Over 700 construction workers die by suicide per year in the UK, equivalent to two construction workers every working day, according to latest research by Colemans.
Colemans looked into a range of aspects when it comes to mental health within the construction industry, including silent discrimination, which unfortunately can be common in the industry due to the ‘banter’ that typically happens on site. Research shows 21% of construction employees have experienced bullying in the last year, and almost 3 in 10 say the bullying was labelled as ‘banter’.
A statement said that mental health is unfortunately a common struggle within the construction industry due to a range of factors including long hours, straining work, and financial issues. All of these are heightened in January when money is tight, the festivities are over and we return to work.
Colemans suggested some ways employers can help battle this issue and support employees. The company recommended training and educating employees, including managers, on mental health and how to support those struggling. It also suggested implementing mental health procedures in the workplace such as employee wellness programmes, mental health first aiders, and check-in sessions.
Mark Coleman, chief executive at Colemans, said: “Having experienced difficulties with my own mental health, I know how difficult this complex issue is for any modern-day business to understand and get right.
“For me and everyone here at Colemans, it started with cultural changes based around education, openness and understanding where it is necessary to have team members who are empathetic with high levels of emotional intelligence. We are working hard to change our own organisation’s attitudes and behaviours, even now after 10 years we are not there yet and I suppose we will never be perfect, making mistakes along the way. But as long as the culture, attitudes and behaviours are corrected as we go on, we will learn from our mistakes. We will improve and therefore have a positive impact on our people well well-being.”