A new initiative has been launched by the hire industry to help tackle work-related stress levels. Spearheaded by Asif Latief, Managing Director of Boels Rental, and Paul Gaze, CEO of Hire Association Europe and Event Hire Association (HAE EHA), #UnitedforMentalStrength is aimed at supporting mental wellbeing across the sector’s workforce.
Stress, depression or anxiety accounts for a fifth of all work-related illness, while shocking statistics reveal that every single working day in the UK two construction workers take their own life. To address this unacceptable statistic the inaugural #UnitedForMentalStrength event at Boels Depot in Stoke-on-Trent set out a collaborative approach.
It is hoped that by working together all HAE EHA members and non-members will raise awareness of common mental health issues that affect the workforce and that can lead to a negative impact on an individual’s wellbeing at work.
Boels MD, Asif Latief, says: “We all have common goals when it comes to mental strength. #UnitedforMentalStrength is only the start of the crusade to create momentum with further initiatives planned. By working collaboratively, we can make a difference by sharing our activities, our experiences and the challenges we have come up against when dealing with mental health issues.”
Paul Gaze added: “In order to develop mental strength we need to understand mental health. Through being open minded and our willingness to address this issue it will have a long-term impact on our industry, the wider community and society as a whole. Talking about it helps remove any embarrassment or stigma. If we all work together to address this issue, then some real progress will be made.”
Mental health problems in the construction sector are often due to the innate characteristics of the industry; it is a highly mobile industry with lots of casual workers, uncertain contracts, exacting timelines and is quite macho in culture. Often people don’t feel comfortable in raising personal issues and then muddle along until they can cope no longer.
HAE EHA, Boels and other hire companies already committed to #UnitedforMentalStrength have a range of initiatives aimed at promoting wellbeing for employees. The #UnitedForMentalStrength campaign is educating the hire industry to recognise the signs and symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression before they get out of hand, as well as giving businesses the tools and knowledge to assist employees with recovery.
Participating businesses include: HSS Hire, SHC Hire, Speedy Hire, Mr Plant Hire, Ardent Hire Solutions, One Stop Hire, Adlington Welding Supplies Ltd, Towergate Insurance Brokers, Sunbelt Rentals, Vp Brandon Hire Station, Salford Red Devils Foundation, inspHire and Garic.