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Wed, 8 July 2020

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CIOB urges Government to help workers struggling with mental health

Chartered Institute of Building

2 min read

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has welcomed comments made today by Ian Byrne MP stating that as lockdown eases, the Government should focus on the mental health of workers.

In an article published by the website Politics Home, Mr. Byrne says: “The Government has a duty of care to provide suitable mental health support for all of our key workers.”

His comments echo the findings of a recent CIOB report, which found that one in four construction workers consider suicide - something that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.  They also reflect a recent finding from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) that men in low-skilled jobs are almost four times as likely to die from coronavirus as those in professional occupations, raising further concerns about the mental and physical safety of predominantly on-site workers such as labourers.

The CIOB is calling for government to update the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 to ensure workplaces make provisions for mental first aid, and implementing the recommendations of the government’s own ‘Thriving at Work’ report from 2017, which looked at mental health in the workplace. We believe these recommendations will strengthen the protection and promotion of mental health and wellbeing which is important for all of those working during this epidemic

CIOB President, Professor Charles Egbu, commented: 

“The government needs to continuously work on the structure and environment that negatively impact workers’ mental health – no one person can solve this on their own. For organisations to make a difference, they need to be in a position where the financial environment is conducive for them to do that, and hence, we need support from government to help us in this.”

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