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Tackling Health Issues in Construction: Farrans Lead the Way

4th July 2017

Farrans recently sponsored the ICE Building a Healthier Workforce Conference in Belfast where Farrans director, Kevin Corley, engaged the audience in a discussion on mental and occupational health within the industry.


It is estimated that each year, ill health is costing the UK workplace an estimated £8-9 billion.

The event, which was attended by representatives from across Northern Ireland’s construction and infrastructure industry, left attendees with one, clear-cut message: that the prioritisation of mental and occupational health is crucial if contractors are to remain competitive across the UK market.


Farrans Leading the Way

Receipt of that message has already been evident in Farrans, where proactive steps are being taken to engage with the key health issues affecting employees.

Farrans is currently supporting a number of H&S campaigns, including the CECA ‘Stop! Make a Change’ initiative and the HSE Working Well Together initiative, which recently saw H&S sessions delivered to employees on Farrans’ £117m New Wear Crossing site in Sunderland.

Farrans has also embarked upon a Mental Health Awareness campaign in recent months, with the development of a Mindful Managers team underway in order to protect the wellbeing of employees across the company.


A Shift in Employer Mindset

Richard Kirk, Regional Director of ICE Northern Ireland, which coordinated the event, spoke about a decided shift in how employers define Health and Safety. 

“Until recently, the mindset was that employers were only responsible for preventing injuries and fatalities,” Richard said.

“However, workplace anxiety, stress, bullying and hostile work environments also have serious effects on people’s health and on company productivity.”

“Civil engineers and construction workers build the infrastructure which sustains our quality of life. It’s our responsibility to make sure that their quality of life is looked after, too.”


Main photograph: Farrans Director, Kevin Corley, with ICE Northern Ireland H&S Chairman Charles Hutchison. Photographs provided by Michael Cooper