• Arizona Contractor & Community

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH: Why Do Construction Workers Have Higher Suicide Rates?

The First of a Four-Part Series


The construction industry knows it has a problem. Working in the building and construction trades has become the US’s deadliest occupation. But it isn’t cranes or ladders nor bad backs or broken bones that get construction workers to sign off. They are more likely to die by their own hands rather than be killed in an on-the-job accident. With 53.2 suicides per 100 thousand workers, construction has among the greatest suicide rate of any industry, according to Centers for Disease Control. This suicide rate is over four times higher than the national suicide average and five times higher than all construction deaths combined.


The construction industry as a whole needs to improve mental health awareness and assistance, but this can only be done on one jobsite at a time. September is the National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month- a time to exchange information and resources and reach out to those affected by suicide.


Workwear Guru joins the call to raise awareness and spread hope to prevent suicides. We did this by interviewing several mental health experts, statisticians and health & safety professionals who deem suicide prevention a sine qua non in the employee health and wellness efforts. The aim of our study is to educate and encourage all stakeholders to use all the resources available, familiarize themselves with the problem and better implement suicide prevention strategies.


Major Industries With The Highest Suicide Rates


Suicide rates vary by industry and occupation, with certain groups within these categories suffering greater rates than the overall population.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a report on suicide deaths based on industry and occupation. The results found that Mining, Quarrying, Oil and Gas Extraction industry had the highest rate of suicide with 54 suicide deaths per 100,000 population. The rate is twice as high as the national average, which stands for 27 deaths per 100,000 population. The Construction industry follows them with 45 suicides per 100,000 people.


The following is a list of occupations thought to have the highest suicide rates. Much of this material is based on the information given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):