Construction National

Magazine, Online Directory and Web Design Service

Sun19052024

Last updateThu, 09 May 2024 2pm

CHAS calls on construction businesses to take mental health pledge

NfN6VWvCHAS, the leading provider of risk prevention, compliance and supply chain management services for clients and contractors, is joining partner Causeway Technologies to ask construction businesses to pledge greater support for mental health. CHAS has also committed to developing new tools for assessing mental health provisions within construction supply chains and will work to establish these as a standard element of the prequalification process. 

The calls follow the publication of a Causeway survey of 1,439 construction site workers that reveals over half (56%) of workers are presently facing or have encountered mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Additionally, 12% of the participants acknowledged they had experienced or were currently dealing with suicidal thoughts.

CHAS Managing Director Ian McKinnon (pictured) says: "Causeway's research makes for sober reading, which is why we are urging our CHAS contractors to sign the pledge to provide mental health support for their workforce and calling on construction companies of all sizes to join them."

In addition to encouraging the industry to take the pledge, CHAS is supporting Causeway in leading a political lobbying campaign calling for mental health provision to be part of the Health & Safety and Social Value procurement conditions for future construction contracts.

To advance this objective, CHAS will introduce a mental health accreditation standard in 2024.

Football and Mental Health

The survey was conducted by former England and Everton football player Trevor Steven, Causeway's mental health ambassador and spanned from May 2022 to September 2023, covering construction sites nationwide. Trevor used the theme of football to create an environment where construction workers, including labourers and site-based personnel who rarely participate in surveys, felt comfortable discussing their mental health.

"Shockingly, we are still losing on average two construction workers to suicide every working day," says Trevor. "Studies have shown that male site workers are disproportionately affected by mental health issues. However, they are often deemed the most vulnerable but hardest-to-reach demographic in the construction industry. 

"We need to do more than just hanging a few signs up around sites. Mental health needs to be approached in the same way as health and safety – which is why we are asking businesses to step up and pledge to provide greater and more meaningful support."  

New CHAS Mental Health Standard

The new CHAS standard will assess a company's stance on mental health and wellbeing while shedding light on its supply chain's approach to mental health issues. CHAS will also advocate for the prioritisation of mental health accreditation in procurement processes, aiming to catalyse positive changes throughout the industry.

Ian explains: "At CHAS, we have a long history of setting compliance benchmarks and raising health & safety standards and we are committed to using our influence to improve the construction sector's performance around mental health. 

"Our accreditation will give companies a chance to say, 'Here's what we're doing in our business to support good mental health, and this is what we expect of our supply chains' and will provide them with the tools and techniques to accomplish this." 

Causeway CEO Phil Brown adds: "We have seen some encouraging signs that businesses are engaging with mental health at an industry level and we are grateful to the progressive businesses that have worked with us to help complete the survey. However, the industry's mental health crisis still shows little sign of abating and we need to approach the issue from multiple directions.

"Mental health is the true health and safety crisis in construction today. That's why we are proposing that mental health be an integral part of future construction contracts."

Take the pledge here. The full results of the mental health survey can be found at: www.causeway.com

Find out more about CHAS at: http://www.chas.co.uk/ or call 0345 521 9111.