A Safety Story from a Structure Tone New York Superintendent
Over the last few months, I’ve noticed there seems to be a push for mental health awareness and suicide prevention in our industry, primarily in the UK and Ireland. This is such an important, yet underdiscussed topic—especially in construction where the stress and physical demands of the job can lead to higher rates of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
I wanted to make sure my site here in New York stayed ahead of the curve in terms of calling attention to mental health issues on site and providing resources to workers who may be in distress. I worked with STOBG’s marketing group to create site signage that uses a QR code to link people directly to those mental health resources. We need to remember safety is as much mental as it is physical.
Safety Tip: There are mental health resources dedicated to serving the construction community’s unique mental health challenges. You can find behavioral wellbeing quizzes, learn the signs, and get help here: https://preventconstructionsuicide.com/Are_You_at_RiskGo to https://preventconstructionsuicide.com/Are_You_at_Risk
Did You Know: 1 in 5 construction workers struggle with mental health.
Safety Story from Structure Tone London’s Responsible Business Team
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives of all of us at a time when wellbeing and mental illness has emerged as one of construction’s biggest health and safety concerns. While we are separated physically, our Responsible Business Team here in the London office wanted to find a way to support our team’s mental health during these unprecedented times. Together, we coordinated the office’s first wellbeing and mental health webinar hosted by psychotherapist and author of “Languages of Loss,” Sasha Bates. Sasha has been known to speak about grief being inevitable and the importance of not trying to manage it alone. She usually speaks about grief, the importance of support, and approaches to dealing with depression. The session took the form of a short seminar that described what people were feeling and why, which was followed by a group discussion that empowered our people to share their own experiences.
While this was a first for the London office, it proved to be a great outlet for our entire team. Connecting with others and talking with people you trust about how you’re feeling is one of the top ways to cope with stress. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the world, it’s so important that we keep checking in with one another as we all adjust to these everchanging circumstances.
Safety Story from a Structure Tone Boston Superintendent
Earlier this year, I was starting a new job and set the shift from 6:00pm to 2:00am, Monday through Friday. I chose these days because it suited my schedule, but I was getting some pushback from the trades. One of the workers said he held his family nights on Fridays, and another told me he had his young daughter on Fridays. My night workers were also then eliminated from premium work on Saturday. Despite the discontent amongst the crew, the workers were resigned to it and begrudgingly would have worked the shift.
That same week, our office held Safety360°Go to https://stobuildinggroup.com/safety/ training here in Boston. One of the executives presenting told a story related to mental health, and it got me thinking about how I can maintain the mental wellbeing of the workers on my jobs. I decided to shift the schedule back a day, so the laborers could work the same times Sunday through Thursday and have their Friday evenings to themselves. Once the schedule was changed, there was a noticeable attitude shift on site.
It just goes to show how important it is to pay attention and listen to the needs of those around you. Issues that might seem trivial to you could be making a huge impact—positive or negative—in other people’s lives.