“In the construction industry hazard recognition and control usually refers to assessing the risks on a job site,” says SCSA President, Collin Pullar, “but business owners and leaders in the industry need to understand that mental health is a safety issue too and it is probably bigger than they realize.” The topic of mental health, and suicide in particular, has been the focus of articles, panel discussions and media across the country since the statistic was released in 2018 that suicide rates in the industry are three times the national average.
According to an article entitled, Suicide in the Construction Industry, published by rbl Chartered Professional Accountants, based in Ontario, “the costs per suicide are even more alarming. A study in New Brunswick found the cost of suicide per death to be $849,877 (Clayton, 1999) while an American study calculated the number at over $1 million (Shepard, 2015). More than 97% of these costs are due to lost productivity, while the remaining 3 percent are costs associated with the provision of emergency medical services.”In theory, recognizing the hazard and taking steps to prevent a mental health incident should be the same as controlling and mitigating the risk of any other job site hazard but often business owners and leaders are not adequately equipped with the knowledge and resources needed.
Mental Health YXE NAOSH and Mental Health Week - Presentation by Reanna Boschee, Canadian Mental health Association. Presented by Saskatoon Regional Safety Committee
WorkSafe Saskatchewan offers FREE online learning related to Psychological Health and Safety in the workplace for Saskatchewan workers and employers. E-learning courses are designed to be self-paced and accessible from anywhere in the province.
The courses were developed by the Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) and are being delivered in partnership with WorkSafe Saskatchewan. CCOHS courses are unique in that they are developed by subject specialists in the field, and reviewed by representatives from labour, employers and government to ensure the content and approach are unbiased and credible. Following is a list of the FREE e-courses currently offered:
To register visit https://www.worksafesask.ca/mentalhealth/
NOTE: upon registration, a dollar amount will appear; however, once Saskatchewan residency is confirmed during the "checkout" process, the cost will zero.
- Construction companies that employ first responders should be aware of mental health in this context. Please visit Sask First Responders for information and resources.