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NFRC provides advice for roofers struggling with the pressures of material and labour shortages

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NFRC has published a free to download Toolbox Talk to support roofers who are facing high levels of stress and fatigue due to the ongoing shortage of materials and skilled labour as well as rising material prices.

According to the NFRC’s State of the Roofing Industry, the first quarter of the year saw over two thirds (68 per cent) of roofing contractors reporting material shortages, 44 per cent reporting skill shortages and almost nine out of ten (89 per cent) reporting price rises.

This pressure is having a negative impact on roofers’ mental health and wellbeing, particularly those on the front line who are facing daily requests for information such as when materials will be delivered or if additional labour is required. NFRC has therefore put together a Toolbox Talk that contractors can give to their teams to help build resilience in this difficult time.

The Toolbox Talk, aimed at contractors, provides practical advice on managing stress, building resilience, and promoting positive wellbeing during this difficult time for the industry. This includes some of the following tips:

  • Control the controllable.
  • Regularly evaluate and review.
  • Focus on solutions and opportunities, not just problems.
  • Learn something positive from a negative experience and then move on.
  • Connect regularly with friends and colleagues.
  • Maintain your fitness.
  • Eat healthily—reducing sugar levels and add protein to meals.
  • Integrate walks into your daily routine.
  • Get good sleep levels—ideally seven or eight hours a night.
  • Consider taking a ‘digital detox’.
  • Take regular breaks away from the workplace.

At the end of the Toolbox Talk, NFRC highlights the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity as one place where operatives can go to get more support. The Lighthouse Charity’s Helpline (0345 605 1956) is entirely confidential and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Commenting on the Tool Box Talk, NFRC Safety, Health and Environmental Officer, Gary Walpole said:

Our industry is going through an unprecedented period. Roofers are faced with a combination of extremely high workloads, long lead times and shortages on most roofing products, labour shortages and rising material prices. Unsurprisingly this is causing a considerable amount of stress and anxiety, which can, in turn, lead to other workplace accidents, especially when our members work in a high-risk environment, and that is why we have put this Toolbox Talk together.

“It is important to recognise what you can and can’t control. Many of the issues we are facing as an industry such as worldwide material shortages are out of our control, but we can control how we respond to them as well as how we look after our wellbeing and that of our teams. This Toolbox Talk helps with this by providing some practical tips and advice to promote positive mental health and build resilience to the issues we are currently facing.

“If anyone is struggling at this time, and needs someone to talk to, do not hesitate to call the Lighthouse Charity’s helpline on 0345 605 1956. There is someone on the other side of the line at all hours every day of the week, ready to listen.”

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