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Operators ask for help

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Plant operators and ground workers made up nearly a quarter of the construction employees who sought help last year from industry charity The Lighthouse Club.  Fifty five families in Scotland were given emergency financial aid.

The organisation, which gives financial and emotional support to workers and their families who have suffered injury, long-term illness or need extra support, last year spent £1.482m. More than 1,660 cases were presented to its free helpline, with 629 of those needing emergency financial assistance and 1,033 receiving advice on welfare and mental wellbeing.

As in the previous year, the top three illnesses and causes of death were cancer (56%), mental health, (32%) and respiratory issues (4%).

Operators were one of the top six occupations to look for help.

The report also details the progress the charity is making to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of the construction workforce. It shows that of the top six occupations seeking help, 10% were plant operators and 13% were groundworkers.

The Construction Industry mobile app, which is targeted at people who may not be ready or comfortable talking about their situation was launched in December and has been downloaded more than 10,000 times. It provides advice, self-help tools and coping strategies.

Bill Hill, CEO of the charity, said: “Demand in our charitable services continues to grow but by delivering pro-active resources and training at the front end we are helping organisations and individuals to prevent situations reaching crisis point. We want to develop more of these resources but can only do so with the industry’s support. Fundraising was at an all-time high last year but the significant escalation in families needing our support has put considerable pressure on finances.

“We need predictable and sustainable income to ensure that we achieve our mission in ensuring that no worker feels alone in a crisis and that is why we launched our Company Supporters initiative. We need organisations to commit to an annual donation so that we can plan ahead and provide even more support to our industry.”

There are three Lighthouse Club branches in Scotland:

West – Chairman John Barnard john.barnard@balfourbeatty.com

East – Chairman Barrie Sheppard barriesheppard@me.com

North – Chairman David Grant dgrant203@gmail.com

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©Scottish Plant.  Article posted 17/8/2019