The Scaffolding Association welcomes new mental health initiatives.
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Published: November 2, 2021
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a Working Minds campaign to encourage employers to promote good mental health at work.
Mental health issues are now the number one reason given for sick days in the UK. Last year more than 17 million working days were lost as a result of stress, anxiety, or depression.
A recent survey by the charity Mind, suggests that two in five employees’ mental health had worsened during the pandemic.
The Working Minds campaign which the HSE launched at their recent Health and Work Conference aims to help businesses recognise the signs of work-related stress and make tackling issues routine.
The campaign will specifically target six million workers in small businesses, but HSE is calling for a culture change across all of Britain’s workplaces and reminding employers that they have a legal duty to assess the risks in the workplace, not just in terms of potential hazards and physical safety but also to promote good working practices such as an open environment where employees can share their concerns and discuss options to ease pressures.
It comes as the government announces a £5 million boost to suicide prevention charities, to support people experiencing suicidal thoughts. This support will be targeted at high-risk groups who have struggled most during the pandemic, such as people with a pre-existing mental illness, children and young people.
Robert Candy, Chief Executive of the Scaffolding Association welcomed the initiatives. He said “Construction businesses must do more to provide wellbeing support to their workforce. Poor mental health in the construction industry is exacerbated by requirements to work away from home, heavy workloads, long hours and job insecurity”.
He added “It is alarming that Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show that more than 2,000 construction workers took their own lives in the UK in the decade to 2017 which is more than four times the number of construction workers killed during the course of their duties for the same period”.
Employers and workers wanting to know more about HSE’s Working Minds campaign, including the legal obligations, advice, and tools available, should visit: workright.campaign.gov.uk/campaigns/workingminds
For more information on the governments £5m boost for to suicide prevention charities visit: £5 million launched to support suicide prevention services – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Notes for editors
The Scaffolding Association is the UK’s largest dedicated trade association representing the Scaffolding and Access industry.
The construction sector employs 2.7millon people, contributes over £100bn to the UK economy which is 7% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Press Contact: Chris Seaton – [email protected] or 07979 531464.