KBB trade sector employers encouraged to ‘take a lead’ with mental health initiatives

The founder of Boiler Guide is urging the industry to 'open the door' to mental health in the workplace

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David Holmes, the founder of the Boiler Guide, is urging KBB employers to improve mental health initiatives in the workplace.

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The message, delivered in line with World Mental Health Day, suggests that KBB trade employers should lead the way in creating a more supportive and open workplace environment, and based on the following statistics:

• The mental health charity, Mind, has found that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience mental health problems during their working life.

• The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that people working in the trades are at a higher risk of suicide by as much as 1.6 times the national average.

• A recent survey by boiler manufacturer Glow-worm found that, on average, heating engineers take just 18 days holiday a year compared to the national average of 28 days.

Holmes said: “Our workplace is where we spend the majority of our time, where we interact with people and how we make a living, so it makes sense that our careers would have a significant effect on our mental and physical wellbeing.

“This is especially important when it comes to the trades – electricians, plumbers, mechanics etc can often find themselves working alone all day with no one to really interact with, we might not think it, but it can be a lonely place to be. This paired with what can sometimes be irregular hours, energy exhausting tasks, and if you’re self-employed – work that isn’t guaranteed.”

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Homes also added “It is clear that something needs to be done in order to move the industry to one that is more supportive and open. It is paramount that we look after our mental health and even more so our own employees’ – if you had an infection in your leg you would go to the doctors, and the same attitude should be taken with our mental health.”