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BMC Public Health. 2017 Jun 19;17(1):584. doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4500-8.

Male suicide among construction workers in Australia: a qualitative analysis of the major stressors precipitating death.

Author information

1
Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. allison.milner@unimelb.edu.au.
2
Deakin Population Health Strategic Research Centre, School of Health & Social Development, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia. allison.milner@unimelb.edu.au.
3
Deakin Population Health Strategic Research Centre, School of Health & Social Development, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.
4
Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.
5
Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Suicide rates among those employed in male-dominated professions such as construction are elevated compared to other occupational groups. Thus far, past research has been mainly quantitative and has been unable to identify the complex range of risk and protective factors that surround these suicides.

METHODS:

We used a national coronial database to qualitatively study work and non-work related influences on male suicide occurring in construction workers in Australia. We randomly selected 34 cases according to specific sampling framework. Thematic analysis was used to develop a coding structure on the basis of pre-existing theories in job stress research.

RESULTS:

The following themes were established on the basis of mutual consensus: mental health issues prior to death, transient working experiences (i.e., the inability to obtain steady employment), workplace injury and chronic illness, work colleagues as a source of social support, financial and legal problems, relationship breakdown and child custody issues, and substance abuse.

CONCLUSION:

Work and non-work factors were often interrelated pressures prior to death. Suicide prevention for construction workers needs to take a systematic approach, addressing work-level factors as well as helping those at-risk of suicide.

KEYWORDS:

Australia; Job stress; Life stressor; Male construction workers; Suicide

PMID:
28629352
PMCID:
PMC5477155
DOI:
10.1186/s12889-017-4500-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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