A new report from the CDC places laborers in construction among those most at risk of suicide, writes Pool & Spa News editor Nate Traylor. The report found that construction had the second highest rate of suicides when comparing the rate across different industries, with 53.3 suicides per 100,000 workers.
Now a group of finance executives have placed themselves on the front lines of prevention. The Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) recently launched the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention, which is sharing information, resources and programming across the organization’s 94 chapters. It may sound like an unusual cause for financial experts to rally behind, but the association’s president/CEO makes a strong argument showing why suicide prevention falls firmly under their purview. The alliance’s stated goal is to “shatter the stigma surrounding mental illness.” That is especially prevalent in construction, a field that tends to breed a tough-guy stoicism that makes some workers reluctant to seek help, CFMA officials said.
“This is a human risk that deals with safety and productivity, and the impact on quality construction,” said Cal Beyer, director of risk management at Lakeside Industries, an asphalt paving company in Issaquah, Wash. Beyer spearheaded the initiative after discovering some distressing statistics long before the CDC’s latest report. He was alarmed upon learning that the suicide rate was particularly high among white middle-aged men without college degrees — a demographic that dominates construction.
Learn the red flags that suggest when a worker may be at risk.