In certain types of industries, temporary site accommodation is essential. But does the significance of putting staff welfare first have an even greater impact?
Temporary site accommodation — Why it’s so important to the construction industry
Whether as a requisite for specific job roles, or a result of having to work away from home, it’s not uncommon for businesses within certain industries to provide temporary site accommodation to its staff and contractors.
For the construction industry, in particular, temporary site accommodation remains an essential part of everyday operations — providing workers and key personnel with somewhere to reside, safely and comfortably, until an important project is complete.
But surely there’s more to temporary site accommodation than simple pragmatics?
As the construction industry continues to evolve and move forward — pushing for more diversity, inclusion, and openness surrounding issues like mental health — it’s fair to say we’ve arrived at a point where the welfare of its workers take front and centre.
Much has been discussed (and thoroughly outlined) about the provision of welfare facilities during construction work. But it’s only been in the past year or so that firms have truly opened up and spoken candidly about changes that need to made across the industry as a whole.
Back in January, it was revealed that long hours, demanding workloads and projects that are often short-term and far away from home were just a few of the contributing factors to rising reports of stress and depression.
In fact, more than half of the people working in the industry reported experiencing mental health issues at some point — with rates for construction workers reaching a point of critical distress being up to three times higher than average.
Thankfully the statistics proved a massive wakeup-call, and firms across the country have since called for changes that aim towards creating a culture where workers are encouraged to talk about their problems instead of feeling stigmatised.
A few months later, International Women’s Day coincided with British Science Week and a new line of dialogue was started; one that called for more diversity in the engineering and technology sectors. And for the second time in a matter of months, the construction industry was once again leading the charge. HS2 Ltd, the company overseeing the high speed railway which will connect London to Birmingham, the East Midlands, Manchester and Leeds, declared its intention to ensure underrepresented groups were able to take advantage of employment opportunities; and has devised a programme to provide training and employment for women in construction in Birmingham and the West Midlands.
And just this month, it was reported that the industry would be doing more to commit to cleaner, zero-carbon sites in the future; with solar alternatives to diesel already cutting back an estimated 1 million litres of diesel, which equates to roughly 3,000 tonnes of CO2.
So how does this bring everything back to temporary site accommodation? Well, it’s a clear sign of progression in an industry that hasn’t always necessarily been willing to move forward in certain areas. But that’s all changing now, and an industry that was once primarily associated with machinery and costs is increasingly putting its people at the heart of everything it does.