Stop. Make a Change 2021 (SMAC-21) will run between Monday 11 - Friday 22 October 2021.
Why these dates? Sunday 11 October is World Mental Health Day and the European Week for Safety & Health runs from 18-22 October - so we thought we would capitalise on the fact that there will be an increased focus on Health, Safety & Wellbeing during this period.
At the heart of this year's SMAC campaign is the focus on the individual worker - and particularly those who have been affected by Covid-19. In addition to recent events, we want everyone who works in the construction industry to re-engage with their own health, safety and wellbeing and to ask themselves what needs to be changed, along with how they might go about making that change.
We are proposing a series of 'Conversation Starter' kits - to be used by all the workforce to discuss key concerns about what their job function requires of them, and how both the individual and their organisation can do to help address these concerns.
We are also working with Cancer Research UK and Mates in Mind this year to bring the most relevant and up-to-date information, guidance, and advice to you where possible.
Although no topic is off limits, we are suggesting the following key areas to be addressed:
RESPIRATORY (Health) - There are still too many people dying due to respiratory diseases and we need to change current working practices in order to reduce exposure of all dangerous airborne particles. Indeed, the links between exposure to emissions from construction activities (cutting, drilling, welding, etc) and cancer are well documented. What would you change and how?
PEOPLE PLANT INTERFACE - Again, too many workers are killed or injured due to working around machines and machinery. What can be done to improve your working environment?
MENTAL HEALTH & WORKPLACE STRESS (Wellbeing) – We know that Covid-19 has and continues to affect our personal and working lives. What needs to change to improve your working environment?
CANCER - Sadly, construction workers are an at-risk group when it comes to cancer. This is largely down to preventable causes, like smoking and drinking alcohol being much more common in construction workers. We know that men tend to have their cancers diagnosed at a later stage, when they are harder to treat. As a predominantly male workforce, and particularly now when fewer people are seeing their GPs with worries because of COVID-19, raising awareness of the importance of early diagnosis is crucial. There are steps we can all take to support workers to lead healthier lives, both in and out of work – how will you support your staff?
Although we believe the above areas to be fundamental in improving our Health, Safety and Wellbeing, we also understand that there are other topics that you may still be interested in. To this end, we will also be producing Conversation Starter Packs for:
- Electrical Installations
- Hand Injuries
- Lifting Operations including MSDs
- Office Safety
- Risk Zones
- Slips, Trips & Falls
- Working at Height.
How To Get Involved
Whether you are a major Tier 1 contractor or a specialist SME within the supply chain we are asking everyone to get involved in one way or another.
For example, you might want to;-
- As a minimum, ask everyone to engage in the Conversation Starter Programme – Starter Packs are available to download from the main menu above.
You might also want to;-
- run a more formal workshop with speakers.
- provide signposting to key providers who can help you with your specific concerns.
- engage with Cancer Research UK and Mates in Mind programmes if appropriate.
- discuss what good practice looks like in your work environment (including working from home).
- provide materials (eg. posters) to reinforce particular messages.
Obviously not all activities will be appropriate but CECA will try and help wherever and whenever possible. This could even extend to providing webinars on specific topics should demand dictate. Details will be made available through the CECA website, SMAC website and other well-known sources of information including IOSH, BoHS, HSE etc.
If you would like to highlight what your organisation is doing during SMAC-20, please use the social media hashtag #StopMakeAChange.
If you already think you know how CECA can support you as part of SMAC-20 then please e-mail SMACfirstname.lastname@example.org. Please also use this e-mail address to drop us a line to register your interest - no form filling required - just a simple 'Yes' will suffice along with your contact details.
Above: watch a short video from Mates in Mind Managing Director James Rudoni, on why they continue to support Stop. Make a Change, and how every one of us working in UK construction can make a difference when it comes to mental health.