As the transportation construction industry ramps up to manage the anticipated growth of projects from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), it is faced with ensuring a healthy workforce, both mentally and physically.

After more than two years of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have increased their awareness about how stress, uncertainty, and anxiety can harm workers and the workplace. Many have begun to address mental health in addition to workers’ physical safety. They are expanding their efforts to address the underlying challenges facing their employees, such as depression and substance abuse.

Up to 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a mental health condition, according to a 2018 report in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Another study found the construction industry has the second highest suicide rate among major employment sectors. Despite advances by women, construction remains a male-dominated industry, and research show that men have higher suicide rates.