Despite the many advantages of working in the scaffolding industry, such as good wages, high levels of job satisfaction and the sense of camaraderie that is often a feature of this type of work, scaffolding workers are also just as likely to experience stress as employees in other sectors. This article will explain how reputable companies, such as M R Scaffolding, take the necessary steps to safeguard scaffolding employees and operatives from work-related stress and improve levels of well-being.

The first priority is to ensure that a healthy working environment is created, where people feel comfortable to openly discuss mental health concerns, including stress. Workers should know who to discuss stress and burnout with and how to approach any problems with management. A proactive and supportive working atmosphere leads to lower absence rates, which benefits everyone, including the client.

The second focus is to upskill managers to increase their awareness around the importance of reducing stress and improving mental health. High performing managers should be keen to take care of the mental health and well-being of their team. Managers should be trained to spot the signs indicating burnout, stress, and general unhappiness in their workforce. All managers should know about these common warning signs: lateness, absent-mindedness, self-isolation from a group, carelessness, and irritability.

The Impact of Stress in the Scaffolding Sector

Daily working stress is a frequent occurrence in many industries, but ongoing stress can quickly spiral into depression – particularly for employees prone to this mental health illness. Depression is suffered by women twice as often as men, but suicide is the primary cause of death in men under the age of 50. This indicates that men often fail to seek medical intervention in time, possibly due to the ongoing societal stigma surrounding the open discussion of mental health issues amongst men.

Stress can Damage Mental and Physical Health

Today, stress is widely regarded as one of the most severe public health challenges. It is connected to many other conditions, such as stroke, insomnia, mental illness, heart disease, immune system problems, muscle pain, cancer, and even digestive issues.

That is why it is crucial to spot the warning signs, not just because prolonged stress can make employees very unwell. Ongoing stress could lead to a critical emotional or physical collapse, possibly resulting in a severe breakdown and even suicide in the worst-case scenario.

It is a terrifying statistic that according to the Save a Life initiative every working day, two construction and scaffolding workers commit suicide.

When observing employee behaviour, common warning signs that could possibly indicate work-related stress include:

  • Unusual or negative moods
  • Forgetfulness or clumsiness
  • Indecisiveness, restlessness, and poor judgement
  • Withdrawal from friends and colleagues
  • Irritability, angry or emotional outbursts and loss of humour
  • Headaches, nausea, aches, and pains
  • Sleeplessness, fatigue, and low energy
  • Drink or drugs problem
  • More accidents at work
  • Overworking and a drop in performance
  • More sick leave or coming to work when ill

Coping with Stress in Employees

When you are comfortably able to identify the possible signs of your own stress, you will be better placed to notice it in others. There are many different methods that can attribute to lowering stress levels, these include:

  • Talking to friends or family
  • Getting a good night’s sleep and practising relaxation techniques
  • Taking regular breaks at work
  • Resting if you are unwell
  • Having the confidence to refuse overtime if you need to
  • Exercising and eating well
  • Prioritising your workload and effectively organising your time
  • Taking up a hobby
  • Steering clear of stimulants like nicotine, caffeine, and sugar
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Identify causes of stress and possible ways of avoiding or resolving them

MR Scaffolding Mental Health Champions & HR Confidentiality

MRSS is committed to promoting ‘Time to Change, Time to Talk’ to encourage all employees to open up on any work or personal issues that the company can advise or support them with.

We have qualified Adult Mental Health First Aiders available to listen and confide in for employees who wish to talk in confidence. They will advise on best actions, solutions, and details for support groups if they are needed.

Confidentiality is key in encouraging employees to talk and we have a HR email address and dedicated staff who will keep any conversations confidential, and this support is actively promoted internally regularly.

Our dedicated HR staff will observe any abnormalities or increase of absences / attendance / behavioral issues daily and arrange a Welfare Call with the employees concerned as there could be underlying reasons. The call then opens communication with them to see if there are any reasons for the abnormalities which could relate to underlying work or personal issues the company could support them with.

At M R Scaffolding, we take all aspects of employee health extremely seriously. We hope this blog attributes to increasing the awareness of stress in the workplace and can help to reduce the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and encourages people to keep talking.

If you have any questions on any of the points raised in this blog, do not hesitate to get in touch.