KAEFER UK & Ireland Wins NASC Health & Safety Award
We’re delighted to have won the Health & Safety (Large) Award at the recent NASC (National Access and Scaffolding Confederation) 2022 awards ceremony for our work championing mental health awareness.
In 2021 there were 5,583 suicides registered in England and Wales, equivalent to a rate of 10.7 deaths per 100,000 people1. 74% of these suicides were males which is consistent with long-term trends2. Suicide is the leading cause of death for males under 50 years of age3. 41% of employees experienced mental health symptoms caused, or worsened, by work in 20204.
At KAEFER UK & Ireland our blue-collar workforce is predominately male. The alarming statistics above compelled us to act and provide our workforce with the tools to recognise the signs that someone may need support with their mental health and offer help on a first-aid basis.
Back in October 2021, we identified as a business, a gap in trained Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA). With a workforce of 3000 employees and only a small number of MHFA, an action plan was implemented by our CEO and a target of training 5% of our workforce by the 2nd quarter of 2022 was set.
The benefits of this training provided the attendees with a greater understanding of mental health and wellbeing, and gave them the tools to recognise common triggers of mental ill health and signs that someone may need support. The training also developed non-judgemental listening skills along with the confidence to reassure and support a person who may be experiencing mental ill health and guide them to source of further support for recovery. Positive wellbeing has a well-documented impact on productivity, performance, and engagement.
The two-day training, carried out by MHFA England, was held between January and October 2022 at 12 locations throughout the UK and Ireland. The attendees included KAEFER UK & Ireland HSEQ Director Attia Ramzan and several Senior Managers, demonstrating that the Leadership Team were fully behind this initiative of improving Mental Health and Wellbeing within our business.
Our objective of reaching 5% of our workforce was achieved with the 149 new MH Champions, joining our existing 42 trained MHFA, resulting in a total of 191 trained personnel by the end of October 2022: 6.4% of our total UK & Ireland workforce.
Thank you to James Dick, Senior HSE Advisor, who led the mental health champions campaign throughout the UK and Ireland, and was also in attendance on the night to receive the award on behalf of KAEFER. James said of the award win: “We hope that this award confirms for the industry as a whole the importance of providing trained mental health support on all sites, helps reduce the stigma of mental health disorders, and re-enforces the message that “It’s ok to not be ok” #youretoogoodforgivingup.”
Chris Foulkes, KAEFER UK & Ireland CEO, said: “Getting our people home safely each day is, and always will be, our top priority. This award is recognition of the great work our teams have put in to rolling out this campaign across the UK & Ireland, I’m proud of what we’ve been able to achieve this year but this is only the start of our journey. Mental Health and Wellbeing will continue to be a focus and we will do all we can to help break down stigmas associated with mental health. If you’re struggling please reach out, talk to each other, and let others help.”