Our commercial partner CIF found in their research that 68% of companies feel the industry has a severe issue with under-reporting of mental health issues.
Construction companies are concerned about employee mental health but in some cases lack support, expertise, resources and a regulatory backdrop to intervene confidently and effectively.
Mental health has become a significant safety concern for construction companies; a new survey has shown. The Construction Industry Federation (CIF), found in their research that 68 per cent of companies felt the industry has a serious issue with staff under-reporting mental health issues, with the majority of companies having only an ad-hoc system in place.
Only 13 per cent of micro-enterprises have a formal reporting policy. This is despite half of all companies saying mental health issues affected absenteeism in the industry. Some 94 per cent of companies believe it is critically important the industry improves the management of employees’ mental wellbeing.
“Even before the pressure of Covid-19, the industry was working hard to help positively affect their employees’ mental wellbeing. For us, mental health has huge implications for onsite safety, and we are working with members to help them help employees in this area,” said Dermot Carey, the CIF director of safety.
“Our survey shows the challenges facing over 47,000 SME and micro-enterprises in the industry in terms of managing wellbeing. If we can support these companies to manage mental wellbeing, we could have a major positive impact on society.”
The report calls for several actions from the companies, industry and government to help support the mental health of workers, including prioritising mental health, allocating resources and grants to embed a supportive culture within the industry, and campaigns to promote mental health and wellbeing on construction sites.
The CIF has produced a guidance note for the industry on supporting mental health amongst its workforce in the hope that small and medium-sized construction companies will integrate mental wellbeing into their corporate strategy.
Laya Healthcare Support
CFI also has a partnership with Laya Healthcare to deliver a mental health and wellbeing support programme.
“Our partnership with CIF, Build Health, is something that can support both employers and employees in the sector. The mental health and wellbeing support programme offers resources to leaders in the sector and the 24/7 Mental Health Support Programme offers invaluable and confidential help and advice to those who need it.” said Sinéad Proos, head of health and wellbeing at Laya Healthcare.
The research sought to examine to what extent companies have access to the necessary support structures to manage employees struggling with mental health.
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O’Brien, C. (n.d.). Mental wellbeing a ‘significant’ safety concern for construction companies. [online] The Irish Times. Available at: https://www.irishtimes.com/business/construction/mental-wellbeing-a-significant-safety-concern-for-construction-companies-1.4334876 [Accessed 26 Aug. 2020].