A quarter of construction workers are considering leaving the industry within the next 12 months due to poor mental health, new research shows.
A survey conducted by recruitment firm and HR services provider Randstad revealed that 23 per cent of construction workers said they were considering exiting the industry within the next year.
Among the reasons cited were high levels of stress and challenges in striking a work / life balance.
The report, which surveyed around 3,400 construction workers in July and August this year, also found that 73 per cent of respondents felt their employers did not recognise the early signs of mental health problems.
Furthermore, a fifth increased their alcohol and tobacco intake to relieve stress.
Two-thirds of respondents said there are not sufficient outlets to discuss their mental health, with 43 per cent saying an ideal solution would be to set up an anonymous helpline.
Around 2,500 men and 900 women responded to the survey.
The research indicated female construction workers were “more acutely affected by mental illness than men”, according to the report.
Nearly half of all women surveyed (45 per cent) said their mental health was average to poor at present, compared with 32 per cent of men.
Three-quarters of female workers had experienced loss of sleep due to poor mental health, compared with 65 per cent of men, while 43 per cent of women had experienced reduced productivity, compared with 38 per cent of men.
However, this could be due to women being more honest about their mental health when answering the survey.
Mace head of health and safety for construction Martin Coyd said the survey “backs up” the results of CN’s mental health survey and the Office for National Statistics figures on suicide in construction.
In May, CN’s Mind Matters survey revealed one in four construction workers had considered suicide and 55 per cent had experienced mental health issues.
In March, data released by the ONS revealed the number of suicides among those working in construction trades was the highest of any profession between 2011 and 2015.
More than 1,400 construction workers ended their lives during this period.
Mr Coyd added: “These three studies [CN’s research, ONS figures and Randstad survey] are very valuable and give us a clear picture of what it is like to work in the construction industry and the challenges we face.”
He called for the industry to “work together” to be consistent in its approach to the issue.
“We need to understand and recognise what we’re all doing as an industry,” Mr Coyd said. “We’re doing good work and we can make a huge difference with some small steps.”