Men working in the construction industry are at the highest risk of suicide, according to research from Public Health England.
The risk of suicide among low-skilled male labourers, particularly those working in construction roles, was three times higher than the male national average.
For males working in skilled trades, the highest risk was among building finishing trades; particularly, plasterers and painters and decorators had more than double the risk of suicide than the male national average.
Unite acting general secretary, Gail Cartmail, said: “In the short term we need to be raising awareness of the suicide risk in construction and explaining where workers can receive confidential support.”
The risk of suicide was elevated for those in culture, media and sport occupations for males (20% higher than the male average) and females (69% higher); risk was highest among those working in artistic, literary and media occupations.
There were 18,998 suicides in men and women aged between 20 and 64 years between 2011 and 2015, which constitutes a rate of around 12 deaths for every 100,000 people per year; for around 7 in 10 (13,232) of these suicides, an occupation was provided at the time of death registration.
Males working in the lowest-skilled occupations had a 44% higher risk of suicide than the male national average; the risk among males in skilled trades was 35% higher.
Individuals working in roles as managers, directors and senior officials – the highest paid occupation group – had the lowest risk of suicide. Among corporate managers and directors the risk of suicide was more than 70% lower for both sexes.