Suicide Prevention and the Construction Industry: Why It’s So Important

Construction industry

Depression and substance abuse in employees can affect productivity.

A recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points to the construction industry and its high rate of suicides among workers. Various professional industry groups around the country are urging contractors and managers to implement suicide prevention measures. While taking preventive measures to help employees assists not only those persons but the business, taking required relicensing educational courses at a convenient contractors license school can help make that one less stressful task to complete.

Suicide Rates In Construction

Industries that employ construction and extraction workers showed the second-highest rate of suicides in 2016, accounting for about one-third. This not only costs in valuable human lives but weakens the economic strength of the industry since productivity can fall, absenteeism rise and workers struggle through days suffering from illness and depression. Several new resources to address suicide among workers have recently been developed to help those in the construction industry address the problem.

Why are Construction Workers at Risk?

Lack of steady employment, isolation from family and friends and financial problems can all contribute to depression that can lead to suicide among construction workers, according to the report by the CDC. Other factors may include stress, a lower level of education, lack of health care services and low income. One hypothesis is that the high suicide rate may be partially due to exposure to different solvents for those working in maintenance, installation and repair jobs. Long-term exposure might cause nervous system damage, which could result in depression and problems with memory.

Construction industry

Measures can be implemented to help workers cope with issues.

How Employers Can Help

Creating a plan to help safeguard the emotional and mental health of a contractor’s employees is a start in improving their general welfare. By taking these steps, employees will be more content on the job, which can result in increased productivity and a better overall job performance. If health care is offered on the job, including mental health services can be useful. One tip is to implement a program to recognize problems and how to respond appropriately. One suggestion might be to institute a wellness program such as cash rewards for a particularly well done job, membership at a local gym or other incentives.

Use of Health Screening Tools

Prevention strategies have been shown to help lower the risk of suicide, and early identification and treatment is key to its success. One self-assessment tool designed to detect risk is available for free from the non-profit It offers advice, a chat line to talk with men about their problems. It also has information on issues that are common to those in the workplace, along with great hints on how to lower depression and deal with stress. Giving employees access to resources for substance abuse, alcohol abuse and a local or the national suicide hotline are also helpful and can be referenced in written material used as handouts.

Workplace Issues to Watch For

  • Excessive absenteeism
  • Bullying
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Problems with performance
  • Dissatisfaction with job
  • Lack of motivation
  • Bad job fit
  • Gossiping
  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Poor communication

Contractors License School

Looking out for the health and welfare of employees is part of a contractor’s job and helps ensure the smooth operation of a business and more contented employees. Utilizing good services to help make relicensing easier when the time comes also helps a contractor.

PDH Contractor Academy offers both correspondence and online classes in a number of different states to help make relicensing easier. Our contractor school classes are preapproved and offer the courses a contractor needs with individual or bundled courses for more savings. After a course is successfully completed, we notify the licensing board where permissible, and supply the contractor with a copy. Online support is available for any questions or help. Browse courses by state and to check out how PDH Contractor Academy can help you.


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