Fusion’s Gatehouse and Cornerblock offices was visited by Bill Hill, the Chief Executive Officer from Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity who spoke to colleagues about the Charity’s work on behalf of construction workers and their families.
He also was presented with a cheque to represent the £6,000 it has donated to the Charity from the Le Tour De Central fundraising event last month. Early this year, the Charity and Bloodwise, were voted by Fusion colleagues as the charities that will receive the majority of the proceeds from its fundraising efforts.
“I am humbled that you voted for us,” Bill (pictured above right) said at Cornerblock. “On this contract with HS2, you are part of an elite team of which you should be very proud. Construction is a risky business in many ways: collectively 30-40 workers lose their lives each year in the UK. These numbers are lower than they used to be but they are ones we are very concerned about.”
Going on to mention that 20% of work-related absence in the sector is due to stress, anxiety and depression, he added: “This number goes under the radar somewhat but we have a moral obligation to do something about it. Construction is also the number one industry in which its workers commit most suicide: we have overtaken agriculture, and not just in the UK – it’s the same in the United States and Australia.”
After showing a short film which highlights how easy it is to miss or overlook colleagues that could be suffering emotionally with personal issues they may not find easy to speak about, Bill spoke on the history of the Charity, which started in 1956 when the national average of annual deaths in the sector stood at 200.
It helps sector companies build internal cultures that acknowledge the risk mental ill heath poses and take practical action to address it. Last year, the Charity provided emergency financial assistance and specialist support to 1,600 families linked to the construction industry in the UK at a cost of £1.4m.
“We can’t do what we do without the support of people like you,” Bill continued. “We are eternally grateful to everyone who contributed to the charity bike ride – to sponsors, fundraisers and those who sat on a bike and took part.”
Bill’s visit to Cornerblock was hosted by John Hornby, Fusion’s Pre-Delivery Commercial Lead (pictured above left), who also presented Bill with a replica cheque and added: “The scale of this project – covering over 100 kilometres – is the biggest site I’ve ever worked on in terms of logistics – with many individual working locations – which had a lot of interest from the stakeholders (including the public) – for whom we have to do our very best to make the extra effort to address all matters we encounter. These demands can bring about stress in our team and we all need to be aware of these pressures and look out for each other.”
Referencing Fusion’s recent stress management survey, he said: “Our senior management team is committed to alleviating stress at work. No-one at Fusion should feel that they cannot talk to a manager about issues they are facing. Bill’s presentation was a great reminder of how serious the matter is within the construction industry and the steps we must all take to stay well emotionally as well as physically.”