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  • Writer's pictureElite Force Safety

The Issue with Mental Health in 'Male Dominated' Industries

A prime example of a male dominated industry is Construction.

Construction can be a rewarding and varied industry to work in. But it’s also one where pressures can be high, and people can be more likely than average to experience work-related stress and other mental health issues. Examples of some pressures faced in construction -

  • The pressure from the main contractor to get finished and under budget. 

  • The tight timeline to complete your part of the build. 

  • The fact you may be self employed and no work means no pay.

  • The safety guidelines that you must adhere to only slow you down. Time is money, so there is a temptation to cut corners.

  • The Risk Assessments and Method statements you must produce.

  • The “laddish” behaviour that can be present on some sites.

  • Societal Expectations - The “It's a man's job, Get on with it and stop crying.”

  • Travel to and from site daily.

  • Living away from home.

 For employees, it often has not felt easy to come forward, mention that something is wrong or ask a colleague to talk. This is an issue in many ‘male dominated’ industries, talking is not the ‘manly’ thing to do..

Men’s Mental Health is a REAL issue.

Men are 3 times more likely than women to die by suicide.

People do not just wake up one day and decide they want to end their life. It is a build up over time, sometimes over years and years. With the right support, these numbers can be reduced significantly.

The Military noticed a similar problem… and managed to implement some changes that resulted in a reduction in the numbers. They took action by introducing TRiM (Trauma Risk Management), which is education and support to identify those with difficulties to ensure the psychological needs of personnel were met. In simple terms, they were given training so they could support their peers and changed the culture around mental health issues.

Things are changing in industry. More and more construction businesses are starting to see their staff’s mental health as a priority. And with plenty of help, information and training available, it’s easier than ever to put employee mental health and wellbeing at the heart of your organisation.

Five steps to a supportive culture

We at Elite Force Safety, suggest 5 key steps to building a supportive culture around mental health in construction:

  • Deliver an interactive ‘tool box talk‘ to raise awareness about mental health, teach people to recognise signs that colleagues might need some support, and get conversation started

  • Train line managers and supervisors in what to do when somebody mentions a mental health issue

  • Train a minimum of one in 100 employees or subcontractors as a certified mental health first aider.

  • Make, and show, your commitment by signing the Building Mental Health Charter

  • Make sure your staff know about your employee assistance programme and the Construction Industry Helpline, available by phone and via their new mobile app

Elite Force Safety can help with the delivery of any Mental health training/Tool Box Talks. We have a level 3 course for the high level managers and safety managers. Level 2 for the shop floor Mental Health First aiders and Level 1 for the coalface. With a full programme in place top to bottom, nobody should ever feel they have nowhere to go. 

Our instructors are all ex Military. Incorporating their decades of extensive knowledge, skills and experience in this area, we have developed a unique Mental Health programme like no other... it’s more than just a training course; and much more effective. For a truly informative and unrivalled mental health training programme for your employees, get in touch.

‘Bringing Military Standards to Safety in the Workplace’

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