COVID-19 and suicide risk in the construction sector: Preparing for a perfect storm
King, T.L. & Lamontagne, A.D.
Worldwide, construction industries are considered to be key economic pillars of the societies they serve, and construction workers constitute a sizeable proportion of the global paid workforce. In many parts of the world, construction workers are at elevated risk of suicide. Here, we examine the extent to which construction workers may be differentially exposed to the economic effects of COVID-19.
A narrative review and synthesis of the literature was conducted.
The economic and labour market shock resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a convergence of factors that may significantly exacerbate suicide risk among construction workers, particularly among those with lower skills.
With important insights from previous financial crises, it is vital that governments, industry and workplaces act rapidly to mitigate suicide risk among vulnerable groups such as construction workers. Mental healthcare investment is needed, and must be complemented by prevention and control in the workplace and in the general community. Anticipating, preparing and acting to ameliorate this risk, particularly among low skilled construction workers, will save many livelihoods, as well as lives.