Balfour Beatty, Ford and the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity have launched a campaign to combat suicide rates in construction.
The Make it Visible campaign has created a specially designed high-vis safety vest and mental health Transit van that will identify designated on-site support counsellors at construction sites across the country.
Up to two construction workers are lost to suicide every day, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The high-vis safety vests and vans are designed to grab workers’ attention and point them in the direction of help when needed. On-site posters will match the vests’ colours.
The Make it Visible campaign kicks off at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham, supported by a fully liveried Transit Custom in matching high-vis tones. In attendance on the Ford stand for launch day will be Balfour Beatty, which piloted the scheme at one of its sites in London.
Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Ford to deliver the Make it Visible campaign.
“These highly distinguishable vans will be visiting sites across the country to deliver visible support to the boots on the ground workforce. The vehicles are manned by the Lighthouse Club’s on-site team who are all mental health first aiders with relatable experiences in the construction industry. I am convinced that this initiative will have a positive impact on workforce wellbeing and ultimately save lives.”
Changing outdated perceptions
Heather Bryant, health, safety, environment and sustainability director at Balfour Beatty, said: “For too long, the construction and infrastructure industry has treated mental health as the poor cousin of physical health. We must change this incredibly outdated perception – and at Balfour Beatty, we are continuing to lead the charge.
“The Make it Visible campaign helps to build on the work we have done with the charity Mates in Mind, by specifically helping us to reach those, including our valued supply chain partners, who may not be aware of the resources available to them, whilst also providing a dedicated, safe space to talk.”
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