Union to investigate high suicide rate in construction industry

The
construction workers union Ucatt is to investigate if suicide is a major
problem for the industry after a survey put the sector at the top of the
suicide list in East Kent.

Sixteen
per cent of all male suicide victims – 39 out of 220 – in East Kent between
January 1995 and December 1999 worked in the construction industry, according
to the five-year study by the then East Kent NHS Health Authority.

Ucatt
eastern regional secretary Brain Rye is leading the investigation to see if the
high suicide rate of construction workers is a national problem.

He
asked: "Has this anything to do with the fact that 70 to 80 per cent of
construction workers have never received holiday pay, resulting in no earnings
over Christmas, no money after Christmas and little money coming in after poor
winter weather? Add job insecurity and the pressure soon mounts."

By Paul Nelson

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