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Collaborative thinking on Mental Wellbeing

17 August 2020

The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and Building Mental Health have joined forces with Safer Highways and announced today the first major benchmarking exercise to understand where our industry lies in 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 is vitally important to ensure that every company and building site has some level of 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 conform to the recommendations of the Stevenson/Farmer Report.

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

The Road to Wellbeing interactive survey has been developed by Safer Highways and asks companies to respond to 10 questions relating to the implementation of mental wellbeing programmes in their organisation. On completion of the questionnaire, the survey software then compares their responses to the recommendations of the Stevenson / Farmer report and produces a completely free and bespoke report that includes practical initiatives for companies to enhance their support of the workforce.

As well as benefitting individual companies, it also gives the industry a collective benchmark to the recommendations of the Stevenson/Farmer Report.

The survey will be sent out to senior representatives of companies operating in the highways, rail, utilities, maritime, aviation and construction sectors, with each sectors results published and launched at an event taking place on 2nd 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.”