Mental Health At Work: Spot The Signs

We all know that working in construction, things can be dangerous sometimes.

The risks of a fall or being injured at work are the two most obvious dangers that you can probably think of.

Fatal work injuries in Georgia totaled 171, for the year 2016. Taken across the whole of the United States the figure was 5190.

Of these 171, transportation accidents accounted for 40% of fatalities.

The number of deaths in private construction firms were 35 for the year 2016, which was down slightly from the previous year.

Whilst any death is one too many, it will hopefully become more possible to minimize workplace accidents, by careful adherence to health and safety guidelines.

However, there are some deaths for which no health and safety guidelines can help.

These are the ones caused by suicide.

Did you know that for a construction professional, suicide kills six times as many workers as a workplace accident does?

The statistic gets worse when it comes to lower skilled construction workers – they are 3.7 times more at risk of suicide than the average.

WHY ARE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AT RISK?

There are various reasons why construction workers are more at risk than the general population.

  • AGE AND GENDER

Most construction workers are young men. Young men are predominantly more at risk of becoming a suicide statistic than any other age group or than women are.

  • SKILL LEVELS

Men in top skilled professions, requiring a high level of training, are more at risk of being affected by suicide.

This could include professions such as engineering or architecture.

Conversely, people in lower skilled jobs are also at a much higher risk of suicide.

The construction industry contains both groups of skill sectors, making the risk factor for suicide higher.

  • BEING AWAY FROM HOME

Working in construction can entail long hours and even a lot of time spent away from home.

Being away from family members adds to any mental distress experienced by construction workers.

Long days and seasonal working don’t help this either.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS TO LOOK FOR?

  • Lateness – frequent lateness is a sign.
  • Absenteeism- taking more days off than average.
  • Presenteeism – being at work when too ill to work.
  • Requests For Leave- taking leave for depression and mental ill health.
  • Decreased Self Confidence – Being quieter and less sociable with other team members.
  • Lower Productivity – Slower mental capacity and distraction.

If you recognize any of these signs in yourself or other members of your team, you need to consider the possibility of depression seriously.