Construction sector poised for major benchmarking study on mental wellbeing

Bill Hill

THE Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and Building Mental Health have teamed up with Safer Highways to announce a major exercise to understand where the industry lies in its road to wellbeing.

As construction gets back to work and faces the challenges of new pandemic protocols, the Lighthouse charity said it is more important than ever to ensure companies and building sites have some level of mental wellbeing support available to workers.

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

Until now, there has never been a collaborative benchmarking exercise to identify how far the industry has travelled and what else needs to be done.

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

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

As well as benefiting individual companies, it will also gives the industry a collective benchmark.

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 in December this year.

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.”

Kevin Robinson, CEO at Safer Highways commented, “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.”