Quarter of workers consider career move due to mental health

10 October 2017

A quarter of construction workers have said they are considering a career change due to pressures of mental health in the industry, according to new research.

Human resource company Randstad conducted a survey of 3,400 construction workers about their mental health and found that over the last year more than a third had experienced a mental health condition and almost a quarter of those surveyed said their mental health was making them consider a career change.

The report also found that women were struggling more than men with 46% of female respondents stating they were currently suffering from a mental illness, a higher proportion than men.

Data also showed that rather than seek help, one fifth of workers are turning to alcohol and cigarettes to self-medicate and have increased their drinking and smoking as a result of their mental state.

The results of the survey come as today’s World Mental Health Day continues to highlight the issue and the construction industry continues to tackle and demystify the stigma of mental.


I am not surprised by the findings of this survey. 46% of Female respondents stating that they currently suffer from a mental health issue is staggering. Increased productivity demands, long hours, poor remuneration, automation including BIM, e-mail and other tech is depersonalising how workers relate to one another on the design and management side. These are only some of the reasons. On the production operative side Alcohol and other drug dependency has been rampant in the construction industry for years. How and when are things going to change.

Patrick, 10 October 2017

These findings appear to relate to workers on site but that is not clear. However, from my own experience as an office based worker (now retired), it would not be unusual to have an interrupted sleep due to a problem that needed to be solved urgently the next morning. That's the nature of the building industry. I suppose one could state that the mind is under pressure but some people work best under pressure. I would probably come under that heading. It is good to be retired but I still miss the challenges and the satisfaction.

sean morgan, 10 October 2017

The good news is that the Construction Industry is waking up to the problem and beginning to do something about it. In the past companies have been shouting Safety but whispering Health. Safety has made huge strides forward by raising awareness and standards... we now need to focus on health and in particular mental health. Our charity is dedicated to Construction and 2 years ago launched a confidential 24x7 Construction Industry Helpline to be a safety net for the workforce and their families. Last year we handled over 1,300 cases and distributed over £600,000 in emergency financial aid to help people in crisis... our charity is funded by the people in our industry for the people in our industry. Our Helpline covers stress,anxiety,depression, addiction, debt, poverty, legal and tax advice and it's FREE ... just call 0345 605 1956 or visit

Bill Hill, 10 October 2017

I suggest the headline statement refers mainly to the hands-on workforce and can't help feeling that the overbearing nature of H&S is a contributor. It is necessary and important and site management and supervisors are under pressure to manage it effectively but unfortunately I suggest the majority of any workforce experience is managed as a blame culture. This adds pressures to an already stressful occupation. Teamwork is key, as is reward for effort and contribution.

Paul C, 10 October 2017

On my current project we have an incomplete design, a contractor who is incapable and who has subcontracted everything, with a client who is clueless and gullible and who now interferes with the day to day work, second guessing what we do 'because they know best' and who is now overturning decisions made on materials, that are not in accordance with specification.

The design was led out by a firm that could never have done it without outsourcing, and having done so then completely failed to manage it. The boss of the firm to help, employed people who know very well what their own 'scope' is and who have consistently refused to do anything that isn't in it.

Requirements of the project? Get stuffed.

I'm compensating for the lack of technical skill (and at times simply giving a damn) from the site architect, facade consultant, MEP consultants, local architects, main design architects and the rest.

When I complain I get ignored, or best argued into silence (the site architect is good at this, doesn't know and doesn't want to look, and isn't shy on refusing to take responsibility for anything either).

If I do challenge the garbage quality of design, I just get put in my place and told I have to wait. Well I've been waiting more than 3 years, when is it going to come?

The project, due to manifest incompetence on all fronts, has at least another 3 years to go, when it has already been on site for over 3 years as it is.

I dragged my family to a developing country to do this project, where we have no life, my family have been caught up in tear gas due to what lately are endemic protests, where anything we can buy is terrible quality and likely to fall apart. The taxes are ridiculous and buying anything beyond the basic means asking someone to bring it to you when they travel.

I'm tired of it.

Chuck E, 11 October 2017

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