It is fair to say that construction remains one of the pillars of the Australian economy. Driven by infrastructure pressures and population increases, those in this sector can expect substantial work over the coming years.

However, the stress of tight deadlines, budgets and project management is all too real for some, according to statistics released by suicide prevention group MATES in Construction (MIC).

Suicide – an ongoing issue

Construction workers are more at risk from suicide than other employees.Construction workers are more at risk from suicide than other employees.

Alongside Deakin University’s Dr Allison Milner, MIC published a report noting that 2,554 male construction workers had committed suicide between 2001 and 2013. When broken down, these statistics don’t make for pleasant reading – 182 deaths per year or one suicide every two days. Compared to suicide rates for men in other industries, construction is 71 per cent higher.

MIC CEO Jorgen Gullestrup explained that suicide in the construction industry is a subject that needs to come to light.

“This is an industry that is predominantly male with a ‘harden up’ culture that can often leave workers feeling isolated and not knowing how to ask for help, even when they desperately need it,” Mr Gullestrup said.

“Issues like relationship breakdown, excess alcohol consumption, bullying, and of course the inherent nature of the job – which often involves long hours or FIFO, coupled with poor job security and fluctuating incomes, can be magnified within such a male-dominated, macho culture.”

Bluey Technologies on board

MIC do a fantastic job in supporting the construction industry and work across many states and territories to reduce the high level of suicide among these workers. It is an ongoing challenge, which is why we at Bluey Technologies have added our commitment to this is important topic.

As published in the Winter 2016 MIC newsletter, Bluey Technologies recognise the value of MIC and want to work closely with the organisation in the future.

We have always been a big advocate for men’s mental health issues, and upon meeting the MIC team at the Lendlease Barangaroo project, now is a good time to bring this issue to light.

The Bluey Logo, the dog and the kennel are based around mateship, loyalty and reliability.

“The MATES program looked like a cause worth supporting and is also closely aligned with our own values, particularly the strong relationship Bluey has with the Australian construction industry as a local manufacturer and supplier,” Managing Director Daniel Bosco said in the newsletter.

“In fact the Bluey Logo, the dog and the kennel are based around mateship, loyalty and reliability. These core values at Bluey mean that we value long term relationships and we partner with industry to support it in every way possible,” he said.

While the civil construction sector is vital for Australia, mental health and well-being must come first. As such, if your business is interested in knowing more about MIC or the Bluey approach to workplace health and safety, get in touch with our team today.

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