Suicide risk and mental health challenges are jobsite safety issues.
A crisis in Oregon and across the nation
Based on the most recent CDC data, workers in the construction industry face the second highest suicide rate of any industry in the U.S.—at over three times the national age-adjusted suicide rate. Experts attribute several factors to this disturbing trend, including the physical rigor of the job, financial instability caused by the work’s often seasonal nature, and a male-dominated workplace that has traditionally emphasized dealing with problems alone rather than asking for help.
Our country now loses more construction workers to suicide than to jobsite injuries or accidents.
In response, dozens of Oregon’s industry leaders, from construction firms to organized labor and insurance companies, have come together to prevent suicide and promote mental health with the same innovation and tenacity that the industry has brought to improving workplace safety.
A new initiative for Oregon
The Oregon Construction Industry Suicide Prevention Taskforce was founded in 2019, and has quickly grown to nearly 100 members. These members represent construction companies large and small, subcontractors, building trades and their unions, safety specialists, OSHA, SAIF, and healthcare partners. Since its founding, the Taskforce developed a detailed strategic plan of three Objectives and 15 specific Strategies to fulfill its mission:
Mission: To develop and implement a unified strategy for reducing suicide and promoting mental well-being in the construction industry.
With this mission, the Taskforce aims to become the go-to resource for construction industry stakeholders in Oregon to lower suicide rates and improve mental health among workers in the industry. It envisions the industry building a culture of mental wellness to match the culture of physical safety that the industry has worked so hard to create.
The Strategic Plan for suicide prevention in the Oregon construction industry
This Strategic Plan is the result of countless hours of discussion and collaboration among a wide range of stakeholders. It represents a common understanding of the urgency of this crisis, and the very real intention of small companies, large corporations, and government agency representatives to collectively build a stronger, safer future for construction workers across Oregon.
|ALTA Consulting||G.E.W. LLC||Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries|
|American Heart Association||Grady Britton||Oregon Health Authority|
|Andersen Construction||GROW Construction||Oregon OSHA|
|Apollo Mechanical||Hoffman Construction||Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute|
|Arctic Sheet Metal||Hoffman Structures||Perlo Construction|
|Asphalt Pavement Association of Oregon||Howard S. Wright Construction||R and H Construction|
|Associated Builders & Contractors||IBEW Local #48||REFA Steel Erectors|
|Associated General Contractors – Oregon Columbia Chapter||Jacobs Engineering||Robert Evans Company|
|Associated General Contractors of Washington||JE Dunn Construction||Safe from Hate|
|Associated Wall & Ceiling Contractors||Joe Esmonde Consulting||SAIF|
|Benson Industries||KOIN||Seabee Construction|
|Brown & Brown Northwest||Laborer’s International Union of North America – Northwest Region||Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association – Oregon & SW Washington|
|Cascade Centers||Lakeside Industries||Skanska|
|Clackamas County||Lease Crutcher Lewis||State of Safety|
|Coffman Excavation||LIUNA Local #737||Strata Consulting|
|Colas Construction||Marsh USA, Inc.||Traveler’s Insurance|
|Construction EHS Manager||MHA Resource Company||UA Local #290|
|Construction Financial Management Association||Mortenson Construction||U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs|
|CSDZ||Multnomah County||VA Portland Health Care System|
|Donald B Murphy Contractors||Northwest Carpenter’s Union||Weitman Excavation|
|Dynalectric Oregon||OHSU Institute of Occupational Health Sciences||Western Partitions Inc.|
|Fortis Construction||OHSU Safety Climate Lab||Worksystems|
|Oregon Building Trades Council|
Max Margolis, Construction Suicide Prevention Coordinator – [email protected]
Education & Training Committee Chairs
Kristina Ewing, Wellness & Benefits Manager, Andersen Construction – [email protected]
Lisa Ransom, Director of Apprenticeship & Training, OR Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) – [email protected]
Innovations & Solutions Committee Chairs
Aimee Johnson, Program Analyst, Innovations, Suicide Prevention, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs – [email protected]
Kenny Herrera, Environmental Health & Safety Director, R&H Construction – [email protected]
Branding Marketing Committee Chairs
Judy Cushing, Founding CEO, Lines for Life – [email protected]
Natalie Cordova, Vice President, Marsh Risk & Insurance Services – [email protected]
Task Force & Partners
Bill Barr, Chair, Construction Industry Suicide Prevention Project – [email protected]