North of England contractor, Esh Construction, has launched a new campaign that will see more than 450 eye-catching transparent hard hats rolled out across its sites in a bid to reduce the stigma associated with mental health.
Working with The Lighthouse Construction Industry charity, an organisation that provides physical and financial wellbeing support to construction workers and their families, the hard hats have been designed to include a QR code which directs people to support via the charities’ website.
Esh will roll out the distinctive hard hats to its team in the North East during Mental Health Awareness Week, which takes place from 15-21 May, across sites in Northumberland, County Durham and Tees Valley, as well as in Yorkshire, where work stretches across Halifax, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
The first hats to be rolled out are a striking transparent green colour that include wording “it’s what’s inside the hard hat that matters”, with a view to catching people’s attention to open up conversations about mental health.
Across its Esh-Stantec sites in association with Northumbrian Water, Esh Construction is also looking to roll out a bespoke blue version of the protective workwear. Esh-Stantec is a joint venture formed in 2015 by Esh Construction and Stantec to deliver capital schemes through Northumbrian Water’s Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Framework.
Alan Croft, construction manager at Esh Construction, said: “We are delighted to work with such an influential charity to help raise awareness and bring much needed attention to the topic of mental health within the construction industry.
“Access to support has never been more important for construction workers. By introducing schemes that address mental health concerns, we can create a healthier and more supportive work environment for our team.
“Given the hard hats are very different to the norm, we hope the campaign extends beyond our construction sites too, where passers-by or people in shops or cafes may ask about it, which in turn opens up even more conversations about mental health.”
An industry wide campaign called “Make It Visible” has been coordinated by The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, aiming to make welfare and wellbeing support visible in construction and available on every site.
The initiative is aiming to drive long term culture change within the industry to promote equality, diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect that will ultimately promote construction as a career choice for future generations.
Bill Hill, chief executive officer at The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity said: “We are dedicated to supporting our construction workforce in the UK and Ireland. We are constantly looking at ways to improve their welfare and wellbeing for this generation and the next.
“The MakeItVisible.info portal is the first of many initiatives we are working on with construction companies to make it easier for everyone in our industry to access support services. We are delighted that Esh have embraced this initiative in such an innovative and imaginative way.”
The campaign is part of Esh Group’s wider efforts to provide access to mental health services, whereby over 30 Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) are employed across its divisions who have been trained by MHFA England to provide advice and support to anyone who may be experience difficulties.
Employees of Esh are also able to access professional counselling with independent trained counsellors free of charge as part of their comprehensive health and wellbeing programme.
To find out more about Esh Construction, visit www.eshgroup.co.uk