One in four people in the UK will experience a diagnosable mental health problem in their lives, according to leading mental health charity, Mind.
Mental ill-health affects people of all ages and at all stages of life and is often a hidden problem, unlike a lot of physical health problems where the symptoms are visible, often it’s not easy to identify someone who might be struggling.
Despite growing understanding in society, individuals with mental health problems can too often face additional concern about stigma and worry about being judged by their friends, family or colleagues.
This is why OGUK is helping industry share good practice and experience around what works in supporting people experiencing mental ill health.
Our membership includes almost 400 companies covering the lifecycle of the basin, and many of our members have implemented initiatives designed to develop an open and inclusive culture at work.
By this we simply mean that everyone should be able to be their true selves in their workplace, and that fostering a healthy workplace culture makes good business sense and helps ensure continued safe operations.
Our Occupational Health and Hygiene Technical Group, comprised of industry professionals, is reviewing mental health good practice across our industry, and looking to learn from other industries and health groups.
While this work is in its early stages, we know that it will improve our understanding and enable companies to provide effective support and guidance to their workforce.
OGUK has long worked to bring industry together to debate and share learnings which could impact our health and safety performance. Working with our members, the regulator and other stakeholders, we’re proud to have played a key role in starting conversations which improve ways of working across our industry.
Mental health and wellbeing is one of several key areas in health and safety OGUK is focusing on during 2019.
We continue to champion industry’s drive to reduce the number of hydrocarbon releases occurring across the UK Continental Shelf.
OGUK recently hosted a workshop attended by the regulator, senior operations and health and safety professionals to share good practice and work together in the areas of assurance and verification.
In the aviation safety arena, we are bringing together specialists, helicopter operators, duty holders, the regulator and others at OGUK’s aviation seminar in June to explore how we can prepare for the future having learnt from the past.
Finally, our major hazards group is developing a broader range of
guidance to assist industry in the management of an installation’s safety case.
The areas we focus on are driven by what’s important to our members, who provide input through our forums and workgroups.
This is an important part of our governance which ensures we represent the interests of the industry and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in it.
The current conversation about mental health and wellbeing is only the beginning of a discussion of a growing and broadening health and safety landscape.
It’s important then that we build on our successful approach which has made big improvements elsewhere – that is, working together, sharing lessons and listening.