How Mobile Welfare Units Can Help Kickstart Better Mental Health in the Construction Industry

Construction has a reputation for being tough, dangerous work. But as anyone with first-hand experience knows, it is not the physical impact of the job which most struggle with – it is the emotional one.

Mental health issues affect a staggering 83% of construction workers in the UK,¹ and should rightly be deemed a major workplace health crisis. But the combination of high-stress work and low job security – as well as a toxic workplace culture which emphasises stoicism over sharing – leads many to suffer in silence. 

Over two thirds of construction workers believe there’s a stigma surrounding mental health which stops them from talking about it,² and 56% of construction professionals work for organisations with no policies on mental health in the workplace.³

Ultimately, men working in the industry are roughly four times more likely than average to take their own lives – and suicide is five times more prevalent than all other fatalities combined.

Welfare Hire is passionate about improving mental health in the construction industry, and in this article we explain why our mobile welfare units should be a vital component of any business’s attempts to do so.

Better mental health will transform construction

As Welfare Hire’s recent research showed, the construction industry has become sluggish in recent years, with low productivity and a growing trend of missed deadlines. But this may be more directly related to the mental health crisis than many assume.

Consider, for example, the economic effect of poor mental health support. Stress, anxiety, and depression account for one-fifth of work-related illnesses – leading to 70 million days of leave and costing an estimated annual cost of £70bn-£100bn. Improved mental health support would immediately reduce that cost, providing a much-needed boost to construction projects’ productivity and financial efficiency.

This is just one of many ways improving employee experience – by hiring better mobile welfare units – would lead to widespread improvements. Consider hiring difficulties, retention challenges, diversity problems and onsite communication – all would be vastly improved by a wholesale reevaluation of mental health support. And we believe that starts with the onsite environment.

The power of thinking small

Many businesses go wrong by trying to tackle the big picture problem head-on. But this overlooks the small wins available to them, and misunderstands the day-to-day experiences that cumulatively lead to mental health struggles.

A third of construction workers suffer from elevated levels of anxiety every day, and 44% feel their daily workload is too high. These are low-level concerns that ultimately grow into larger problems, especially when they are persistently underestimated or ignored.

Experts often suggest that construction workers need to be educated and encouraged to talk about their problems. But this overlooks the fact that most construction sites are extremely poor environments for such open communication – especially if you are not used to having such conversations.

How mobile welfare units help

Our business is explicitly designed to help businesses improve the way they treat their employees – by providing the physical comfort and space they need with a range of innovative mobile welfare units and welfare vans. 

Better mobile welfare units and welfare vans can combat this in two ways:

First, they provide the right atmosphere to have important conversations, providing respite from the loud and often intense construction environment. 

Second, they signal to workers that their mental health is being taken into account and supported. This encourages workers to feel safe opening up.The X-Eco10, for example, provides 20% more internal space than other mobile welfare units, enabling up to 10 people to rest at any given time. This can be a gamechanger in terms of employee wellbeing, providing a safe, private space where the complex and vital work of destigmatising mental health concerns can take place.

1.https://bcbuildingtrades.org/83-of-construction-workers-have-experienced-a-mental-health-issue/
2.https://www.matesinmind.org/news/mental-health-in-uk-construction-the-statistics
3.https://www.ciob.org/media-centre/news/one-four-construction-workers-consider-suicide-finds-ciob-report
4.https://constructible.trimble.com/construction-industry/mental-health-in-construction-stats
5.https://www.ciob.org/media-centre/news/one-four-construction-workers-consider-suicide-finds-ciob-report
6.https://www.matesinmind.org/news/mental-health-in-uk-construction-the-statistics

How Access Hire Keeps Customers Working

Kelling Group Safety Tips For Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms

Infrastructure output in the UK is set to increase by 8.8% this year – and a further 4.6% in 2023¹. But in order to keep pace with that growth, contractors must ensure they are not hit by unexpected delays.

According to research, large projects routinely take 20% longer than planned, with 69% of projects run over budget by more than 10%. And one of the most persistent causes of these problems is faulty equipment. 

From unexpected maintenance to failing motors, there are a range of problems, key assets like vehicle mounted access platforms routinely cause. But without the support of suppliers, contractors are helpless to prevent such setbacks. 

In this article, we explore three key factors that can ensure key equipment functions properly throughout a project:

1. Communication from suppliers

One third of project failure results from poor communication – including interactions with suppliers. Without consistent, transparent communication, contractors are left in the dark and issues with the equipment are not attended to quickly enough. 

This is a common fault with suppliers. In fact, the average B2B business scores less than 50% on the customer-experience index. But at Access Hire, we have made it our priority to change how things are done. 

We ensure key channels of communication are open at all times through our 24/7/365 operational support, meaning you can contact an expert advisor whenever you need to. And because we pride ourselves in hiring true industry experts, we are there to offer detailed strategic or technical advice that will help solve your problems faster.

24/7

2. Inclusive maintenance and support

Specialist equipment requires regular maintenance to ensure it stays operational.

Not only does this increase the likelihood of failure and delays, it hits your bottom line – as maintenance accounts for up to 30% of the total cost of a vehicle. Sourcing and paying experts is expensive, but entirely necessary to keep your project running.

Access Hire, however, undertakes regular planned maintenance on our entire fleet – to guarantee they are in top condition. Before delivering products, we undertake a rigorous 50-point inspection to certify they are in proper working order. As well as include breakdown and recovery as a standard, to ensure every one of our partners feels confident that any issues they face will be quickly resolved.

3. Seamless product delivery

Finally, strategic equipment like vehicle mounted access platforms need to actually arrive on your site when it is needed. Reliable delivery is not only important for keeping on schedule – it also enables a certain amount of flexibility, as you can more easily source extra equipment. 

This is where operating the country’s largest fleet comes in handy: we are able to deliver key strategic equipment across the UK. The result? Our clients are able to keep their site working and stay on schedule – always.

Business Development Manager

Access Hire Nationwide Limited

 Type: Regional, Permanent, Full Time

 Working hours:  Mon – Fri, 08.00 – 17.00

Job Function: Maximise opportunities and revenue with new business and existing account customers throughout the UK, ensuring that all opportunities are explored through market research, route to market analysis and regular communications with contacts in specific target industries to support company strategic objectives.

Reporting to: National Sales Manager

Liaising with: Customers, Sales, Subcontractors, Depot & Head Office Staff.

Responsibilities:

  • Develop new business and existing customers in line with budget requirements and the strategic plan
  • Researching specific target industries
  • Understanding commercial and public tender processes
  • Ensuring bids are entered accurately and on time to meet tender deadlines
  • Ensuring new business contracts are profitable and financially viable
  • Prepare and deliver customer account plans to maximise profitable revenue growth and compliment company objectives whilst managing customer expectations
  • Comply with company guidelines regarding the maintenance and updating of customer contact databases (CRM)
  • Promote the Kelling Group brand and core values to maintain market leading image
  • Work closely with clients’ supply chain, safety, bidding and technical teams
  • Competitor and market analysis

Requirements:

  • 3-years+ new business development, sales and account management experience required; industry or affiliated industry experience
  • Strong sales capabilities and a proven track record in new business development
  • Results-orientated with the ability to work to targets and deadlines
  • A professional, polite and passionate approach to Customer Services, ensuring accuracy of information and ensuring that all parties are effectively communicated with
  • Excellent self-organisation and attention to detail, to ensure accurate enquiry/activity logging and diary management
  • Must be confident and presentable and possess excellent communication and organisational skills
  • Ability to work closely with colleagues at all levels and build rapport with internal and external customers
  • Able to demonstrate effective negotiation skills to ensure business is won on viable commercial terms
  • Ability and Understanding to prepare a proposal or service level agreement
  • Presents themselves and their company vehicle in an acceptable and tidy manner
  • Good IT literacy for production of presentation, sales analysis and management reports

The role benefits include a competitive salary and very attractive bonus scheme with a company car, mobile phone and 25 days holiday plus additional statutory holidays.

*The Company reserves the right to amend your job description in the line with the changing demands of the business.

*Candidates must be eligible to live and work in the UK.

Access Hire Celebrates 15 Years Driving Industry Innovation

When Access Hire was founded in 2007, there was a clear strategic goal: to build a specialist, market-leading operation with the largest and most modern fleet, accompanied by the best-in-class service

As each new long-term customer partnership developed and became stronger, our fleet expanded. Access Hire’s focused approach has resulted in the business becoming the UK’s largest VMAP long-term hire and lease specialist.

This year marks 15 years since it all began. In recognition of that significant milestone, we wanted to take a look back at some of our key achievements.

 

Great products speak for themselves

Since the beginning, Access Hire has prided itself on continual investment and having the most modern and innovative fleet in the UK. This is proven by the fact that over the last 15 years, our fleet has grown from less than 100 vehicles to over 1,300 today, with an average age of fewer than 2.5 years. 

We have continually reinvested in improving our fleet and service. This has enabled us to deliver better, more reliable products for our clients consistently – and that level of quality simply does not go unnoticed.

We opt for high specification as standard for every single one of our clients, and provide 24/7 support across the entire hire.

And by augmenting our core van-mounted fleet with more specialised equipment (such as 4x4s and pole erection units), we can meet client’s needs across a wide range of sectors – from telecoms and local authorities to street lighting and power.

Here is our latest product review video of the 3.5t Renault Master.

Investing in people pays dividends

Throughout our journey, we have consistently put our people front and centre – whether that’s recruiting great employees and nurturing their talents, or building long-term relationships with our growing customer base.

We have always focused on being a true specialist in our chosen field, who can advise and help our clients. We are a specialist, not a generalist provider which affords our clients many benefits.

We are able to provide truly detailed, expert advice and support to our clients in many ways, including, inter alia, asset selection, the benefits of long-term hire vs lease, regulatory compliance, servicing and breakdown, and asset management. Our one-stop-shop, fully outsourced offering is unmatched, providing clients peace of mind and continuity of operations.

 

Innovation is never finished

The last few years have demonstrated that there is never a limit to innovation.

With the size of our fleet and workforce rapidly growing, the decision to move to a larger site was required to allow further growth.

This investment was made in 2018, through a new 50,000sq ft HQ and primary depot located in Normanton, surrounded by major transport links allowing for accurate and reliable nationwide deliveries.

By 2021, Access Hire boasted the country’s largest fleet of access vehicles and was widely seen as an industry leader in service and quality, and expertise for long-term VMAP hire.

This has been further augmented with the launch of Access Lease in 2021. Access Lease is a market-leading, fully inclusive, and maintained solution, allowing customers protection against financial uncertainty by locking into a long-term fixed price contract.

Thanks to our continuous investment resulting in a robust pipeline of new assets with agreed delivery times, our Access Lease proposition allows our customers to beat the current long lead times with access to brand-new, market-leading vehicles.

 Over the last twelve months, the company has added over 300 new vehicles to its fleet. As we continue to innovate and invest in our fleet, the total number in the fleet will grow to over 1,400 by the end of this year.

Never settle for second best

It has always been central to our ethos that truly great companies never compromise.

So, as we look back on everything we’ve achieved with our clients and within the Access team over the last 15 years we say thank you, and here is to making the next 15 even better!

Trainee Stores Controller

Trainee Stores Controller

Normanton

 Type: Permanent, Full-time

 Working hours:  Mon – Fri, 8am – 5pm.

Job Function: Helping to support the smooth, efficient and cost-effective running of the stores function.

Reporting to: Senior Stores Controller

Liaising with: All staff and suppliers.

The ideal candidate will have strong communication skills, will have excellent planning and organisation skills with strong attention to detail and accuracy.

Responsibilities:

  • Help identify areas improvement/savings and share best practice.
  • Facilitate bulk orders and distribution within the business.
  • Help set up and maintain parts inventory and preferred suppliers on Syrinx.
  • Assist in raising purchase orders and place and track with suppliers. Handle any queries relating to delivery and stock discrepancies.
  • Check in all deliveries and ensure they are booked on to Syrinx.
  • Ensure optimal stock levels are achieved and maintained.
  • Book out and issue spares to the relevant department, checking in the process if they are rechargeable.
  • Allocate items to assets on Syrinx to assist with full life asset costing.
  • Carry out regular stock takes.
  • Oversee the warranty claim process.
  • Report and follow up any discrepancies or quality concerns with the supplier.
  • Ensure supplier compliance with health, safety and environment requirements of materials and services
  • Ensure that the company’s health and safety policy and procedures are adhered to.
  • Any other ad-hoc duties.

Requirements:

  • Experience in a similar role.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Excellent organisational skills.
  • Able to work to deadlines.
  • Be a team player.
  • Be professional, and positive.
  • Have integrity, initiative and focus.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Be able to think, communicate and present information effectively.
  • FLT license is desirable

For more information on this position, please apply today with your latest CV hr@kellinggroup.com

*The Company reserves the right to amend your job description in the line with the changing demands of the business.

*Candidates must be eligible to live and work in the UK.

Valeter – Huntingdon

Huntingdon

 Type: Permanent, Full-time

 Working hours:  Mon – Fri, 40 hours.

Job Function: To ensure all company products are cleaned, valeted and prepared to a consistently high standard.

Reporting to: Depot Manager.

Liaising with: Drivers, Yard Operatives.

The ideal candidate will have good interpersonal skills and a good understanding of the importance of excellent service.

Responsibilities:

  • To clean the exterior on all company products.
  • To empty and clean waste tanks on welfare units/vans.
  • To clean and valet the interior of welfare units/vans.
  • Ensure all ancillary products are within the welfare units.
  • Conduct thorough pre-delivery inspections of welfare units/vans, reporting any defects or shortages to the Manager or via the hand-held tablet.
  • Ensure relevant certificates and marketing information is both in date and clearly displayed within welfare units.
  • Maintain required stock and cut replacement keys.
  • Maintain required stock levels of all cleaning products via requisition process.
  • Ensure that the company’s health and safety policy and procedures are adhered to in relation to all depot operations.
  • Follow company’s Employee handbook policies and procedures.

Requirements:

  • Experience as a Valeter.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Excellent time keeping.
  • Ability to work alone or as a team.

For more information on this position, please apply today with your latest CV hr@kellinggroup.com

*The Company reserves the right to amend your job description in the line with the changing demands of the business.

*Candidates must be eligible to live and work in the UK.

Field Service Engineer – Monmouth

Service Driven Support

Monmouth

 Type: Permanent, Full-time

 Working hours:  40 hours.

Job Function: To provide on-site engineering support.

Reporting to: Service Controller, Depot Manager

Liaising with: Customers, Depot Managers, Customer Service Engineers, Service Controllers.

The ideal candidate will have good communication skills and a good understanding of the importance of excellent customer service.

Responsibilities:

  • Implement routine servicing schedule for all equipment out on customer sites.
  • Attend breakdowns on site, fault diagnosis and correct rectification.
  • Carry out planned maintenance for all equipment out on customer sites.
  • Ensure optimum van parts stock level is achieved, always maintained and reviewed.
  • Allocation of any parts used on to the works mobile tablet.
  • Correctly process all jobs on the works mobile tablet and in a timely manner.
  • Report any potential customer recharges to the Service Controller.
  • Provide back-up support in other areas and depots.
  • Ensure company vehicle is kept clean, tidy and maintained as per the manufacturer’s guidelines at all times.
  • Follow company’s Employee handbook policies and procedures.

Requirements:

  • Experience in a similar role.
  • Driving license.
  • Experience with relevant mechanical knowledge of Electrical and hydraulic systems.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Flexible with regards to travel, tasks performed and working hours.
  • Excellent time keeping.

For more information on this position, please apply today with your latest CV hr@kellinggroup.com

*The Company reserves the right to amend your job description in the line with the changing demands of the business.

*Candidates must be eligible to live and work in the UK.

Van Driver – Monmouth

Welfare Van for hire across the UK

Monmouth

 Type: Permanent, Full-time

 Working hours:  40 hours.

Job Function: To provide timeous professional delivery/collection of welfare vans to/from site.

Reporting to: Depot Manager.

Liaising with: Customers, Depot Staff and Hire Desk administrators.

The ideal candidate will have good communication skills, will have excellent planning journey skills.

Responsibilities:

  • Driving company vans to and from premises.
  • Carry out daily vehicle checks and reporting any defects. (Including correct manufacturers service intervals are adhered to
  • Ensure that the company’s health and safety policy and procedures are adhered to in relation to all operations.
  • Follow company’s Employee handbook policies and procedures.

Requirements:

  • Experience in a similar role.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • 2 years driving experience on a UK driving licence.
  • Be always polite and well-mannered.

For more information on this position, please apply today with your latest CV hr@kellinggroup.com

*The Company reserves the right to amend your job description in the line with the changing demands of the business.

*Candidates must be eligible to live and work in the UK.

Yard Operative – Monmouth

Monmouth

 Type: Permanent, Full-time

 Working hours:  Mon – Fri, 40 hours, overtime available.

Job Function: To provide in depot maintenance.

Reporting to: Depot Manager.

Liaising with: Depot Managers, Field Service Engineers, Drivers & Valeters.

The ideal candidate will have a strong work ethic, attention to detail and ability to work in a fast-paced environment.

Responsibilities:

  • Carry out in house repairs and fault diagnosis on equipment.
  • Carry out planned maintenance for all equipment in the depot.
  • Ensure optimum parts stock level is achieved, always maintain and review.
  • Allocation of any parts used on to the works mobile tablet.
  • Correctly process all jobs on the works mobile tablet and in a timely manner.
  • Provide back-up support in other areas and depots.
  • Ensure work area is kept clean, tidy and maintained at all times.
  • Follow Companies handbook and procedures

Requirements:

  • Experience in a similar role.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Ability to work alone or as a team.

For more information on this position, please apply today with your latest CV hr@kellinggroup.com

*The Company reserves the right to amend your job description in the line with the changing demands of the business.

*Candidates must be eligible to live and work in the UK.

Why Taking a Break Can Be the Best Thing For Employee Productivity

64% of construction workers want their employers to do more to support their mental health. But beyond simply hiring a mobile welfare unit, how can contractors ensure their people remain happy, healthy and productive?

A huge body of research suggests a simple answer: let them take proper breaks. From improved concentration and decision making to higher levels of wellbeing and happiness, regular rest on the job is essential.

The problem is, most leaders don’t know how to encourage break taking – and many see breaks as harmful to productivity.

In this article, we bust that myth, exploring why breaks matter – and how Welfare Hire’s mobile welfare units encourage their workers to take them.

THE POWER OF BREAKS

When a person focuses on a single task for a prolonged period, their capacity to pay attention quickly depletes¹. They are more likely to make mistakes or bad decisions, and are generally less productive over an extended timeframe.

Breaks allow an individual to “reset”, regaining their focus and segmenting their day into more manageable chunks. This has been found to improve concentration², reduce stress³ and increase engagement. The net result is to actually improve productivity, especially when considered over a period of multiple days or weeks.

Perhaps most strikingly, regular breaks actually change the way people see their jobs. They are likely to see their role more positively when they are allowed to take regular breaks in a welfare van or unit, leading them to feel better about what they do and find more meaning in their work. This can be a profound shift, helping create a better on-site environment, improve retention and build a positive workplace culture.

Kelling Group Onsite Mental Health - Staff Welfare on Construction Sites

Getting the balance right

While breaks are important, they can also become counterproductive. One study pitches the maximum as 12%. Taking breaks that amount to more than this tends to have a negative effect on wellbeing and productivity – probably because inertia kicks in,  and workers simply want to stay relaxing in the mobile welfare unit.

This has led research to the concept of “microbreaks”: brief activities that break up the monotony of the day. This could be anything from a short chat with a coworker to making a coffee. The point is that the “microbreak” is separate from work – and something the person actively enjoys doing. 

Leaders that enable workers to take this sort of “microbreak” will benefit immeasurably – but how can they do that?

How Welfare Hire helps

At Welfare Hire, we include a welcome pack with every mobile welfare unit. It consists of basic daily amenities, like coffee cups, tea bags, and a delicious range of biscuits.  But the effect is surprisingly powerful. 

These amenities make for perfect “microbreaks” inside the welfare van or unit, and help your employees habituate healthy breaks. Simply making a cup of tea, eating a biscuit, or sitting for five minutes is all most people need to reset and refocus. And along with the kitchen facilities and a break-out room our portable welfare units provide, Welfare Hire’s welcome packs ensure you have everything needed to facilitate those breaks.

1.https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110208131529.htm
2.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272494415000328
3.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20835716
4.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351978915005223 5.https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-12793-001 6.https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1947706