Tradies and the importance of mental wellness

Blog posts | 27.08.2021

Sally Tutill

Nurture Marketing Specialist at Kineo AU

Each year 1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental illness. Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety are costing Australian businesses between 11 and 12 billion dollars (Black Dog Institute) each year through worker absence, reduced work performance and productivity, increased turnover and compensation claims.

Our friends Civil Contractors Federation South Australia (CCF SA) talk more about these issues as the peak industry and business association representing, promoting, protecting, connecting, and training civil contractors for over 26 years.

CCF SA has more than 500 Member organisations which consist of civil contractors and allied industries. Collectively CCF SA Members employ more than 30,000 South Australians. CCF SA was created to support the Civil Construction Industry in all aspects, including the health and wellbeing of the industry and its members. 

More than ever CCF SA are finding the mental health and wellbeing of the industry is on the forefront of employer’s minds. The combination of physically demanding roles, long hours, project-based income, and the stresses of daily life can add pressure to their employee’s life. 

Research conducted by MATES in Construction has shown:

Every year 190 Australians working in the construction industry take their own lives; this means we lose a construction worker every second day to suicide.

Construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than an accident at work. For our young workers, the facts are that they are well over two times more likely to take their own lives than other young Australians.

For many years the attitude of the Civil Industry, employers and workers alike was to ‘toughen up’, ‘push through’ or ‘have a spoonful of cement’.  This is no longer the mindset of the industry, and we have many employers reaching out and asking how they can do more. Some employers have noted however  they are not always in the position to dedicate time, have the required knowledge or access to appropriate resources to support their workers. They are also often unaware that their workers are struggling, as most do not seek out support or like to have tough conversations.

Research has shown that workers who are mentally and physically healthy are almost 3 times more productive than unhealthy workers and record fewer injuries, sick days, and work-related injury claims.

In 2021, CCF SA identified a need for further education, awareness, and support to our industry in not only mental health, but all aspects of health. In July 2021, CCF SA launched the Health, Injury and Wellness service (HIW) dedicated to supporting its members, employees, and other organisations.  This department exists to support the industry by delivering innovative, dynamic, and flexible health, injury and wellness services, information, and products.  The HIW department hopes to provide not only on the job support, but resources and connections to support people outside of the workplace.

The civil industry has welcomed this initiative, which demonstrates that mental health awareness is everyone’s responsibility.

If you would like to find out more CCF SA, visit www.ccfsa.com.au 


Sally Tutill

Nurture Marketing Specialist at Kineo AU

Since the year immemorial Sally has exercised an avid passion for creativity with words, images and Pilates.  She is most content in the workplace when crafting enticing messages that inspire and engage.

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