CCF Vic: Building capability in construction
The construction industry could be facing a “perfect storm” of mental health issues according to Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) Victoria chief executive John Kilgour. CCF Vic has launched the Positive Futures program, aimed at improving the mental health of construction workers.
With the expectation that the construction industry will carry a significant responsibility of leading the state out of the financial crisis of COVID, CCF wants to make sure it does so with industry-leading wellbeing initiatives.
Shockingly a worker is six times more likely to commit suicide on a worksite than die from serious physical injury at the worksite.
“We have cultural heritage plans, energy efficiency plans and COVID-safe plans but we think it is time for construction businesses to have a mental health action plan,” John says.
“We need to make a pledge to make mental health and wellbeing a priority in the workplace.”
In 2018 a Swinburne University study showed that average levels of depression, anxiety and stress in construction workers exceeded population norms by 40% for depression, 38% for anxiety and 37% for stress. And this high stakes industry has been supercharged with billions of dollars in new infrastructure programs designed to stimulate a COVID-struck economy
As the state’s peak civil construction body, CCF Victoria thinks there is more that can be done on mental health – and it has some industry-leading ideas. CCF Victoria has convened a Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing Summit on March 25 to make sure that construction workers are as mentally healthy as they are physically safe.
“The importance of taking a prevention led approach and creating and sustaining mentally healthy workplaces is an increasing point of focus for businesses in a multitude of sectors across Australia,” John adds.
“The construction industry is one of those sectors where there is an opportunity and need for change in the way projects are procured, planned and delivered.
CCF Vic is heading to Mildura on 14 July, Horsham the day after, it will go around all of the state to help promote mental health.
The CCF Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing Summit is part of Positive Plans – Positive Futures a prevention-focused mental health initiative supported by WorkSafe’s WorkWell Mental Health Improvement Fund.