The Salt Lake Chamber and its social impact foundation, Utah Community Builders, are determined to strengthen the culture of mental fitness of Utahns working in construction. They have partnered with the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Associated General Contractors of Utah to create a wellness guide entitled “Total Safety: A Guide to Resilience and Mental Fitness in the Construction Industry.”

“Construction is one of the most exciting industries in our country,” said Richard Thorn, president and CEO of AGC Utah. “It can also be an industry with a dark side, a side not many can see…it is time to shine a light on how the construction industry can better care for our employees’ mental well-being.”

The guide is broken down into three key sections, including company leadership, manager training and worker resources. Construction has the second-highest suicide rate of all industry groups, and the wellness guide aims to provide resources for all levels of workers in the industry. 

The company leadership section is designed to teach leaders to encourage their employees to uphold wellness practices. “To be truly successful, Total Safety requires top leadership in the company to demonstrate commitment to the resilience and mental fitness of employees,” the guide explains. 

The next section discusses manager training and includes a “Toolbox Talks” section that managers can incorporate into training, meetings or safety briefings. Finally, the guide includes resources that show workers that help is always available.

“Construction can be a stressful profession that strains the bodies, and minds, of workers,” the guide says. “Leaders who prioritize Total Safety for their employees will move the needle not only for workers, but for their families and the entire business.”

Safety is integral to any successful construction site, and mental safety is no different. Across all industries, 86% of employers want to increase employee health and well-being, and this guide is the first step for many construction companies. 

“This guide will save lives and will have a positive effect on how the construction industry can address these very real and urgent challenges,” said Thorn.