Challenge Two

High Suicide and Addiction Rates, and Still Too Many Fatalities

The construction industry is facing a mental health crisis that is driving too many into addiction and prompting many industry workers to take their own lives. Someone in construction is five times as likely to take their own life as they are to die in a jobsite incident. At the same time, nearly 1,000 people die while working in the industry each year and many more are injured. These mental and physical safety threats present a real challenge for many in the construction industry.

Opportunities Built

AGC’s Comprehensive Approach to Improving Worker Health & Safety

AGC launched a new nationwide Mental Health and Suicide Prevention push in 2022. AGC compiled and released to members a wide range of resources on preventing suicides in the industry. These resources included a new series of mental health public service videos that featured people from the industry who had struggled with mental health challenges, contemplated suicide and came back. The videos share a common theme – your coworkers care and it is okay to ask for help if you need it or to offer help to someone who appears to be struggling.

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We served as the signature supporter of Construction Safety Week. This industry-led week encourages construction firms to engage in specific types of safety activities every day during a dedicated week in early May. A strong focus of this year’s Safety Week was promoting worker mental health and well-being.

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AGC also participated in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction Week. AGC provided resources to encourage members and chapters to participate in both events.

The association continued its push to improve Highway Work Zone Safety. We released, in partnership with HCSS, our annual Work Zone Safety survey data prior to the Memorial Day start of the summer driving season. The intent is to use the data to encourage the media to run stories urging the public to slow down and be aware in work zones. We also prepared and release a special video dedicated to Marshall Walton, who was killed in a highway work zone. His death, while tragic, led Alabama officials to improve laws to protect highway workers, leading to a reduction in fatalities at highway work zones.

A Reminder of Why AGC Pushes for Tougher Work Zone Safety Laws

AGC of America, in partnership with Milwaukee Tool, launched two New Safety Awards in 2022. These awards honored the Construction Safety Professional of the Year and the Construction Safety Champion of the Year. The inaugural awards were announced during the Construction Safety and Health Awards meeting in January 2022. The intent of the awards is to recognize individuals who are committed to improving construction safety and to build on AGC’s Construction Safety Excellence Awards that recognize outstanding member firm safety programs.

Meet The Inaugural Safety Professional & Champion of the Year

We also continued to offer a range of Safety Training opportunities for member firms and their employees. This included offering basic and advance Safety Management Training courses for 65 construction professionals. And 510 people participated in the Trenching and Excavation Hazards in Construction course we offer thanks to an OSHA Susan Harwood Training Grant AGC secured.

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Next Up

Evolving Market Requires New Thinking About Best Ways to Offer Construction Training & Education

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