Productivity Commission recognises impact of mental health on workplaces
The Australian Productivity Commission has recognised the importance of mental health on workplaces after releasing its mental health report. The report and subsequent recommendations were welcomed by the MATES in Construction organisation.
Each year, 190 construction workers die by suicide and an estimated 406 workers are permanently injured through attempts. It costs the building and construction industry and the Australian economy millions.
The recommendations in the Productivity Commission’s report explicitly include the inclusion of mental health in workplaces and safety frameworks to establish a code of concrete for the building and construction industry.
Alongside this, MATES in Construction is currently implementing the Blueprint for Better Mental Health & Suicide Prevention in the Building & Construction Industry.
MATES Queensland chief executive Jorgen Gullestrup believes that targeting psychological risks in workplace regulations would provide specific targeted requirements. Additionally, it would encourage a cultural shift on mental health in the industry.
“As part of the implantation of the construction blueprint we are increasing awareness and support for construction businesses of all sizes to create mentally healthier workplaces,” Jorgen says.
“Providing the construction industry with clear regulations for treating mental health in the industry as an identifiable hazard such as other risks would go a long way to improve understanding and reducing the stigma attached to mental health within the construction industry.
“This would also further incentivise training and development of skills of key personnel within the construction industry to prevent workplace-related mental health challenges and suicide.”
MATES also welcome recommendations that suggest improvements to workers compensation schemes and reducing premiums for smaller construction companies.