Suicide kills six times as many workers as those who fall from heights! Therefore, the construction industry needs to pay a lot more attention to mental health.
This is according to Samaritans, a mental health charity. Will Skinner, a member of the organisation stated: “with the amount of energy being put into managing physical risk; you have to question whether the industry is getting the health and safety balance right.”
Every ninety minutes, someone in the UK takes their own life. Predominantly, this is due to depression and mental illness. These can be brought on by money troubles, stressful working environments, drug and alcohol abuse. 6,122 suicide related deaths were recorded in 2014. 76% of these were men. Therefore, for a male dominated sector, the fact that suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 should be taken into account on site.
80% of employers in the building and engineering sectors recognise though that mental health is a major issue. However, BESA chief executive Paul McLaughlin stated though that “many simply don’t know how to deal with this.”
He added: “there are thousands of risk assessments being carried out across the industry and very few even mention mental health.”
“If something is important; you need to start measuring it, which is what the industry does with physical injuries and accidents.”
“We need to introduce something similar for mental health.”
So what do you think? Is mental health an issue on site? Should more be done about it? Let us know in the comments below.