Building a Healthy Work Environment in Construction

How to Create a Positive Work Environment


Building a Healthy Work Environment in Construction - Kate Cook

Building a Healthy Work Environment in Construction – The Construction industry faces unique challenges – Most bigger construction companies have permanent management staff but employ either directly or indirectly a huge army of ‘agency’ workers.  Workers who might not have work security.  Therefore, it is tempting for contractors not to count this block of workers in any well-being initiatives, as the companies don’t have any direct responsibility for their health.  

Of course, if any worker is turning up on site, not having eaten, therefore having unstable blood sugar, and consequently having fluctuating concentration, this makes someone unsafe to work – We rarely consider the effect that food/eating/nutrition has on critical safety, because we deem eating to be in the private domain.  Whilst no one wants to be in the position to “police” what workers are eating, helping workers make good choices also helps drive safety. 

With the “cost-of-living crisis”, many workers are trying to economize by cutting down/controlling the food budget because the food budget is a variable cost, that can be trimmed, whereas the fixed costs of housing, rent, and other utilities have soared in the last few years.   Whilst every penny on every project is carefully allocated, adding a contingency to provide a good, hot, satisfying meal on-site is key to safe work too.

Discover practical strategies for creating meaningful work relations and practical ways to improve health outcomes with Kate Cook Biz, from open communication, and a culture that prioritises both physical and mental well-being.  Kate approaches well-being through a “red thread” of nutrition, meaning that Kate believes that the foundation for mental health is physical health, and that starts with our food.


Addressing Mental Health: Tackling Suicide in the Construction Industry

Facing mental health issues is a crucial aspect of workplace well-being.   The Construction Industry has one of the biggest risks of suicide of any industry.  This may be due to a number of factors, including the pressure of deadlines, and the fact that many workers are spending long periods away from home in a different area and have no family or community support, and loneliness and disconnect can be contributing factors. Loneliness can lead to a culture of drinking too much at the weekends and other coping strategies.  Some workers live in digs with little or no cooking facilities (or they have cooking facilities but it feels more cost-effective to get takeaways).  

This is a sensitive yet essential conversation to have about mental health in the construction industry – significant initiatives have been launched to take the stigma out of talking about mental health, including loneliness and depression – for example, Mates In Mind –


Building a Healthy Work Environment in Construction

By addressing mental health challenges head-on, we aim to contribute to the construction industry’s evolution towards a healthier, more supportive, and ultimately, more successful work environment – But/and a very important foundation is good physical health – and that starts with understanding what to eat, how to eat something that is both good value and contributes to good health both physically and mentally.


Construction Health and Safety

Construction health and safety are paramount for ensuring the well-being of workers – and this begins with an understanding of the importance of food in contributing to safety. Famously Lawrence Waterman initiated a porridge programme on the British Olympic construction project to successfully cut site accidents.  Workers who turned up to work having not eaten were found to have unstable blood sugar (the way energy is controlled in the body) – stabilising blood sugar, and therefore concentration, is as simple as making sure that workers are not turning up to work without being properly fueled. Not only does this look after the safety of projects, but it creates a construction industry that values and protects its most valuable asset—its workforce.


Looking for practical Well-being training for Health and Safety Days?

Building a Healthy Work Environment in Construction – Kate Cook Biz is an inspiring speaker facilitator, and consultant  – and can deliver a refreshing new perspective on how well-being is actually essential for safe work. Kate explores the impact of balanced mood and stable blood sugar as a strategy to address mental health challenges in the construction industry, where sadly, suicide rates persist.

If you would like Kate to deliver an inspiring talk to your workplace:

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