Business

Construction workers find helpful mate

TRUE FRIENDS: Apprenticeships QLD safety officer Donna Templeton (left) and employment consultant Nadine Muller welcome field officer Phil Hortz from Mates in Construction.
TRUE FRIENDS: Apprenticeships QLD safety officer Donna Templeton (left) and employment consultant Nadine Muller welcome field officer Phil Hortz from Mates in Construction. Rob Williams

NOBODY said life as a construction worker was easy. In fact, figures suggest the stresses of the job can tip many people over the edge.

An Australian Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention report from 2006 found that construction workers were six times more likely to take their own life than they were to die from an industrial accident.

This dreadful statistic prompted a drastic reaction from the Building Employees Redundancy Trust, which formed suicide awareness and prevention group, Mates in Construction, in 2008.

The organisation has grown steadily over the past six years, to the point where it has recently gone national in its efforts to partner up with construction industry groups across Australia.

Apprenticeships Queensland has become one of the most recent to participate in the program, with 20 staff inducted on March 18.

Of those 20, eight took part in the "connector" course, which provides additional information on how to deal with a crisis situation.

Apprenticeships Queensland spokeswoman Anita Dwyer said the training would allow employees to identify people who were at risk and talk to them about how they could find help.

"The statistics for suicide in the construction industry are horrific," Mrs Dwyer said.

"I think it has a lot to do with the uncertain nature of the industry - it can be tough.

"Then sometimes you can do all your work and you still don't get paid."

Young men in the construction industry are at the highest risk of suicide.

The AISRAP report shows those aged 15-24 are 10 times more likely to commit suicide than die in a work accident.

Mates in Construction field officer Phil Hortz said the program had been implemented at worksites across Ipswich, including the Icon tower, Bunnings Warehouse West Ipswich and Springfield's Orion Shopping Centre, Mater Hospital and rail line.

"It is really an awareness program," Mr Hortz said.

"If someone is doing it tough, what does that look like and how can you help?"

Mates in Construction has a 24-hour help line, however help can also be provided in person.

"We are the connection through to further help as well," Mr Hortz said. "We try to be the mate that keeps another mate safe while connecting them to help."

Suicide Prevention Australia CEO Sue Murray said there was a wide range of support available from organisations working in mental health and suicide prevention to assist employers to prepare for and respond to suicide.

"We have seen outstanding leadership from the construction, rail and superannuation industries and as a result these groups are leading the way in workplace suicide prevention in Australia," Ms Murray said in an SPA position statement in February this year.

The stats

  • According to Suicide Prevention Australia, most deaths by suicide are among people of working age
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for men aged 25-44 and women 25-34
  • Estimated one in 20 construction industry workers will contemplate suicide each year

Topics:  apprenticeships queensland suicide prevention



Naked woman seen wandering main street

Concerns for woman seen wearing only backpack

Farmers turn to 'Airbnb for campers' for their survival

Calvert farmer Dave Colgan is looking at joining Youcamp to boost his income.

"There aren't many who are able to make a go of it just farming"

Why don't they campaign for daylight saving in winter?

IDEAS: Change the clocks altogether, forever.

A new spin on the same old argument

Local Partners

Married At First Sight: Ipswich bachelor seeks love

READY FOR IT: Ipswich man Simon McQuillan will appear on the upcoming new season of Married At First Sight.

Romance would top off recovery for Booval man

Dinky-di Denyer: Family Feud favourite hosts Oz Day party

Grant Denyer will host Channel 10's Australia Day concert from the Sydney Opera House.

GRANT Denyer shares his Australia Day traditions ahead of concert.

Chelsea Handler blames the Kardashians for Donald Trump win

Chelsea Handler pictured in a scene from her talk show in Los Angeles.

TALK show host blames rise of reality TV family for election result.

Law & Order’s Trump inspired episode is still in limbo

The cast of Law & Order: SVU season 18, from left, Kelli Giddish, Raul Esparza, Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T and Peter Scanavino. Supplied by Channel 10.

SHOW'S mastermind unsure if or when twice-delayed episode will air.

50 Shades of Bli Bli: Adult theme park plans revealed

THE MIND BOGGLES: Potential buyers of Sunshine Castle at Bli Bli have considered a range of different themes, including an 'adult entertainment venue'.

Sunshine Castle looks to new, prosperous future.

Dating between the sheets on national TV?

Singles meet for the first time in their underwear in the SBS TV series Undressed.

NO shortage of singles willing to get Undressed with a stranger.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Looking back, looking ahead in Noosa

NEVER-ENDING GLORY: Looking towards Laguna Bay and Hastings St from Noosa National Park.

Natural appeal of Noosa continues to attract buyers

NEW: ALDI confirms opening date of seventh Ipswich store

NEW STORE: Aldi will soon open its seventh store in Ipswich.

Aldi is preparing to open its seventh store in Ipswich

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!