Did you know Construction Safety Week and Mental Health Month are both in May? Construction safety and mental health are both very important, and they’re also closely related when it comes to construction workers’ wellbeing. Safety on a job site goes beyond following standard protocols and wearing the proper PPE. Safety should also include mental health.
In order to focus on construction safety, workers need to have nutritious food, adequate hydration, and restful sleep. This will ensure that they have optimal energy levels, physical endurance, and focus to meet the demands of the job. Mental health is also supported by having positive, healthy relationships. A sense of belonging and encouragement is essential to the workers on site. A lack of positivity could lead to distractions, which could then lead to an accident. Because of this, it’s very important to regularly check in with your workers to see how they are doing. Some construction companies offer mental health awareness programs, counseling, and other related benefits for their workers.
It’s no secret that the construction industry is a physically and mentally demanding job. A study found that two out of five construction workers struggle with anxiety and depression. Also, according to the CDC, construction workers have one of the nation’s highest suicide rates. The demands of the job are high, including long and irregular hours, physically exhausting days, and end of the season layoffs. In addition, changing work locations can cause separation in families. All of these factors can cause stress, anxiety, and an increase in mental health issues. Furthermore, mental health issues have been on the rise in the last year following the pandemic. Many have lost jobs, homes, loved ones, and much more. It’s more important than ever that we become more aware of mental illness.
What Can We Do
This can be a tricky subject because not a lot of workers want to discuss such personal matters with their fellow workers. Another concern is that many may be reluctant to share their emotions for fear of being seen as weak, especially in an industry perceived as “tough.” However, it’s so important to create a safe space for workers to express their feelings confidently without fear. We can support mental health awareness by making this subject important in our industry. We need to stress the bridge between construction safety and mental health. Normalizing this conversation about mental health is essential.
We here at Waldron Carpentry want to show our support for mental health awareness. Increasing awareness of mental health is essential for workers who require focus, a sound mind, and physical strength to be productive at work and provide for their families. We encourage you to spread awareness and normalize the conversation about mental health.