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Contractor uses battlefield technique for stressed workers

6 September 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Image: Lanes Group

Drainage and wastewater specialist Lanes Group is to support staff suffering from stress by employing a trauma risk management system used by the Royal Marines on the battlefield.

The process, known as TRiM, is used to assess trauma, and outside of the military it is most commonly used by the emergency services.

Now Lanes is funding the training of a TRiM practitioner to work within its teams on the wastewater network for Thames Water.

The technique has already been used to support a wastewater engineer who was called to control wastewater at a house fire and saw a dead body being removed from the building.

In another case, TRiM was used to assess and support two workers who had provided emergency traffic management after a pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run incident.

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.

Mental health support

"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."

The Lanes TRiM practitioner is Kelly Hansford, who is a qualified mental health practitioner already involved in the delivery an internal counselling service for Lanes staff.

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."

"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.

"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."

In addition to offering TRiM and its internal counselling service, Lanes also has a team of qualified mental health first aiders.

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