A Hitachi Zx360 excavator has been painted blue in an effort to raise awareness for mental illness within the construction industry.
“Big Blue” aims to address the issue of suicide in the construction industry, which according to statistics from the National Coronial Information System (NCIS), is more than twice as likely than any other industry.
“We continue to hear very sobering stories about the toll mental illness takes on the civil construction industry, and as an industry leader we have decided to tackle this critical issue head on,” Winslow Chief Executive Officer Trevor Lockwood said.
“At Winslow we want to ensure every one of our employees is able to go home after work both physically and mentally fit. So it’s vital for them, and their families, that we head mental illness off at the pass wherever possible, and “Big Blue” is just one way we wish to encourage our staff to take action if they find themselves anxious, depressed or even suicidal.”
The excavator is planned to arrive at Winslow’s Rathdowne by Villawood site on Tuesday 15. Speakers including Minster for Roads Luke Donnellan, Former AFL player Danny Frawley and Beyond Blue Acting Head of Fundraising Jenny Clarke will talk about depression at the launch.
“Over the years, we have provided training and support to our staff in the area of depression and mental well-being, but felt we needed a bigger ice-breaker to boost awareness in what is primarily a male-dominated industry where people think all they need is to be ‘tough and resilient’,” Mr Lockwood said.
“It doesn’t matter how tough or resilient someone is, anyone can still be assailed by anxiety or depression,” he said.
“As ‘Big Blue’ makes its rounds to various Winslow projects during the year, it will hopefully keep mental health at the front of our workers minds and encourage people to talk and reach out. That’s what Big Blue symbolises, because nothing, ultimately, is as important as the safety, health and the well-being of our workforce”.
Winslow, with help from Beyond Blue, aims to provide employees with greater access to resources and improved support networks throughout 2018.
Beyond Blue Chief Executive Officer Georgie Harman said, “We are thrilled that Winslow recognise the importance of talking about this tough topic to improve the health and wellbeing of their workforce, and for taking a big step in the right direction.
Mental health professionals are available 24/7 at the Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 22 4636. Web chat is also available at beyondblue.org.au/getsupport