Yesterday, Monday 16th January 2023, was Brew Monday. For anyone who doesn’t know, Brew Monday is a Samaritans campaign that encourages people to take a moment to grab a cuppa and catch up with a friend or loved one. A chance to check in with the mental wellbeing of those around you. This has inspired us to take a look at mental health within the construction industry.
How big of an issue is mental health in the construction industry?
Mental health within the construction industry has been described as a crisis. With it being recorded that everyday in the UK two construction workers take their own lives. As well as stress, depression and anxiety accounting for 27% of all work related illness in construction. It has also been reported that those working manually on the construction site, opposed to non-manual workers such as managers and administrators, are more likely to experience mental health struggles. When you look at these statistics, it’s clear that something needs to change.
Why is it such a problem for construction workers?
It’s fair to say that it may not just be work related concerns that are contributing to the declining state of mental wellbeing. There may also be things happening within workers’ personal lives that aren’t helping. However, there are many factors within the construction industry that will be causing issues.
These factors include uncertainty over pay for a lot of self employed contractors and working to tight deadlines. As well as the possibility of working away from loved ones for lengthy periods of time. The current skills shortage within the construction industry isn’t helping either. Consequently causing a lot of construction workers to work harder and for longer hours to pick up the slack. Another contributing factor within the construction industry is that it’s very male dominated. Considering the banter that is usually thrown around on construction sites between men, it’s understandable why some may feel there is a stigma surrounding mental health. This can cause construction workers to be reluctant to share how they feel.
What can be done to improve mental health within the construction industry?
A parliamentary group is advising that contractors should write the details of their mental health provisions within their contracts. The idea being it will immediately highlight what support is available. Also, it’s been recently announced that housing developers are teaming up and campaigning to get more women working on construction sites. This can be beneficial for the mental health crisis in a number of ways. One of those being it’ll help to fix the skills shortage. Reducing the amount of stress on current construction workers. Hopefully in time, it will make the industry less male dominated which could help to get rid of the stigma surrounding discussing mental health on site.
We hear so many suggestions of ways to improve mental health at work, but what can you do to help your team? Start by ensuring there are some measures in place to aid employees’ wellbeing. If these measures are already there, make sure they’re known about. Find a way to get the message to everyone, from the highest management positions to the roles at the bottom of the ladder. It’s also important to take the time to check in with your team every so often. You may find your colleagues are more willing to open up about any concerns during a casual chat over a cup of tea than a formal meeting.
You can find useful resources to help improve mental health within your workplace here.
Mental health and BuyADigger
BuyADigger is a company that specialises in selling used construction machinery. We’re part of the H. E. SERVICES group, which has steps in place to help with mental health within the workplace. This includes having qualified mental health first aiders available on site. With the details of who these first aiders are and where they are located being clearly signposted. Making it easy for anyone to reach them if needed without having to ask around first.
Looking to buy used construction machinery?
If you’re in the market to buy used construction machinery, BuyADigger has a great range of machines available. With equipment varying from mini diggers and tracked excavators, to telehandlers and site dumpers. All of our machines have had only one previous owner and are in excellent condition. We are also able to arrange international shipping for your purchase should you need it, just let us know!
If you are interested in any of our machines or have any questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.