New partner joins HSE campaign to tackle work-related stress

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THE Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has been confirmed as the latest partner on the Working Minds campaign launched a year ago by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE stats show that of the 1.7 million workers suffering from a work-related illness, almost half were suffering from stress, depression or anxiety. Construction has been identified as one of the priority sectors being targeted by the campaign.

The Working Minds campaign encourages employers to start to tackle work-related stress,  talk to staff, and take steps to support employees with their mental health in the workplace.

The campaign has a series of partners including Mates in Mind, Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA). With IOSH now signed up it means the number of partners has more than doubled to 19.

Liz Goodwill, head of the work related stress and mental health policy team at HSE, said, “When we launched Working Minds a year ago, we were under no illusion that stress, anxiety and depression were on the rise in the UK. Our aim was to ensure psychosocial risks are treated the same as physical ones, that employers recognise their legal duty to prevent work-related stress to support good mental health in the workplace, and that they have the tools they need to achieve this.

“Now, at a time when we have major challenges facing the country – leading to stressors both inside and outside of the workplace – welcoming new partners extends our reach and helps get our messages to businesses. That is why IOSH joining Working Minds is so important – these challenges can only be tackled successfully by working together – as organisations, as businesses, as teams.”

Ruth Wilkinson CMIOSH, head of health and safety (policy and operations) at IOSH, added, “We’re really pleased to be collaborating with the HSE and other UK partners on the Working Minds campaign. Good mental health is just as important as good physical health. Our work can impact our mental health, both positively or negatively, so decent work and good working environments are important.

“Employers can therefore play a key role in prevention, through good risk management, raising awareness, training people to spot the signs and symptoms of stress and by providing interventions to support colleagues. But a 2019 IOSH report revealed 80% of workers wouldn’t discuss their mental health with their line manager because they feared being stigmatised or judged incapable.”

  • For advice on stress and mental health for those working in the construction sector visit: Mates in Mind or download the managing and reducing workplace stress handbook.