Did you know that the construction industry has one of the highest suicide rates in the United States? For every 100,000 workers, 53 take their lives every year. Do you know someone in the construction industry who has committed suicide? If you have worked in this industry for very long, then the unfortunate answer is “yes.”
According to Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, president of United Suicide Survivors International, the stress of doing more with less, being on time and on budget, no incidents and other factors have led to increased suicides. Employees are feeling pressure. In fact, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics show the construction industry’s suicide rate is more than four times the national average. The rate of suicide is five times higher than all construction-related deaths.
We are asking all companies and organizations to participate in Construction Suicide Prevention Week, September 5–9. Here is a link to sign up for your company.
Suicide Prevention is the mission of Vince Hafeli of Ajax Paving Industries of Florida, LLC. Take a moment and watch this television news interview. As you will see, suicide prevention is very personal to him. In June 2023, Vince will join VAA at the annual meeting to talk about his efforts to combat suicide and the results of his research.
As the paving industry races to complete maintenance, construction, and other projects, evaluate your employees—from managers and engineers to general laborers and flaggers. The stress is real and cannot be ignored. A life is more important than a deadline.