Construction Work Hazardous to Your Health?

construction work

Unfortunately, construction work has every element needed to be hazardous to your mental health:

  • Deadline-driven – Completing phases on-time and within-budget increases tension.
  • Limited job control – Weather, clients, investors, design changes, and local regulations enforcement can cause construction work to spiral into an out-of-control situation almost daily.
  • Long work hours – Overtime fatigue and feelings of family neglect can increase emotional pressure.
  • Male-dominated industry – Men in construction work have the highest suicide rates; twice the total suicide rates for men working in other sectors.
  • Out-of-town jobs – Family separation can cause guilt and anxiety.
  • Pain – The need for physical endurance coupled with chronic pain from over-exertion can lead to depression and/or drug use.
  • Reluctance to get help – Physical and mental strength are valued. Mental health problems are considered a personal weakness.
  • Seasonal work – Out-of-work times can lead to financial stress.

People who die by suicide have mental health problems, but other conditions can add to at-risk mental health, such as anxiety, drug/alcohol misuse, and trauma.

Pay attention to warning signs of suicidal behaviors and risks:

  • “Saving” prescribed medications rather than taking them as prescribed
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Drug abuse
  • Giving unexpected gifts of personal items to friends/family
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Increased alcohol use/abuse
  • Recent weapon purchase
  • Recklessness
  • Sudden organization – Getting personal papers in order, paying off loans, “tying up loose ends”
  • Withdrawal from friends/family

The fact that suicide risk is highest for men in construction work than in any other career has raised a red flag among medical and mental health professionals. In 2022 – for the first time – the Surgeon General issued Framework for Mental Health & Well-Being in the Workplace.

Its basic tenets included:

  • Connect
    • Build a culture of gratitude
    • Foster collaboration, teamwork, and trust
    • Recognize individuals’ efforts/contributions to company mission
  • Encourage personal/professional growth
  • Prioritize protection
    • Encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion
    • Promote workplace physical/psychological safety
  • Support work-life balance
    • Make schedules flexible/predictable as possible
    • Respect boundaries between work/non-work time

Our Construction Monitor marketing strategies are customized for your organization. We do the hard part – pre-sorting and prioritizing information you want. All you need to do is use it. Ask us how. Contact Construction Monitor.

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