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Industry gears up for health and safety stand down

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Civil engineering and construction workers across the industry are gearing up to down tools in a bit to raise awareness of health and safety as part of this year’s ‘Stop. Make a Change’ initiative.

The industry-wide stand down will have a focus on mental health and plant safety this year. Events will run across two weeks from April 16.

Managed by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), the campaign is growing with firms including Wates and McLaren joining for 2018.

It is the second year for the initiative, with more than 60,000 people taking part in events last year.

This year new charities are also getting involved, including The Lighthouse Club which oversees the Construction Industry Helpline. It will provide workers with cards and posters containing its details. The helpline can support workers in areas including mental health, wellbeing and financial worries.

Construction mental health charity Mates in Mind will provide free ‘Manage the Conversation’ training courses for managers. The courses will run on 24 April in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Newcastle.

Lighthouse chief executive Bill Hill said: “CECA are encouraging everyone that participates in Stop. Make a Change to make sure they have one of our helpline packs. The packs include posters for sites and offices and helpline cards that can be distributed to their workforce so that workers know where to turn to if they need support. Our helpline provides a free of charge, confidential 24/7 helpline safety net for all construction workers and their families in the UK and Ireland.”

Mates in Mind chair Steve Hails added: “In workplaces across the UK, managers and supervisors are increasingly being approached by workers who are suffering with poor mental health. For many managers, this is a challenging prospect and they may be nervous about how to handle such a conversation. We are proud to support Stop. Make a Change, and to work with CECA to offer training for managers to be more confident in these situations.”

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