Dealing with Fatalities on Site

In the unfortunate event that a fatality occurs on site, this can have an overwhelming impact upon the mental welfare of the workforce.

Grieving is a very personal experience and the overall grieving process takes time.

Workers will want to feel safe on site and any risk or safety aspects should be reassessed if necessary.

Workers will also want to feel supported, therefore managers should be understanding and patient.

Below are some examples of how sites have approached the very personal issue of fatalities or grief amongst the workforce:

  • The Construction Industry Helpline telephone number was made available to any members of staff who could benefit from support and advice;
  • Posters, leaflets and confidential support services were displayed in the canteen and other rest areas;
  • One to one and group counselling was offered to the workforce;
  • Time off was provided to some members of staff if necessary;
  • Visits were arranged by professional doctors, nurses or charities, such as Mind;
  • An open door policy was in operation at all times and workers were encouraged to approach supervisors and managers about any concerns or queries they might have;
  • A one minute silence was held to mark the occasion and show respect;
  • Placing a sign or flower wreath on site as a mark of respect and recognition;
  • A memorial board was created, which included an area where members of staff could attach comments or images.

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