WASHINGTON —A report from construction website Workwear Guru says the construction industry has the highest rate of suicide of any industry.
The report stated construction has 53.2 suicides per 100,000 workers and that male construction workers have a 65 per cent higher suicide rate than all U.S. workers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One of the reasons cited was high use of opioids due to construction having one of the highest number of occupational hazards on a per year basis, with an injury rate 77 times higher than other industries at the national level stated the American Society of Safety Standards.
“Construction is also an industry with high levels of pain – and chronic pain, in particular, is the definition of misery. Because of this, construction is also the industry with the highest use of prescription opioids. And now we are all well aware of the opioid addiction crisis in the U.S. and the devastation it is causing,” clinical psychologist Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas said in a Workwear Guru release.
Other reasons cited included a high-pressure work environment, a higher likelihood of working in remote locations and a “tough-guy” mentality that keeps workers from seeking help.
The report suggested several courses of action to help employers prevent suicide, including providing resources to their employees, creating a culture of support regarding mental health issues and employee assistance programs where colleagues can support one another.
The Workwear Guru study can be accessed here and was put together to raise awareness for National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.