Suicide in the construction industry: it's time to talk

Turner, M, Mills, T, Kleiner, B and Lingard, H 2017, 'Suicide in the construction industry: it's time to talk', in F Emuze and M. Behm (ed.) Proceedings of the Joint CIB W099 and TG48 International Safety, Health, and People in Construction Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, 11-13 June 2017, pp. 45-55.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Suicide in the construction industry: it's time to talk
Author(s) Turner, M
Mills, T
Kleiner, B
Lingard, H
Year 2017
Conference name Towards better Safety, Health, Wellbeing, and Life in Construction
Conference location Cape Town, South Africa
Conference dates 11-13 June 2017
Proceedings title Proceedings of the Joint CIB W099 and TG48 International Safety, Health, and People in Construction Conference
Editor(s) F Emuze and M. Behm
Publisher Central University of Technology, Free State
Place of publication Cape Town, South Africa
Start page 45
End page 55
Total pages 11
Abstract The construction industry is known as a male-dominated industry which is characterized by a "macho" culture. Site-based work is physically demanding and is associated with inherent risks. To mitigate these risks, occupational health and safety legislation is embedded within work practices to enable a safe and healthy working environment for workers. Despite this legislation, site-based construction workers suffer from a high prevalence of mental distress, and in many countries, levels of suicide are high when compared with other industries. High levels of psychosocial factors have been identified as antecedents of mental distress for site-based construction workers. Mental distress has also been associated with workers' pain and injuries. This paper considers how Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom are responding to suicide prevention in the construction industry. Findings suggest that a key gap in the response to suicide prevention is the education of future industry entrants. Graduates of built environment degree programs are emerging leaders of the industry who will be responsible for a large number of workers, and will have the capacity to effect change. However, the topic of worker mental health is largely absent from university curricula. Recommendations are made on the role university educators' play in preparing future construction professionals and consideration is given on what it means to be work ready in the context of mental health and suicide.
Subjects Building Construction Management and Project Planning
Copyright notice © The Author(s)
ISBN 9781920508784
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