign.

The Working Minds campaign, set up by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), welcomes six new partners in the construction industry to help reach trades and offer free support.

March sees the Contract Flooring Association (CFA) and the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), Asbestos Removal Contractors Association (ARCA), the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC), the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) and the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) commit to the campaign.

Working Minds helps employers prevent stress and support good mental health, providing free online learning to show how to make it part of routine working life and culture. The new bitesize tool typically takes no more than an hour to complete and covers what the law requires of employers and what’s needed to do to be compliant.

Users will walk through Working Minds’ five simple steps based on risk assessment. They are to Reach out and have conversations, Recognise the signs and causes of stress, Respond to any risks you’ve identified, Reflect on actions you’ve agreed and taken, and make it Routine. It needs to become the norm to talk about stress and how people are feeling and coping on site.

Kevin Wellman, CEO of CIPHE, said: “As CEO of CIPHE, I proudly endorse the Working Minds campaign. It’s crucial for employers to prioritise mental health in the workplace, and this initiative provides valuable resources and support to prevent stress and promote well-being. Let’s join forces to create healthier, more supportive work environments for all.”

Liz Goodwill, head of work-related stress and mental health policy at HSE, said: “We know that running a business in construction can be stressful with long hours, juggling intense workloads.

“We are delighted the Working Minds campaign is welcoming even more partners and they will no doubt help us in our efforts to raise awareness of ways employers across Britain’s construction trades can help prevent and reduce work-related stress.

“The law requires all employers – whether you’re a demolition firm or scaffolding business – to carry out a stress risk assessment and act upon the findings. The online learning shares all the tools you need to get started in one place, and you can come back as many times as you like.”

According to Deloitte , the total annual cost of poor mental health has increased by 25% since 2019, costing UK employers up to £56 billion a year.

Help is available

If you or someone you know needs help or support, reach out and ask how they are feeling and coping. The Working Minds campaign sign-posts employers to a wide range of tools and sources of support that can help on its construction sector webpage.