On the 18th of April 2017, something amazing happened in the UK infrastructure sector. Production facilities, offices and worksites all downed tools together and set their minds toward making a difference. Over 60 companies took part. That's 1,000 sites and more than 60 times as many people.

The point of Stop. Make a Change is to help make the building game safer and healthier for everyone – and this year it's getting even bigger. For 2 weeks from the 16th to the 27th of April, the programme will be putting the focus on mental health and plant safety throughout the entire construction industry.

What's it all about?

With support from the CITB's Structured Fund and some of the leading voices in UK construction, Stop. Make a Change involves making a series of commitments on fixing the building trade's problems.

Organisations of all sizes are being encouraged to sign up, from designers and consultants to material suppliers and manufacturers. The commitments you make are up to you, but the point is to tackle the urgent mental health and plant safety issues that are putting ends to far too many careers and lives across the industry.

Why is it happening?

A quarter of us suffer from mental health issues. In the construction industry alone, that stacks up to the equivalent of 400,000 days of work being lost each year to stress, anxiety and depression. Building sites are widely recognised as one of the most physically demanding workplaces to operate in. However, the sad fact is that an incredible 10 times as many people in construction kill themselves each year than suffer fatal accidents at work.

That's not to downplay those physical dangers, though. 217 people have been killed in construction since 2013, and 1 in 10 of them was hit by a moving vehicle. Stop. Make a change is about putting people first, whether that means keeping them safe on the job or giving the emotional support so many need.

How do I get involved?

When an organisation registers, it gets access to the programme's various resources and is asked to make a few commitments toward becoming a safer, more supportive workplace. You'll be able to set your own agenda and establish your own timetables. All the programme asks is that you take the time and care to talk with staff and suppliers about your commitments and open up a discussion on the topics of plant safety and mental health.

It costs nothing to sign up to Stop. Make a Change. You can get a briefing pack and more information by emailing enquiries@ceca.co.uk.

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