Annual cost of construction suicides

MIC infographic

Suicide and suicidal behavior in the Australian construction industry is costing $1.57 billion dollars each year, as much as 98 per cent of which is born by government, the majority at a federal level, according to reports released by MATES in Construction (MIC).

In Queensland, the annual cost is reportedly over $345 million. 

The figures are alarming, and MIC says it demonstrates the need for greater investment in training construction workers to recognise that a co-worker is unwell, before it's too late.

Construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than from an accident at work, the report shows.  Each year 169 construction workers die by suicide, so investing in workers' mental health is just as important as investing in their physical safety.

The Doran Reports suggest that suicides and non-fatal suicides can have far-reaching adverse financial effects on the worker's family, employer and the government, due to production disturbance, human capital, medical, and administrative costs.  These often can take years to finalise.

MATES in Construction has trained well over 87,000 construction workers in General Awareness Training to recognise when a mate is struggling. They have a network of more than 7,000 volunteer Connectors and ASIST workers prepared to help connect workmates to help when needed.

MATES in Construction is about taking action together, to fight a problem that is far greater than many would realise. It is an industry-led approach to an industry problem, helping each other to seek help and get better.

When a worker is left fully incapacitated after a non-fatal suicide, those costs can reach up to $3.27 million, and the costs associated with a fatality can reach up to $2.72 million.

MATES in Construction has set a target of a 15 per cent reduction in the rate of suicide across Australia in the next five years. There are more than 750,000 construction workers in Australia and so far MATES in Construction has reached well over 85,000 of them. 

For more information, visit the MIC website.

Images courtesy MIC.

Last updated
02 May 2017