Tradies are six times more likely to die by suicide than as a result of an onsite accident.

Additionally, construction workers face an average suicide rate that is almost twice as high as the general population.

The latest report by MATES in Construction shows one construction worker commits suicide every two days, leaving hundreds of families broken and an estimated cost of $1.57 billion dollars per year.

“The ‘tough guy’ culture prevents them from raising mental health problems,” Dr Carol Hon, a lecturer of the Construction and Project Management Discipline at the Queensland University of Technology, writes in an online article this week. 

“Mental health is considered a stigma in construction. Other factors contributing to high suicide rate in construction are high job pressure , alcohol and substance abuse, separation from families for seasonal work, and job insecurity.”

She said companies should be more aware and responsive to the issue.

“Some might think mental health is a personal issue rather than a workplace health and safety issue.

“If the goal of workplace safety and health is to protect employees’ well-being, mental health needs to be considered. Employees are important resources for the company.

“Investing in a suicide prevention program would be a smart choice for construction companies because it will enhance the overall well-being of employees and thus create a productive and engaged workforce for the company.

“If investing in a suicide prevention program helps to save lives and build a productive and engaged workforce, isn’t it worth consideration from more companies?”