For National Suicide Prevention Week, Construction Dive looked at what contractors across the US are doing to promote healthy work environments and support for construction workers. The article features Todd Lofgren, Executive Vice President and General Manager of GBCA member Skanska USA Building.

From Construction Dive:

Mental health issues, including suicide, affect the construction labor force at a much higher rate than most other occupations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called the suicide rate for construction workers “alarmingly high.”

In 2016, the suicide rate for men in construction and extraction occupations was 49.4/100,000 people, almost twice the total suicide rate for civilian working men (16-64 years old) in 32 states (27.4/100,000). It was five times greater than the rate for all fatal work-related injuries in the construction industry in 2018 (9.5/100,000), according to the CDC.

With this in mind, executives … are seeking to help their employees and change the wider industry, and are framing their pursuits in a way that bypasses the stigma. …

Todd Lofgren, executive vice president and general manager of Skanska USA Building in Bluebell, Pennsylvania, told Construction Dive that it is important for Skanska to have a strong culture of caring for mental health at its jobsites around the world.

“At work, we are only aware of a portion of what someone is dealing with. As a result, we find it important to educate, raise awareness and point anyone who may be struggling, or know someone who is struggling, toward available resources,” Lofgren said … “We continue to remind individuals that it is OK to show concern and have discussions regarding how people are feeling, if they are struggling, and if so, encourage them to seek assistance.”