COOK 'EM JIMMY: Woollam Constructions flies the flag for suicide prevention and Mates in Construction on RUOK day.
COOK 'EM JIMMY: Woollam Constructions flies the flag for suicide prevention and Mates in Construction on RUOK day. Christine McKee

Flag poles, cranes and scaffolds flying the same flag today

CONSTRUCTION workers on the Rockhampton Hospital carpark downed tools this morning for bacon and eggs, sausages and onions and a yarn with the boss about being there for their mates.

It's the second time Woollam Constructions has taken time out on RUOK Day to remind the blokes there's always someone there when things are getting them down.

Site manager, Rohan Thompson said he tries to bring the subject up as often as possible on site.

"We do talk about it - if someone's having a bad day there could be a reason behind it," he said.

"Whether it's a marriage breakdown, working away from home... there's a lot of factors in there and you don't know about what might trigger someone.

"It's fairly well out there in the media these days and a fair bit of support for people so the reaction is mostly positive."

Site foreman, Corey Abood said today's event was to make sure all the workers on site were aware there is someone there for them if they need to talk.

He said awareness was increasing and men were getting more comfortable with the subject, suicide and mental health still wasn't common talk in the smoko room.

"It's more in their own crews," he said.

"If someone notices someone else having a hard time they can help to build them up a bit.

"But it can go unnoticed and people don't want to be a burden.

"Everyone has a family to go home to at the end of the day and these things impact families as well."

All over Australia, the Mates in Construction flag was flown from makeshift flag poles, cranes, scaffolding and offices, visible to almost 20,000 workers.

CEO Jorgen Gullestrup said participation was overwhelming.

"We certainly didn't expect this many sites and this many flags to be flying as part of this initiative," he said.

ALARM BELLS AND RED FLAGS

  • One construction worker is lost to suicide every second day, or 190 every year.
  • Construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than an accident at work.
  • Young workers are well over two times more likely to take their own lives than other young Australian men.


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