Construction News

Sat September 21 2019

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Battle-scar healing methods for traumatised drainage workers

6 Sep When an employee of drainage specialist Lanes Group witnessed a dead body being removed from a building, they were able to call on the services of the company’s in-house trauma risk management practitioner.

Kelly Hansford, Lanes TRiM practitioner
Kelly Hansford, Lanes TRiM practitioner

Kelly Hansford was already involved in a counselling service for Lanes staff as a qualified mental health practitioner. Now the firm has paid for her to qualify as a TRiM practitioner.

TRiM – trauma risk management – originated in the Royal Marines and was used to assess battlefield trauma. It is a method for assessing the impact of a traumatic event on individuals or teams, with their consent, and to work out support needs. Outside the military, it is most commonly used to support staff in the emergency services. Lanes believes it is the first company to introduce it to the water sector.

Kelly Hansford said: "People are unique, so we needed to identify a way to quickly and concisely identify areas of concern and allow us to tailor a solution and package of support for those in need. TRiM allows us to do that."

The technique has already been used to support an employee who was called to control wastewater at a house fire and saw a body carried out. In another case, TRiM was used to assess and support two employees who had provided emergency traffic management after a fatal hit and run incident.

"Intervention may be as light-touch as having one conversation and monitoring an individual's behaviour. Or it could be more involved, with a package of intensive support which can including referring an individual for trauma counselling,” Kelly Hansford said.

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"We've also used TRiM to support colleagues who've experienced traumatic events outside work or even before their career in Lanes began because their previous trauma was triggered by a present-day event."

Lanes technical director Andy Brierley said: "Broadening the use of TRiM outside the military and blue-light services makes huge sense because we're now much more aware that people respond differently to a wide range of potentially traumatic events.

"For us, it's a natural extension of the mental health support we provide for our teams. We're doing this because we care about their wellbeing and because it creates a safer and more effective workforce."

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