- A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found that the construction industry has the second-highest suicide rate of all occupations, and architecture/engineering has the fifth-highest rate.
- Out of 100,000 workers in 2012, the construction and extraction category had a suicide rate of 53.3 — highest among males at a rate of 52.5 — and the architecture and engineering category had a rate of 32.2.
- The farming, fishing and forestry category had the highest suicide rate of any industry, at 84.5, while construction and extraction had the highest total number of suicides in 2012, at 1,324.
In its report, using 2012 data from 17 states (12,312 total suicides), the CDC said that construction workers might be more susceptible to suicide because of the unstable nature of employment, which causes financial and relationship problems as well as isolation.
In an acknowledgment of how high the suicide risk is in the construction industry, the CDC said that the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (NAASP) has developed special assistance programs for those workers.
In February, The Carson J. Spencer Foundation, in cooperation with the NAASP and RK Mechanical in Denver, announced that it had published a construction industry suicide prevention guidebook to help executives in the business identify risk factors. The guidebook explains how contractors make mental health a priority through open discussion of topics considered sensitive to construction workers.
In addition to the unstable nature of employment, mental health experts have said the "tough guy" culture of construction might also prevent workers from seeking help if they experience depression or thoughts of suicide. Another possible factor in the high suicide rate is increased drug use among construction employees. A CNA report last year found that construction workers were at a higher risk of abusing prescription medication and using illegal drugs.