National Grid has released the findings of its Health Hub initiative at the IFA interconnector Site in Sellindge.
Health Hub is a first-of-its-kind approach for the construction industry. It offers a fully equipped on-site wellbeing centre 24/7 throughout the life of the construction project.
The hub was launched a year ago in collaboration with The University of Warwick. Since them, participants have experienced significantly lower anxiety levels associated with facility use.
Making lives easier
The headline results are:-
- Sickness rate of one per cent, compared to 2.6 per cent standard across industry
- Two thirds acknowledged that the facilities helped to make their lives easier
- Self-employed and supervisors suffer greater feelings of loneliness, and higher depression scores.
Data from Office National Statistics (ONS) reveals workers in the construction industry are four times more likely to take their own lives, compared to other sectors.
Research indicates that 90% of workers in the construction industry have felt overwhelmed and 26% experienced suicidal thoughts.
Health Hub was designed to change that and to provide a working example of the tools and measures that can make a difference.
It aims to provide a lasting legacy of knowledge for future projects and wider industry.
Health Hub “benefits everyone”
Of the 107 participants in the initiative, two thirds acknowledged that the facilities helped to make their lives easier, indicating lower anxiety levels with increased use.
Participants cited the facilities as ‘unheard of, for this industry and ‘about time’ while another said, ‘I do feel it benefits everyone’.
Facilities included a gym, canteen, outdoor social space, and TV room.
In fact, over half of the initiative’s participants said they would like to see similar facilities on future projects.
Of the facilities, the canteen was the most popular, ensuring food was available 24/7 to meet the needs of all shift workers.
The TV room and outdoor social spaces were also popular.
When asked about challenges they face at work, participants highlighted work-life balance and being away from families as key factors in their wellbeing.
Participants who were self-employed (70 per cent of the total) and supervisors (12 per cent) reported significantly greater feelings of loneliness.
Furthermore, supervisors had higher depression scores.
Anecdotally, workers said that the social spaces boosted morale on site. Plus, participants saw the hub as a sign of appreciation and well received.
Emma Ford, Construction Director for the IFA project and Health Hub business sponsor at National Grid, said:
“As a business, we pride ourselves on the health and wellbeing programmes we provide for our people. The Health Hub was designed to not only support the team on this job, but to engender a change of mindset for everyone involved and life beyond IFA. We will continue to develop this vital research, sharing best practice across our business and industry through the Health Hub Consortium, with the core aim of creating a minimum wellbeing standard for all construction.”
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