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ICBA launches wellness program for construction workers

Program addresses mental and physical health, addictions, respectful workplaces, emotional intelligence and more

The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) launched a new Workplace Wellness Program on Monday, which it says is designed to help employers and workers manage the unique mental health challenges facing the construction industry.

The ICBA says statistics show that more than half of the employed people who have died from opioid overdoses in B.C. in recent years worked in construction, while the risk of suicide for those working in construction is seven times the national average.

While there are many resources to safeguard and improve mental wellness, few are tailored to construction workplaces and workforces, the organization says.

“Construction contractors and workers have much to be proud of in how effectively they’ve enhanced commitments to workers’ physical safety in recent decades. Now, we must strive to create workplace cultures that foster all aspects of worker wellbeing,” said ICBA President Chris Gardner.

“It is imperative that we break through the stigma surrounding mental health, educate workers about personal wellness, and give people the support and resources they need.” 

The ICBA says its Workplace Wellness Program will be offered free to member companies. The program uses toolbox talk scripts, posters, short educational pieces, online check-ins, and virtual professional development courses, to address key wellness issues such as:

  • Mental health stigma

  • Respectful workplaces

  • Physical health

  • Pain avoidance and addictions

  • Suicide prevention

  • Diversity and inclusion

  • Depression and anxiety

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Psychological safety in the workplace

  • Cancer awareness

  • Financial fitness

“The ICBA Workplace Wellness Program was developed specifically for the construction industry and designed to create lasting change,” said Gardner. “It’s holistic and comprehensive – a full year program, developed with the support of leading experts on mental health.”

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