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Shocking suicide rates plaguing one industry sector

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HC Online | 27 Nov 2015, 09:42 AM Agree 0
A new report has unveiled the shocking impact of suicide on one of Australia's largest industries.
  • HR Dude | 27 Nov 2015, 01:56 PM Agree 0
    Is the rate of suicide more significant for this industry?

    The comparison, that the rate of suicide is higher than workplace deaths appears flawed. Workplace deaths are low across all industries, which would cause the statement 'more suicides than workplace deaths' to be valid. The rate of suicides is normally measured per 100,000, with Veterinarians, Paramedics, and Security Guards the highest with 38.2, 35.6 and 34.6 respectively. Lawyers, Police Officers and Nurses are around 10 (9, 10 and 9.7 respectively).

    The rate, seems around 22 (annual number divided by total), more than Real Estate Agents (13.4) but less than Truck Drivers (23.4).

    It’s fine to place this under the banner of a ‘workforce issue’ given the costs, but this doesn’t appear to be a particularly focused industry issue. This is an important distinction, because there is often a link between the type of work stress and the way employees are able to handle it. Does the casual nature of money effect stress? Does shift work hours? Does the work tasks? Are their age variables? (Construction is physically demanding, does age and the demanding nature have an effect?)
  • Jorgen Gullestrup | 29 Nov 2015, 09:13 AM Agree 0
    The rates used in the study are age standardised and are approximately 30% higher than the Australian male average (so it is apples vs apples). The age standardised rate was also applied against the four largest Australian states (NSW, Vic, Qld and WA) with similar results although the state general suicide rates varies significantly.

    It is correct that in most cases suicide rates will be above workplace accident mortality rates. The same comparison could be made with traffic deaths, violent crime and many other issues we recognise as significant requiring targeted effort for prevention. Given that suicide is a preventable cause of death, the comparison makes the case for increased effort. Suicide deaths have devastating outcomes for survivors often having intergenerational impact.

    Interaction between mental health and work is complex. Workers come as whole persons each with a mix of distal and proximate risk factors for poor mental health. Work has a significant impact on mental health both positive and negative, suicide is the most serious consequence of poor mental health. There is no suggestion that construction work causes suicide, but that the industry mix of demographic and situational risk factors leading to higher suicide rates. Workplaces has proven very suitable venues for suicide prevention.
  • Beyond HR consultant | 29 Nov 2015, 10:08 AM Agree 0
    @HR Dude! You make very valid points in your post! The factors that go into what prompts suicide and suicidal tendencies must be a priority research undertaking! Factors that you mention such as age, type of stress, such as lack of financial security due to casual work therefore inconsistent payments must be considered! In Australia lately there is a highly fluctuating rate of employment in permanent full time work! Even Centrelink employees are quite often employed as casuals and therefore have no employment security! In a country where costs of living are high , housing affordability is high and financial security is so low there would have to be a correlation in suicidal tendencies surely?
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