The UK infrastructure sector’s trade body is to partner with Cancer Research UK and industry charity Mates in Mind to deliver the 2020 ‘Stop. Make a Change’ campaign.
The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) described ‘SMAC-20’, ‘in which sites, offices and production facilities down tools to focus on working together to build a healthier, safer industry’, as the only campaign of its sort in the UK construction sector.
This year the campaign is to run between 10-23 October, to coincide with World Mental Health Day and the European Week for Safety and Health.
It will entail employees from across the industry engaging in conversations, focusing on specific topics with relevance to individual health, enabling those working in UK construction to re-engage with their own health, safety and wellbeing, and ask themselves what needs to be changed, along with how they might go about making that change.
CECA chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “Last year, more than 200,000 people took part in Stop. Make a Change, and given the nation’s experience of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has never been a better time to re-engage with our personal health, safety, and wellbeing.'
Coral Jones, head of new partnerships at Cancer Research UK, said: ‘In the UK, four in 10 cancers could be prevented largely by stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol, being safe in the sun, and keeping a healthy weight. In the construction industry, smoking rates, alcohol consumption, and sun exposure are higher than average, which could be putting workers at a higher risk of cancer.
‘Through this campaign we are hoping to raise awareness of preventable cancer risk factors and help workers stack the odds in their favour. We are excited to work together with the construction industry to help beat cancer.'
James Rudoni, managing director of Mates in Mind, said: ‘This year especially, the importance of positive mental health cannot be underestimated. As the entire globe battles with an issue of immense scale and unprecedented human impact, the after effects of COVID on the mental health of individuals is yet to be seen.’
Among the key areas for discussion will be respiratory health; the people/plant interface; mental health and workplace stress; and cancer.
Other topics to be for discussion include issues regarding access/egress; electrical installations; hand injuries; lifting operations; office safety; slips, trips, & falls; and working at height.