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March 3-7, 2026

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Construction Safety Week Supports Mental Health



If you are in a mental health crisis, call or text 988 to speak to a crisis counselor now. You can also text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line and speak to a live, trained crisis counselor. Learn more about the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline 988.

Construction Safety Week (May 6-10, 2024) is an annual event that brings attention to the critical importance of safety in the construction industry. Traditionally, the focus of Safety Week has been on physical safety—preventing accidents, promoting proper equipment usage and fostering a culture of caution on job sites. However, an often-overlooked aspect of construction safety is the mental well-being of workers.

The construction industry is notorious for its demanding and stressful nature. Tight deadlines, long hours, physically demanding tasks and high-pressure environments can all take a toll on the mental health of construction workers. Ignoring the mental aspect of safety not only puts workers at risk of physical harm due to decreased focus and increased fatigue but also contributes to long-term issues such as burnout, anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns.

This Construction Safety Week, it's imperative to shine a spotlight on mental health and incorporate strategies to support the well-being of construction workers.


First and foremost, raising awareness about mental health issues in the construction industry is essential. Many workers may not recognize the signs of mental distress or may feel hesitant to seek help due to stigma. Providing education about common mental health challenges, such as stress management techniques, recognizing signs of burnout and promoting self-care strategies, can empower workers to take proactive steps towards better mental well-being.

“Every job site talks about fall protection. Every job site talks about eye protection and wearing your PPE appropriately. All of those conversations are now normalized in construction that really weren't [normalized] even 10 years ago,” says Sonya Bohmann, executive director of the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP). “We have to do the same with mental health and making those conversations normalized. It's okay to not be okay.”


Construction work often involves tight deadlines and high-pressure situations, which can significantly contribute to stress levels. Employers can implement stress reduction initiatives such as flexible scheduling, regular breaks and providing access to stress-relief resources like mindfulness exercises or yoga classes. Additionally, promoting work-life balance and encouraging employees to disconnect from work during their time off can help prevent burnout.

That's where these support groups came in. I got to share and hear other people talk about how they're powerless, how their life had become unmanageable. But then they put me to work. Following the problem, there has to be a solution, and of course there was one.

Denis Cashman

co-owner, Stone etc. Ltd.


Providing training and resources specifically tailored to address mental health in the construction industry is vital. This could include workshops on stress management, resilience training and sessions on coping mechanisms for dealing with the unique challenges of construction work. Employers should also ensure that employees are aware of available mental health resources, such as counseling services or hotlines and how to access them confidentially.


Creating a culture where workers feel comfortable discussing mental health is crucial. Encouraging open dialogue and destigmatizing conversations about mental health can help employees feel supported and understood. Employers and supervisors should lead by example by openly discussing mental health and making resources readily available for those in need. Implementing employee assistance programs (EAPs) or mental health first aid training can further support this initiative.

“Oftentimes, organizations will push out solutions that are at the individual level. They will teach mindfulness or give them a place where they can go and do their relaxation. Training is very important,” says Ann Marie Dale, PhD, professor of medicine and occupational therapy at Washington University. “But if a person is living in a toxic culture [or] a toxic workplace, all of that—as an individual—may not be enough to counter the negative effects of working in a toxic environment.”


Peer support networks can be incredibly valuable in promoting mental well-being among construction workers. Creating opportunities for workers to connect with peers who may have experienced similar challenges can provide a sense of camaraderie and understanding. Peer support groups or mentorship programs can offer a safe space for sharing experiences, seeking advice and offering mutual support.

“I had to make the decision that I was powerless over substances. I was powerless over alcohol, in my case, and that there was unmanageability in my life as a result of alcohol,” says Denis Cashman, co-owner of Stone etc. Ltd. “That's where these support groups came in. I got to share and hear other people talk about how they're powerless, how their life had become unmanageable. But then they put me to work. Following the problem, there has to be a solution, and of course there was one.”


Effective leadership and management play a crucial role in promoting mental health and well-being in the workplace. Providing training for supervisors and managers on how to recognize signs of mental distress, communicate effectively about mental health and support employees in times of need is essential. Leaders should lead by example by prioritizing their own mental health and demonstrating empathy and understanding towards their team members.

While physical safety will always be paramount in the construction industry, it's equally important to prioritize the mental well-being of workers. By incorporating mental health initiatives into Construction Safety Week and fostering a supportive and understanding workplace culture, we can ensure that construction sites are safe and healthy environments for all employees. Building a strong foundation of mental well-being is not only beneficial for individual workers but also for the overall success and sustainability of the construction industry.

Content Note: The CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365 newsletter will feature content about mental health over the course of the next few months. While these topics can be challenging, we want to remind you about one underlying feature: hope.

We will tackle topics related to suicide, PTSD and other mental health conditions that are prevalent in the construction industry. There are resources to help – whether you need help yourself or want to help a friend. Where there is help, there is hope.

One way to attack the mental health stigma is by telling your story. Please contact us if you would like to share your journey with fellow CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365 readers.


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