Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity Joins Forces with Safer Highways to Tackle Mental Health

THE LIGHTHOUSE Construction Industry Charity and Building Mental Health have joined forces with Safer Highways on the first major benchmarking exercise to understand where our industry lies on its road to wellbeing.

As construction gets back to work and faces the challenges of trying to operate under the new pandemic protocols, many of the workforce remain anxious about the safety of their work environment.

Now, more than ever it’s important to that every company and building site has mental wellbeing support to help the workforce through this difficult period.

Following the Stevenson/Farmer Report in 2017, the industry has been alerted to the significant mental health issues of working in construction and there have been many initiatives implemented to address the key concerns.

But how far has the industry travelled?

Until now, there has never been a collaborative benchmarking exercise across industry sectors that identifies what has been implemented and what else needs to be done to implement the Stevenson/Farmer report’s recommendations.

Last week, the Building Mental Health (BMH) initiative received its 500th Charter signature.  This charter is a pledge by construction management to prioritise mental health in their company.

Although this is a major milestone, the signing of a charter is the easy bit. Implementing a series of initiatives to improve the wellbeing of the workforce is a lot more challenging.

Road to Wellbeing benchmark survey

The Road to Wellbeing interactive survey has been developed by Safer Highways and asks companies to respond to 10 questions on the implementation of mental wellbeing programmes in their business.

The survey software then compares their responses to the recommendations of the Stevenson / Farmer report and produces a free, bespoke report that includes practical initiatives for companies to enhance its support of its workforce.

As well as benefitting companies, it also gives the industry a collective benchmark.

The survey will be sent out to senior representatives of companies in the highways, rail, utilities, maritime, aviation and construction sectors, with each sector’s results published and launched at an event taking place on 2 December 2020 at the London Transport Museum.

Bill Hill CEO at the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity said “We have been working on proactive mental wellbeing initiatives with our industry for four years now, but we have never had a collaborative approach to measuring distance travelled towards addressing the recommendations of the Stevenson/Farmer report.

“This is a huge breakthrough and once again demonstrates the industry’s ability to work together to create robust, practical and imaginative solutions to difficult problems.”

Speaking about the launch of the survey, Kevin Robinson CEO at Safer Highways said: “Last year, the Highways Sector became the first to benchmark itself against the government’s Thriving at Work core and enhanced standards. But for us that was only the beginning as we sought to improve standards not just in our own sector.

“Through this collaborative approach with the BMH framework we now have the ability to  enable organisations to benchmark against standards, and also provide access to training and a vast array of resources to facilitate improvement.”

The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity helpline is available in the UK on 0345 605 1956 or ROI 1800 939 122. There is also a free Construction Industry Helpline app that can be downloaded that provides information, advice and guidance on financial and wellbeing issues.

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