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Construction industry in the UK scores 4.5 out of 10

Staff writer |
Construction employers in the UK have awarded the sector a score of only 4.5 out of 10 for its overall performance in managing workplace stress, according to a CITB stress test survey.

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Released to coincide with Mental Health Awareness week (16 -22 May), the telephone survey of over 100 construction employers found that more than a third (36%) described their workplace as a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ stress environment.

One in five (20%) however, were unsure how they would support an employee suffering from work-related stress.

While most respondents (71%) were able to suggest a personal response that they would make to help a workmate, less than half (47%) were inclined to suggest formal solutions to tackle the problem.

The top three likely reactions from employers were: to offer informal support or friendship (34%); suggesting counselling or where to find it (23%); and paid time off work (20%).

When asked how they would know an employee was suffering from stress, about half (53%) said that they would probably detect a problem by just chatting to an employee. However, about a third (33%) thought they would only hear about it when a problem on the job occurred.

The HSE Stress Management Standards describe stress as an adverse reaction to excessive pressure. While pressure can create a “buzz” and be a motivating factor, stress can lead to depression, anxiety and an increased risk of suicide.

Kevin Fear, Head of Environment and Health & Safety, CITB said: “While it’s good news that many construction employers recognise stress in the workplace, we need to do more to support individual colleagues. Mental health has been a taboo subject that’s been brushed under the carpet for far too long.

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