RSS Infrastructure Ltd (RSSI), a leading supplier of infrastructure services, and Infra Skills Ltd, the UK’s premier safety critical and non-safety critical training provider, have collaboratively developed a series of robust initiatives aimed at effectively managing traumatic incidents. As the number of suicides and suicide attempts on railway lines continues to rise, these proactive measures focus on promoting mental health support and preventing such incidents. The organizations are dedicated to ensuring the well-being of their employees and creating a safe working environment.
Increasing Public Involvement in Preventing Rail Suicides
According to recent data released by Network Rail, the number of individuals taking action to prevent suicides on railway lines has witnessed a significant increase in the UK. In 2018 alone, there were 163 cases of public intervention, compared to 136 cases in the previous year. Recognizing this concerning trend, RSSI and Infra Skills Ltd are committed to addressing the issue by implementing effective strategies.
Addressing High Suicide Rates Among Male Labourers
Male labourers face a threefold higher suicide rate compared to the national average for men. Factors such as low pay, job insecurity, and long working hours contribute to this alarming statistic. Additionally, societal pressures often hinder men from discussing their issues openly, fearing judgment from their peers. To combat this, fostering an environment where individuals feel safe to express their feelings within the workplace is crucial, ensuring they receive the necessary support and assistance.
Building a Wellbeing Network
RSSI and Infra Skills Ltd have initiated plans to establish a Wellbeing Network, with company volunteers attending a comprehensive Mental Health First Aid course. This course equips participants with a deep understanding of mental health conditions, their onset, nature, and treatment options. Moreover, it provides valuable knowledge of available support, therapies, and self-help strategies. By the end of the two-day course, attendees gain practical skills to provide initial aid to individuals experiencing mental distress, bridging the gap before professional intervention.
Safety Council and Wellbeing Champions
The completion of the Mental Health First Aid course marks the first step toward implementing a Safety Council within the companies. Comprising dedicated “Wellbeing Champions,” this council meets regularly to discuss initiatives, raise awareness, and provide support in matters concerning mental health.
Traumatic Incident Plan
RSSI and Infra Skills Ltd have already established a comprehensive Traumatic Incident Plan that ensures sufficient resources are available to all employees. This plan focuses on raising awareness about the normal reactions to potentially traumatic incidents and emphasizes the principles of watchful waiting throughout the organization. The support network for this plan includes the wellbeing champions and the safety council, creating a robust system of care.
Collaboration with Network Rail and Samaritans
Through these initiatives, RSSI and Infra Skills Ltd complement the ongoing efforts of Network Rail in partnership with the Samaritans charity. The collaborative campaign, “Small Talk Saves Lives,” has already witnessed a remarkable 20% increase in public interventions, highlighting the significant impact of preventative initiatives within the industry. For more information or seeking advice, numerous helplines are available, including Samaritans, MIND, and SANE.
By prioritizing Traumatic Incident Management, RSS Infrastructure Ltd and Infra Skills Ltd are taking proactive steps to address the increasing number of rail suicides. Their comprehensive initiatives, including the establishment of a Wellbeing Network, Safety Council, and Traumatic Incident Plan, emphasize support, awareness, and prevention. With the combined efforts of industry stakeholders and support organizations, progress is being made toward creating a safer and more mentally resilient working environment in the rail and construction sectors.
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