In construction, a confluence of trends and issues has resulted in the industry having among the highest of suicide rates. Contributing factors include:
- Occupational culture of the industry
- Transient nature of the workforce with no connection to workplace community
- Substance abuse originating from pain management
- Demographic make-up of the construction industry
- Physically demanding and dangerous work
- Accessibilty to lethal means
Traditional industry risk control efforts focus entirely on physical loss and greatly ignores mental health and wellbeing.
By applying the same mentality into psychological safety and wellbeing, safety professionals can help create an environment which:
- Creates a culture in which workers are comfortable to initiate a dialogue about their personal issues
- Breaks through the stigma surrounding the topic of mental health
- Enables communication on the topic with the labor force and makes it a subject for safety meetings and company communications
- Facilitates leadership in setting the tone on this issue by making suicide prevention a health and safety priority
- Supports employers in ensuring that suicide prevention resources are accessible and that personnel are trained in suicide intervention skills
Risk control must look beyond mental health to other factors that can also contribute to suicide including job strain, sleep disruption, bullying or harassment and other workplace and environmental stressors.
In keeping with our commitment to the construction industry in North America, we have partnered with SAVE to develop a library of resources and tools to improve mental health in the construction industry.
For more information on suicide prevention, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
An introduction to the issue of suicide in the construction industry
Willis Towers Watson hopes you found the general information provided in this publication informative and helpful. The information contained herein is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied upon in lieu of consultation with your own legal advisors. In the event you would like more information regarding your insurance coverage, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. In North America, Willis Towers Watson offers insurance products through licensed subsidiaries of Willis North America Inc., including Willis Towers Watson Northeast Inc. (in the United States) and Willis Canada, Inc.