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Extremely good course, although I struggled to absorb some of the content, I found that it started me thinking laterally re H&S in general.
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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

What is the answer for structured support to prevent mental health in construction?

January 30th, 2019[Comments Off on What is the answer for structured support to prevent mental health in construction?]

Construction worker depressed

Louise Collins discusses a possible prevention for mental health in construction

Now I am just at the beginning of my journey into the incredibly complex world of mental health (my mental health first aid trainer course starts in a few days) and as I move forward, I thought it would be a positive idea to document my thoughts, experiences, progression etc. Firstly, I feel like it would be useful to see how both myself and the construction industry develop and learn how to deal with this issue, but also, the feedback, conversations and openness of those within our industry is inviable as we search for the more effective solutions to the issue. And let’s not beat around the bush, it’s a big issue, both within construction and nationally.

As I have started to learn and explore mental health, I have frequently found myself in situations where I can start the conversation of mental health with groups of construction site-based workers within my daily work. And there are two things that I find are always present.

  1. There is still a stigma. Despite all the positive work that has taken place, the improvement of awareness and support services, there is still something that is holding those who are struggling back from opening up and seeking help.
  2. I always get the sense that those who are struggling (although they don’t admit it) would rather get help discreetly. They don’t want a fuss, they don’t want to be removed from work or want any special treatment. They don’t want their direct work colleagues to know.  That they want to access the help and support in their own time and their own pace.

Now both these issues are proving to be problematic. For me, the first issue of stigma is self-sustaining. We all know that the stats regarding mental health in construction are incredibly high (1/4 construction works have experienced mental ill health) The problem so far as I can see is that these are stats, not real people. No-one is talking about their issues, everyone thinks they are the only ones, so no-one talks about their issues, and so on. So how do we break this cycle?

construction mental health safety

The second issue of seeking help discreetly has a few underlining causes. We are all very aware that men have a harder time asking for help when they need it, and a lot of what I see in the way of offering help is “speak to your MHFA” or “contact the management through our app or a specific email address” I would love to hear what the feedback is on the uptake of these offers but I have a feeling it would be very low.

I believe the worry of those who they work with finding out, plus the uncertainty that if they disclose they are struggling may affect their employment, and adding in the fact that I don’t believe or see how those who they are being signposted to can actually have a positive effect on their issues, plus I think that some live in hope that one day they will just wake up feeling better again and so don’t want to start something they won’t be able to stop and remove themselves from easily, all build up to the offers of help being made available just are not suitable.

Now I have thought about what we can do as an industry to start to tackle these obstacles, and my first thought is about how we capture our vulnerable people when construction is such a mobile workforce? 

So, considering my previous two issues, plus the need to be able to contact our mobile workforce is digital technology the answer?

Could a digital platform, made available to only construction workers, which creates an environment where they can safely share experience and offer peer to peer support, where they can access the support they feel is best suited to them, in their own time and at their own pace and do it in a way which keeps them as anonymous as possible be a much more affective answer? This platform would be open to all trades, all construction companies, ethnic groups, nationalities and job roles contained within the construction industry. 

Now it has been well documented that digital tech such as social media can create a negative effect for the user’s mental health. Everyone interacts with digital tech in different ways, and mental health is a very complex and individual subject, so creating a digital environment that is suitable for all in an overwhelming challenge.  

I recently attended a conference put on by the Mental Health Foundation where the topic being discussed was: Prevention with digital technologies. One of the guest speakers was Professor. Simon Gilbody from University of York, who was involved in a very comprehensive study the effectiveness of digital platforms in preventing mental health issues developing to more long term and recurring conditions.

Prof. Gilbody broke down the criteria used to assess the success of various platforms

Affordability – Is it cheaper than our current strategy?

Practicability – Is it easy to use?

Effectiveness – Does it work in the real world?

Acceptability – Do people like it enough it to keep using it?

Safety – Is it safe to use?

Equity – Is it usable by less affluent, old, less educated, non-English speaking?

So, I guess there lies my challenge. Can it be created? It is a more effective solution?

I look forward to your thoughts and opinions



Lighthouse Open Morning

July 12th, 2018[Comments Off on Lighthouse Open Morning]

The team at Lighthouse Safety Training would be delighted if you join them for our breakfast open morning on 24th October.

You will have the chance to chat to us whilst enjoying a delicious bacon roll and attend our complimentary seminars:

PART ONE: Mental Health The Lighthouse Safety Training Team talk about the concerns, industry focus, available training and the advocates of mental health

PART TWO: How Accidents/Incidents in work environments are journeys and help identify what the biggest causes are.
Paul Mahoney of PJM Ltd is a speaker and adviser to local and international organisations and delivers a Interactive and thought provoking session fit for whatever sector you work in.


Our HQ (which some call The Tardis!) will be open from 8.30am for a 9.30am start until 12 midday.

Breakfast refreshments will be served on arrival. We look forward to welcoming you.

Please confirm your attendance here 



Well being and mental health in construction

March 26th, 2018[Comments Off on Well being and mental health in construction]

‘In construction, more workers die by suicide than by falls’

(mates in mind)

 

As a health and safety professional, my primary concern is not profit & loss or project completion dates, but the health and safety of those in construction. As cheesy as it sounds (and you might roll your eyes) I care about people.

I used to think I was doing all I can and the right things to make a difference, until I read the stat at the top of the page. How as a health and safety consultant, was I not aware that mental health and suicide was having such a big impact for those on site?

Luckily, while attending an on-site health and safety meeting the safety officer brought up the completion of ‘mental health first aid course’ which was the first thing that got me interested in researching this subject. A few days later an article was published in the IOSH magazine which identified ‘Mates in Mind’ as a new programme being rolled out to site to help bring awareness to this issue on site. I have not looked back since.

The first thing people think of when health and safety is mentioned in construction is risk assessments and PPE, I believe that it is time this role changed and developed. Given the seriousness of this topic, we can no longer just concern ourselves with physical hazards and documentation. We need to be doing more for health and not just safety. How may risk assessments identify wellbeing issues as being hazards?

In 2015, there was 43 deaths as a result from work place accidents…….in that same year, 454 construction works committed suicide (office of national statistics). As a health and safety professional, and a human, this stat is pretty devastating. Considering this stat is from three years ago, how many of us are aware of the problem?

Stress, anxiety, depression, lack of sleep and excessive anger are all mental health issues that are common place on a construction site, at all levels, senior management to labourer.

So why has health been left so far behind safety in regard to knowledge, controls and awareness. Well I suppose we could ask how many of the 454 construction suicides in construction in 2015 resulted in any kind of criminal or civil law suits? I am going to take a guess at none? If fact, I haven’t heard of any company being taken to court over the suicide of one of their employees. It is of course very hard to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that a company is solely responsible for an employee suicide.

But I would like to think that unlike the safety aspects of workplace activities that can have heavy financial implications (supported by the HASWA) companies do have moral reasons to look after their employees.

I do believe that within the construction industry, a lack of understanding of mental health issues plays a hefty role in the attitude.

As I have previously discussed, construction is a very male dominated industry. The culture is to just carry on, keep going, don’t talk about it, it will go away eventually. It is harder for men to open up and seek help, it is not historically how these things are dealt with.

Are our construction sites doing enough to provide healthy workplace environments mental health?

Working hours have always been a concern to me. Part of being an external H&S consultant is that I am unaffected by company influences. When I attend site, I am focusing on one thing, the health, safety and wellbeing of those on site. Every inspection I completed I will ask, what hours are you currently working? How far do you have to travel? Are you currently working weekends? When was your last day off? The time pressures on project, companies and individuals can be immense and more often than not I am coming across 10-hour days 6 days a week, over weeks and months at a time. For me, this is unsustainable, and will over time have a real detrimental effect on anyone’s wellbeing. Plus, what affect is it having on their ability to complete work activities safety?

If I then approach excessive working hours like I would any other hazard on site, (working at height, dust, COSHH) I ask where the controls are? None. Are their managing directors, project managers, site managers, aware? I would like to think not, but realistically, they are probably working the same excessive hours.

 

Construction has a large number of workers from overseas. For them being in a foreign country, so far away from their home and family, with possible language barriers, there is a strong chance they will feel isolated and unaware of how they can get support. Are we doing enough to offer this group of people support? I believe there is defiantly ways we can reach out more. Could support information or packs be made able? Could we offer a support officer in the same way we have occupational nurses on site?

Between July-August 2017, Construction News completed a survey of 3,700 construction works, 73% said they felt their employers did not recognised early signs of metal health problem.

If I go onto a construction site I can easily talk to the supervisors and managers regarding their work process and procedures but talk about stress or depression and it is just not topics they have really thought about.  How many tool box talks cover mental wellbeing and health? How many contractors have a wellbeing policy? I do not believe that it is because the managers and supervisors just do not care, it is just down to awareness and understanding. We need to train our managers to be able to identify signs of mental health and give them guidance on how to deal these situations.

 

There is also a lot of incentives for companies to have strong wellbeing policies and procedures.

According to Health and Safety Executive figures, 15% of reported work-related illnesses in the UK construction industry are the result of mental health problems, such as stress, depression or anxiety, which accounts for 400,000 lost working days each year. (LFS annual average 2014/15-2016/17)

Poor mental health results in a reduction in productivity of 15.1 billion in productivity a year.

And companies spend £2.4 billion a year in replacing staff who leave their jobs because of mental ill health.

Taking simple steps to improve the management of mental health in the workplace should enable employers to save 30% or more of these costs a year. (Centre for mental health via mates in mind)

 

So, having a positive mental health culture, looking after the wellbeing of employees can result in happier, more efficient workforce that help to deliver stronger finical results.

And let’s face it, it is the right thing to do. Let’s start caring about our people.

Written By Louise Collins

 

Construction Industry Helpline

Call: 0345 605 1956

Provided by the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and supported by the Considerate Constructors Scheme, the helpline advises on a range of matters including occupational health and wellbeing, support and advice for people with stress, and home worries such as divorce, tax and financial concerns. The services can also provide emergency financial aid to the construction community in times of crisis.

Samaritans

Call: 116 123 (UK & ROI)

Email: jo@samaritans.org

The Samaritans offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – whatever you’re going through, call free any time from any phone. Available around the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You don’t have to be suicidal to call.

 Mind

Call: 0300 123 3393

Text: 86463

The team at the leading mental health charity Mind can provide information on a range of topics including types of mental health problem, where to get help, medication and alternative treatments.

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)

Call: 0800 58 58 58 (UK) 0808 802 58 58 (London)

CALM provide a helpline for men in the UK who are down or have hit a wall, who need to talk or find information and support. The helpline is open 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. They also offer a webchat service between the same hours.

Prevention of Young Suicide – Papyrus

Call: 0800 068 41 41

Text: 07786 209697

Email: pat@papyrus-uk.org

Papyrus provide confidential help and advice to young people and anyone worried about a young person. Their HOPELineUK service is staffed by trained professionals who give non-judgemental support, practical advice and information to; children, teenagers and people up to the age of 35



Competition Winner

November 9th, 2016[Comments Off on Competition Winner]

Lighthouse Safety attended the Construction Expo in Detling, Kent last week and held a competition to win a … See below the video of Pam picking the winner. … Lighthouse Safety works with clients across the UK.



NEBOSH General Certificate – Day Release

September 7th, 2016[Comments Off on NEBOSH General Certificate – Day Release]

Attention Campers, we have exciting news.

 

In 2017 will be running a new addition to our course line up, a reformatted day release NEBOSH General Certificate Course. This course is ideal for those looking to supplement their knowledge in a management role to ensure Health and standards are implemented and maintained for the sustainability of their company, those who are considering a move into a Health and Safety Manager/Advisors role, or simply as another accolade to add to your CV for the future.

 

The course will cover the legal, management and practical aspects of Health and Safety Management. As the internationally recognised standard for higher level training in Health and Safety NEBOSH is a must have in today’s climate to instil confidence in clients and trading partners that your company is working to the highest standards.

 

The course will be running on consecutive weeks starting in February of next year, the course including mock exams, revision days and national exam dates will total 14 days with availability still open for several candidates should you require it.

 

For more information or book please visit our website www.lighthousesafety.co.uk or call 01634 260 631.



Charity cheque presentation

July 27th, 2016[Comments Off on Charity cheque presentation]

As I am sure you are aware, Lighthouse Safety were honoured to host a quiz night at the beginning of the month for the fantastic Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and managed to raise the tremendous sum of £2250.  Last week we had the opportunity to meet with the charity’s CEO, Bill Hill and our very own Andrew (MD) presented him with the cheque.

Cheque_1035[1]

It was a pleasure to meet Bill and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that was involved in making the night such a success.



Donations and fundraising

July 8th, 2016[Comments Off on Donations and fundraising]

After an amazing attendance at our Quiz night raising funds for the Lighthouse Club on Friday 1 July 2016, we were pleasantly surprised to receive a post event cheque on Wednesday 6 July 2016  for an additional donation of £250 from O S H Project Services Ltd. Obviously we feel humbled by their support and are very thankful, we will now pass this direct to the Lighthouse Club in addition to the sum of £2000 we have already raised, thanks again to O S H Project Services Ltd.



Charity Quiz Night

July 6th, 2016[Comments Off on Charity Quiz Night]

This month we rounded up quizzers and fun seekers to attend our charity quiz night on 1st July at Upchurch Village Hall.  The night, which included a quiz, buffet and raffle was held in aid of the Lighthouse Club’s 60th anniversary. The fantastic sum of £1240.47 was raised and donations are still being received. A huge thanks to the 130 people who attended and for the generous donations of raffle prizes which ranged from a camera, Brands Hatch tickets and a leaf blower to a box of celebrations.  We will be presenting the cheque in due course – watch this space for pictures.

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John, our Quiz Master 

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Arriving and settling in 

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and so it begins 

The Lighthouse Club
(charity number 1149488) exists to…

Provide..  financial assistance, welfare and well-being advice and emotional and legal support to the Construction Community to relieve hardship and stress.
Promote.. initiatives aimed at avoiding accidents and improving safety on construction sites.
Support.. educational initiatives aimed at improving employment conditions and career opportunities within the construction industry.
Support and deliver..   local and national events that embrace networking, fundraising and fellowship within the construction industry.
There are many things that the Lighthouse Club do to support and help those individuals in the construction industry.
To find out more visit http://www.lighthouseclub.org/



Great News…..

July 6th, 2016[Comments Off on Great News…..]

We are so proud to announce that we have been commended by BSIF in their Service Awards 2016. Thank you to clients and staff who have made this possible.

Customer Service Commended



Charity Quiz Night

June 7th, 2016[Comments Off on Charity Quiz Night]

Charity Quiz Night

 

Invitation      Invitation    Invitation    Invitation

We are pleased to invite you to a charity Quiz Night hosted by Lighthouse Safety Training  to raise funds for the fantastic Lighthouse club charity (charity no. 1149488) celebrating their 60th anniversary.

The quiz will be held on Friday 1st July 2016 at Upchurch Village Hall (ME9 7EU) and will cost £5 per person, which includes a buffet.  We are recommending teams of up to 8, So get your friends, colleagues or family together to win yourselves a prize and have a bit of fun. Raffle tickets will be sold during the evening to be drawn towards the end of the night.

Doors will open at 7pm in readiness for the quiz to begin at 8pm.  If you are interested in coming along drop us an email or give us a call to book your table.

As there isn’t a bar at the hall, we are asking guests to bring their own drink, whether it be water or wine its your choice.

Children are welcome to attend for a small donation,  but they will remain the responsibility of their attending adult.

If you are not able to come but still wish to support this brilliant cause we are looking for raffle prize donations. Just contact Sarah on 01634 260631 if you are able to help.

Invitation      Invitation    Invitation    Invitation

 



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