Mental distress affects 1 in 4 workers in any one year. It is important for us at Fortis Vision that we’re aware of any distress with our employees and our supply chain.
Generally, Construction is no different to any other industry where any individual may have or experience mental health issues at some point in their working career.
As an employer, Fortis Vision prioritise positivity and a balanced work life for all employees. Mental health is something every individual has, if we enjoy good mental health we have the energy to succeed without it being a problem and the ability to deal with the challenges that happen in our lives.
More so than ever before we are in the early days of reintroducing a ‘new normal’ within our business as we come through the worst of the Covid pandemic. We will remain as up-to-date as we can with any new research studies and findings, and adapt or roll out any new guidance, training and advice as soon as practicable.
We monitor our work environments to ensure they’re suitable for all tasks and tackle all causes that may have an impact on wellbeing like noise, temperature, light levels and logistics. Over the last 20 months we’ve had many employees working in isolation and always ensured there are clear and regular lines of communication (also applies to employees outside of working hours). We involve employees with the planning of their workload and define responsibilities and deadlines as clearly and realistically as possible, promote a supportive working environment and have regular catch-ups both during and outside of working hours (either via Teams or in person).
Nikki Todd, Director:
“I am no different to any other individual and have days where mental health affects the way I feel, think and go about my daily plans. Nearly seven years ago my son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and as an individual (and parent) I was naïve to certain aspects of mental health and distress and how many different day-to-day problems or external factors individuals can face, such as environmental factors, the unknown, triggers, heightened anxieties, obsessive compulsive disorders, depression, fixations and hyperactivities. I have taken my knowledge, experience and research gained over this period and introduced it into my personal life and also elements within our business.”
The most common types of mental health within construction is stress, anxiety and depression and the most common reason for symptoms/episodes and diagnosis of these conditions is financial. If we look at studies over the last decade 2000 construction workers took their own lives in the decade to 2017 and the number of suicides per 100,000 construction workers rose from 26 to 29 in the four years to 2019. It’s also worthwhile noting that this is pre-pandemic.
Fortis Vision is looking for Accreditation to ISO 45001, an occupational health and safety management system within the next quarter of 2021. The accreditation enables companies to provide safe and healthy workplaces by preventing work-related injury and ill health, as well as by proactively improving its Occupational Health and Safety performance.
We will be looking to put processes in place by consulting and involving all our employees in tackling work-related stress utilising the management system. We will then roll this out to our wider supply chain, working with our sub-contractors and specialist providers.