Lesley McLeod: Addressing mental health in the construction industry needs greater consideration

Speaking exclusively to SCN, Lesley McLeod at the Association for Project Safety focuses on mental health issues in the construction industry

Lesley McLeod

Construction focuses on physical accidents and injuries – and of course, there is still a lot to do. But it needs to focus on mental health and wellbeing to build a healthier workplace. Too much bad practice and there’s still a lot out there.

This week’s APS’s conference, ‘Building the Future of Workplace Mental Health’, reminded all employers about their duties to staff. There are legal & moral consequences when workers’ mental health is put in danger.

This week is Mental Health Week (10-16 May) and is a good time to focus on the duty of care employers have for construction workers and actions needed to make sure sites, offices and every other workplace is as safe as can be. Staff right across construction need the tools to keep themselves safe. Everyone has to put systems and support in place to make sure help is always there when it is needed.

Let’s not wait until there is a crisis before building the future of workplace mental health. APS President-elect Ray Bone said he goes into a lot of businesses & while they have shiny mental health policies their fine words don’t match behaviour on the ground. It’s time to get real about mental health in construction.

We need to work at making mental fitness better by building the future of workplace mental health and to help the construction sector and to make the industry safer in mind as well as body.

Contributors to  APS’s Building the Future of Workplace Mental Health conference signposted ways to help ourselves – and how employers can help staff as well.

APS came together with Bernard Sims Associates, Synergie Training and Shirley Parson Recruitment – to raise awareness of workplace mental health in construction and the steps we can take to make it better.

The construction industry has to learn to get better at talking about mental health and wellbeing. Attendees at APS’s Building the Future of Workplace Mental Health conference took a huge step forward. Join APS today and get help to help others.

This is just the start of a journey. Construction needs to do more to fix the behaviours that cause problems for workers. By working together, the construction sector can build a better future for everyone. The numbers of construction workers taking their own lives – or suffering in silent pain - is shocking. The sector needs to Build the Future of Workplace Mental Health and stop throwing away the futures.

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