INFRA Skills Supports Mental Health Awareness Day

INFRA Skills is proud to support Mental Health Awareness Day. According to Network Rail’s ‘Safety Central,’ one in every four adults in the UK will suffer from a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Because of the impact on workers, INFRA Skills, the UK’s leading safety-critical and non-safety-critical training provider, and sister company, RSS Infrastructure have developed a variety of mechanisms to reduce fatigue and improve working conditions.

The companies are working together with the Mental Health Foundation to help de-stigmatise mental health perceptions as part of World Mental Health Awareness Day. We aim to make sure that anyone living with mental illness never feels alone, and that there is always someone around who can help.

RSS Infrastructure and INFRA Skills are launching lots of new programmes to try to mitigate the negative impact that a workplace may have on a person, with combined anxiety and depression accounting for one-fifth of all days missed at work in the UK.

Working long hours can cause high levels of fatigue, which can reduce performance and safety while also affecting an individual’s well-being. As a result, RSSI has implemented a fatigue monitoring system, which begins during the rostering process, when the in-house CRM is utilised to compute travel time to and from the site, shift duration, and task type. Any concerns about trip exceedance or shift duration (14 hours from door to door) are immediately identified, preventing workers from being rostered to shifts or projects unless appropriate measures, such as local lodging, are put in place to ensure that “Everyone [returns] home safe, every day.”

RSSI has also taken efforts to ensure that personnel are transported to the job site in a safe manner. They are the first in the rail industry to employ a specialised Driver Awareness Warning System (DAWS). The warning system is a dash-mounted gadget that measures the driver’s ‘blinking pattern,’ issuing audio warnings whenever indicators of drowsiness, exhaustion, and/or concentration are diverted from the road.

RSSI is attempting to limit the risk of significant harm caused at work by managing employee fatigue, paying over the national minimum wage, providing full PPE, ensuring they do not exceed the 14-hour door-to-door rule, and ensuring safe transport to and from work.

According to statistics, 10% of men and 25% of women are affected in some manner following a traumatic event, and there is a higher risk of developing a mental health problem as a result. RSS Infrastructure is dedicated to providing assistance to anyone who has been involved in or witnessed a traumatic event.

Plans are also in the works to form a Wellbeing Network, with business volunteers completing a mental health first aid training before meeting on a regular basis to discuss projects, awareness, and support. The Traumatic Situation Plan is already in place, ensuring that all employees have enough resources to raise awareness of the usual response to a potentially traumatic incident and to instil cautious waiting principles throughout the company. Their wellness champions and safety council will be part of the incident plan’s support network.

RSS Infrastructure and INFRA Skills are supporting Network Rail’s ‘We Listen’ campaign in cooperation with the Samaritans through these activities. This is working to reduce the number of rail suicides caused by mental illness by implementing preventative measures such as their ‘Intervention Training’ for railway employees.

Mental health issues can range from simple concerns to long-term conditions. Support mechanisms like RSSI’s Traumatic Incident Plan are assisting the nationwide push to help persons suffering from mental health issues.

For more information, or for a safe way to seek advice there are many helplines available.

Samaritans | 08457 90 90 90
www.samaritans.org

Rethink Mental Illness | 0300 5000 927
https://www.rethink.org

MIND | 08457 660 163
www.mind.org.uk

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