MELBOURNE, Australia, May 5, 2021 In Australia, construction workers are at a higher risk of suicide compared to men employed in other sectors. One construction worker dies by suicide every two days and they are six times more likely to die by suicide than through workplace accidents.
The stigma surrounding mental health still exists in the male-dominated industry, with the ‘macho-culture’ often making it hard for those suffering to speak up. Sometimes workers spend large amounts of time away from their families and without their support network they are at risk of turning to substance abuse and gambling, which amplifies their problems.
AIO says it’s important to create an environment where construction workers can speak up and they are working hard to do so. Possible steps include providing counselling services and partnering with organisations like Mates in Construction which provides insights into how to approach mental health problems in the workforce.
Supporting a healthy work-life balance for employees is another crucial step. Increasing workplace flexibility through labour hire may contribute to wellbeing in the industry, while also helping to attract and retain skilled, productive and engaged employees. Partnering with a labour hire company in Melbourne that supports breaking the stigma, like AIO, is a positive step in the right direction for businesses who are committed to their employees’ wellbeing.
By using labour hire in Melbourne, companies can create a mentally healthy workplace which will ultimately save them money. A recent report by PwC estimated that businesses were losing $10.9 billion annually for neglecting to address mental health in the workplace.
The young and diverse team at AIO relate to those in the industry experiencing difficulties with mental health. Labour agencies in Melbourne are leading the charge by encouraging an open dialogue in the workplace and educating employees on mental health with the aim of giving them the confidence to seek help.
Committing to creating a mentally healthy workplace is an important step towards ending the mental health crisis in the building and construction industry, which will ultimately save lives and boost productivity.