HSE builds construction support to protect workers’ mental health

The construction industry has stepped-up its efforts to combat work-related stress and promote good mental health by joining Great Britain’s workplace regulator campaign.

The Working Minds campaign, set up by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), welcomes six new partners in the construction industry to help reach trades and offer free support.

March sees the Contract Flooring Association (CFA) and the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), Asbestos Removal Contractors Association (ARCA), the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC), the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) and the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) commit to the campaign.

Working Minds helps employers prevent stress and support good mental health, providing free online learning to show how to make it part of routine working life and culture. The new bitesize tool typically takes no more than an hour to complete and covers what the law requires of employers and what’s needed to do to be compliant.

Users will walk through Working Minds’ five simple steps based on risk assessment. They are to Reach out and have conversations, Recognise the signs and causes of stress, Respond to any risks you’ve identified, Reflect on actions you’ve agreed and taken, and make it Routine. It needs to become the norm to talk about stress and how people are feeling and coping on site.

Liz Goodwill, head of work-related stress and mental health policy at HSE, said: “We know that running a business in construction can be stressful with long hours, juggling intense workloads.

“We are delighted the Working Minds campaign is welcoming even more partners and they will no doubt help us in our efforts to raise awareness of ways employers across Britain’s construction trades can help prevent and reduce work-related stress.

“The law requires all employers – whether you’re a demolition firm or scaffolding business – to carry out a stress risk assessment and act upon the findings. The online learning shares all the tools you need to get started in one place, and you can come back as many times as you like.”

According to Deloitte , the total annual cost of poor mental health has increased by 25% since 2019, costing UK employers up to £56 billion a year.

Help is available

If you or someone you know needs help or support, reach out and ask how they are feeling and coping. The Working Minds campaign sign-posts employers to a wide range of tools and sources of support that can help on its construction sector webpage.

Employers wishing to know more and complete the Working Minds online learning should register and get started today.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. Working Minds campaign partners include; Mates in Mind, Lighthouse Construction charity, Contract Flooring Association (CFA) and the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), Asbestos Removal Contractors Association (ARCA), the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC), the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) and the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC).
  3. Steve Sadley, chief executive of the Asbestos Removal Contractors Association (ARCA), said: “We are pleased to support the HSE Working Minds campaign to address work-related stress, depression and anxiety. This is an important issue that employers in the asbestos removal industry should prioritise.   There are compelling reasons for asbestos removal companies to prevent work-stress and promote mental health. This includes meeting legal responsibilities, enhancing business operations, and caring for employees.“The nature of asbestos removal work can be demanding, so it’s critical to provide resources that equip teams to handle stress.   The Working Minds campaign offers helpful tools and resources to help asbestos removal companies establish effective wellbeing strategies tailored to industry-specific needs. We encourage companies in this vital field to utilise these materials to foster positive mental health practices. By working together proactively, we can create healthier and more supportive environments for asbestos removal professionals as they safely deliver this essential service.”
  4. Paul Williams, HS&E Services Manager at Electrical Contractors’ Association, said: “ECA is a proud supporter of Working Minds. Our work on mental health incudes providing Mental Health First Aider courses, and awareness courses across our membership family. We strive to make conversations about mental health normal and destigmatise attitudes towards poor mental health.”
  5. Jo Lear, executive assistant to technical and training at the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFRC), said: “NFRC is proud to continue to support the HSE Working Mind campaign. It’s an excellent resource that provides practical and useful tools to support our members mental health. NFRC is fully committed to supporting the wellbeing of our members and understand the importance of championing such great initiatives. The HSE Working Minds Campaign is positive step on a long road to improving the wellbeing and mental health of our roofing workforce.”
  6. Richard Catt, CEO at the Contract Flooring Association (CFA), said: “As the CEO of the Contract Flooring Association (CFA), I am proud to support the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Working Minds campaign. Work-related stress, depression, and anxiety account for half of all work-related ill health cases, highlighting the urgent need for action. Employers should recognise three compelling reasons to prioritise mental health in the workplace: it’s a legal requirement, it’s beneficial for business and productivity, and the moral imperative.“By fostering a culture of openness, understanding, and support, we can create healthier, more productive work environments for all. Together, let’s embrace the principles of the Working Minds campaign and champion mental well-being in the workplace. It’s not just about compliance; it’s about creating environments where everyone can thrive.”
  7. Kevin Wellman, CEO of CIPHE, said: “As CEO of CIPHE, I proudly endorse the Working Minds campaign. It’s crucial for employers to prioritise mental health in the workplace, and this initiative provides valuable resources and support to prevent stress and promote well-being. Let’s join forces to create healthier, more supportive work environments for all.”
  8. To read more about HSE’s Working Minds campaign click here
  9. For press and media enquiries please contact media.enquiries@hse.gov.uk