Daily Toolbox Talk: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
Being safe means paying attention to both mind and body. It extends beyond wearing hardhats and safety glasses. It means recognizing how important mental health really is to everyone’s overall safety. From suicide to distractions that lead to devastating accidents, it is important that we all recognize the importance of total well-being. When workers are physically and mentally safe everyone wins.
Today, more than ever, the construction industry is prioritizing mental health well-being. Often referred to as “the silent epidemic,” construction has the second-highest suicide rate by occupation in the United States. To face this silent epidemic, we must first understand what causes it and continue to work together to overcome it.
Our industry is often labeled as an “old school” or “tough” culture, but we must realize this is changing. For co-workers dealing with a mental illness, this may be a barrier to reach out for help. Embracing the culture of caring that is sweeping our industry creates the workplace support network that is critical for workers in need. Work away from home and long hours means we often spend more time with our co-workers than our family. Taking a genuine interest in your team members’ well-being can be our best tool to overcome mental illness. Know the warning signs such as significant mood changes, withdrawals, tardiness, and substance abuse. Stop, take the initiative, and intervene. You just may be the help that person needs or even save a life.
Many employers have also adopted an employee assistance program or direct talk/ text therapy service. Encourage the use of these tools and always remember help is available.
People are indeed the most valuable asset we have, and to preserve our people’s longevity, we must take an active role in our physical health. Hard manual labor, long hours, and lack of rest can take a toll on the body. With an aging workforce, the focus must turn to healthy lifestyle choices. Participation in daily stretch and flex, as well as proper lifting techniques has shown a significant impact on soft tissue injuries. Adequate sleep and a healthy diet play an integral role in your overall health. Aim for eight hours of sleep a night, maintain a healthy balanced diet, and stay hydrated throughout the day. Remember that small changes each day can have a tremendous impact over time on your physical well-being.
Striving for a healthy mind and healthy body means you are one piece of the puzzle that shapes a healthier future for our industry. Together we can make a difference.
Click the link below for a PDF version of this toolbox talk, along with questions and answers to discuss with your team.
All of the content above is courtesy of https://www.constructionsafetyweek.com/safety-week-2021/ Please visit their website for additional resources, tools and best practices. Follow them on social media or become a member, partner or sponsor and help advocate to build a stronger, safer construction industry. Anyone is welcome and encouraged to participate in Safety Week.