Construction Safety Week campaign kicks off with focus on mental health

Construction companies around Ireland will stage a nationwide ‘stand-down for safety’ on all sites today to mark the beginning of Construction Safety Week which runs from Monday 21st -Friday 25th October 2019.

Today’s focus is on Mental Health and Wellbeing in Construction, in accordance with the slogan ‘a strong foundation for a healthy life’, which infers the need to invest in and to maintain one’s mental and physical health in order to live a happy and healthy life.

Dermot Carey, Director Safety and Training, Construction Industry Federation (CIF) said: “The focus of today, the first day of Construction Safety Week 2019 is on mental health and wellbeing in construction. The CIF advocates an investment in health and wellbeing in order to provide ‘a strong foundation for a healthy life’. A recent study undertaken on behalf of the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) and the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) elucidated that “Psychosocial risks and work-related stress are among the most challenging, and growing, occupational safety and health concerns”. Historically, the sector placed an emphasis on the safety of workers; increasingly, this focus has been expanded to include the wellbeing of workers in both physical and psychological terms. The workplace is a particularly influential environment, given the large amount of time people spend at work and in the company of their work colleagues. Rory O’Connor (of Rory’s Stories fame) has facilitated a video recording for Construction Safety Week 2019, with a clear message for construction workers to speak up and to readily seek help from work colleagues, family and friends. Shane O’Sullivan shares the successful approach adopted by Jacobs Engineering through a recorded webinar and a video explaining the workings of the Construction Workers Health Trust (CWHT) is provided for reference. To learn more, visit the website.”

Construction Safety Week is an initiative of the Construction Safety Partnership Advisory Committee (CSPAC) and is administered by the CIF. The CSPAC is a grouping of all the main stakeholders in the construction sector in Ireland, namely Employers, Unions, State Bodies (in conjunction with the Health & Safety Authority) and Professional Bodies.

Tommy Drumm, Managing Director, Collen Construction, Construction Safety Week Sponsors: Construction Safety Week 2019 is sponsored by Walls Construction, Collen Construction, SSE Airtricity, Irish Water, Hilti, IOSH, Keating Construction, Gas Networks Ireland, Kirby Group Engineering and ESB Networks.

Our collective mission for Construction Safety Week 2019 is to partner together to;

  • Eliminate accidents and incidents on construction sites in Ireland.
  • Promote a healthy culture of sharing lessons learned and best practice case studies in safety, health and wellbeing.
  • Reflect on the positive initiatives taken and celebrate achievements in good safety performance, whilst appreciating the potential consequences of failing to act responsibly in terms of safety and health.
  • Continue to work with colleagues and others to strengthen the construction industry’s safety and wellbeing culture.

“SSE are proud sponsors CIF Construction Safety Week 2019 as we believe everyone has the right to get home safe and healthy at the end of each working day. Our goal for CIF Safety Week 2019 is to raise awareness, highlight important risk areas such Electricity and Working at Height as well as continuing to encourage and support all our staff to make positive mental health a priority. This year we’re excited to use our Winter Campaign to reinforce our key safety messages – Plan, Scan and Adapt. We’ll be using our campaign to highlight the importance of vehicle safety and adapting to changing weather conditions, which create extra hazards this time of year. “If it’s not safe, we don’t do it.”

Declan Collins, Safety, Health and Environment Manager, SSE Airtricty, Construction Safety Week Sponsors: “The thing about working with the CIF and the MBCA is that we pull together as an industry and despite the fact that we are all in competition in the market place, when it comes to issues like safety, well-being and making a difference, there is a genuine effort to pull together and share our experiences to the benefit of the industry. Safety week helps us to out the focus on our workmates and help get the right information to them to give them every chance of learning how to look after themselves and their workmates. Frank Kelly who chairs the safety committee works tirelessly with Dermot Carey, CIF Director, to align and support us for the greater good in all matters safety related. As an entity we strive for best practice. Please do your best to participate in the week and bring your own leadership and ideas into the week for the benefit of all.”