Construction News has just posted its anonymous CN’s 2018 mental health survey which aims to take a look at Mental Health Issues in the Construction industry. Defining ‘mental health problem’, with a self or professional diagnosis, for conditions such as anger, depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, loneliness, stress, panic attacks or schizophrenia.
The recent news stories about foreign worker abuse and exploitation on a number of construction sites can only compound any mental health issues in the construction industry, which is male-dominated industry many men will not feel comfortable acknowledging they have a problem in case it costs them their job or respect of their fellow workers.
The altogether macho world of construction will probably be the last bastion of stoic denial. While workers on large-scale projects often experience high levels of stress they don’t know how to deal with it and this can lead to
- Emotional instability
- Decrease in productivity
- High rates of absence from work
- Dependency on drugs and alcohol
- Safety on sites being compromised
- Families being broken up
- Individuals experiencing health issues
If the construction industry was better at recognising and dealing with these signs on site:
It would result in an overwhelming improvement across the board. If the industry truly opened up the conversation and started to address mental health issues there would be:
- reduction of stress levels
- better labour retention
- improved onsite safety
- projects will flow smoother
- communication will improve
- productivity will increase
- sites would perform on a better level
Our supervisors and managers experience highly stressful situations on a frequent basis, from trying to keep up with fast construction programmes, to being reactive to issues onsite resulting in volatile situations. With 50% of our plumbers from overseas even language barriers can create misunderstandings and heated situations.
We are already addressing mental health to help our team learn techniques to deal with potentially difficult situations rather than getting angry, frustrated, confused and potentially physically harmed.
On Tap Plumbers has joined Mates In Mind as a supporter as the organisation works closely with the British Safety Council, the Construction Leadership Group and other charities such as Mind. The statistics on their website are scary – suicide is now the leading cause of death in men between 15 and 49; three out of four suicides are men, one in six UK workers are experiencing depression, anxiety and stress. We have engaged Mind in creating a training module for our management team.
In order to develop a high-performance team, it is not just about their ability to physically carry out the work it’s the mindset and motivation that pushes them to be the best in the industry.
To complete the survey visit Construction News’ page dedicated to it: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9BLYKTK