As one of the largest manufacturers and supplier of uPVC windows and doors in the UK and Ireland with four factories on our site and hundreds of staff operating heavy and dangerous machinery, we have myriad health and safety policies in place. The safety and well-being of our staff is of the utmost importance to us here at Camden, because without them we simply couldn’t exist.

However in recent years we have been investing heavily in embedding a wellbeing culture that goes far beyond the traditional, ‘physical’ side of health and safety.

Whilst back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders have traditionally been the biggest threat to employees in the manufacturing industry, due to the very nature of the work involved, the increasing awareness of mental health issues has shed a light on what must be an important consideration for employers like Camden. We must pay equal attention to both physical and mental well-being.

Studies show that improving mental health at work can boost productivity by up to 10%, indicating the severe impact that mental health issues can have on a person are they not dealt with properly.

Whilst the physical health and wellbeing of our employees is crucial, Camden is making sure that their mental health is also prioritised and safeguarded. We want to create a culture of openness and acceptance in which mental health is taken seriously. Nearly 80% of employers believe that employees suffering from mental ill health have not always disclosed this as a cause of sickness absence. Overwhelming, this reflects the ongoing stigma attached to mental health.

We have a number of strategies in place to ensure that the mental health of our staff is prioritised and to guarantee that we do everything we can to cultivate an environment in which awareness of mental health issues is raised and taken seriously by all, whether or not they suffer or have suffered in the past.

Most recently, as part of our strategy at Camden, we invited the P. Berry Group to conduct training at Camden to help manage mental health in workplace. Bringing in experts demonstrates to our employees the importance we are placing on mental health as a company and ensures training is taken seriously and properly delivered.

In addition to this, Camden also promotes helpful ways in which employees can manage their mental health including providing colleagues with support for achieving a more effective work-life balance, advice on reducing and dealing with work-related stress (job rotation, cross training and internal promotions) and occupational health referrals when we identify the need for additional support. The company are also reviewing the potential to incorporate E.A.P. (Employee Assistance Programmes) services to increase our resources and colleague exposure to concessions aimed at improving their overall well-being, with plans to be released later in the year.

The taboo surrounding mental health, whilst diminishing, still exists. At Camden, we are proud to be raising awareness of and combatting mental health issues, in an industry which is notoriously passive in this area. The inertia of the manufacturing industry is something which Camden strongly opposes, and we are striving to lead the way in the industry by raising awareness amongst our staff and providing valuable training.