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ARTBA Joins Ajax Paving in Suicide Prevention Effort

Mon February 27, 2023 - National Edition #5
ARTBA


The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) is backing a campaign by Ajax Paving of Florida President Vince Hafeli that spreads awareness of the suicide epidemic plaguing the construction sector.

There are more than 5,500 construction industry suicides annually. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, that equates to 45.3 per 100,000 workers, or 3.5 times greater than the national average.

The centerpiece of the initiative is a "Suicide in Construction Awareness Proclamation," which seeks signatures by industry professionals who commit to address construction industry suicides with open communication, mental health support systems, and safe and healthy work environments.

Employees, vendors, material suppliers, equipment manufacturers and dealers, engineers, family members and anyone associated with the building and transportation industry can sign the proclamation.

"We just can't afford to ignore this crisis any longer," said Hafeli. "Our industry must take steps to help our workers cope with mental health and its frequently tragic outcome —suicide."

"ARTBA is eager to support the men and women who deliver the infrastructure improvements our nation needs," said ARTBA President and CEO Dave Bauer, who signed the proclamation. "Vince's proclamation is a meaningful way for all of us to show that commitment."

"Suicide most often occurs when stress and health issues converge to create feelings of hopelessness and despair. Finding ways for companies and the broader construction industry to work to combat this crisis is important; we need to talk about it, but more importantly, take positive steps to address it," said Martin Marietta Chairman and CEO Ward Nye, who served as 2022 ARTBA chair and who also signed the proclamation. "Through our collective actions, we can make a difference."

Hafeli rolled out the proclamation Feb. 7 at the Florida Transportation Builders Association (FTBA) Construction Conference before 1,900 attendees. He is taking the virtual document to speaking engagements until December 2024, with an ambitious goal of generating 700,000 signatures.

For more information, visit www.artba.org/suicide-awareness/




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