Australian tradies are renowned for their toughness. However, this ‘harden up’ mentality means they are more at risk of suicide than any other industry. It was reported last year that construction workers are 10 times more likely to die from self-inflicted injuries than from a workplace incident. Young tradies are even more at risk, being twice as likely to commit suicide compared with other age groups.
And a recent report released in New Zealand – with links to Aussies because of common work conditions – revealed that workplace pressure was a factor in a third of all construction industry suicide cases. Those who are self-employed are twice as likely to be affected by work-related issues.
Workplace pressures included job insecurity, the stress of running a business, tight deadlines, juggling responsibilities and dealing with an injury or illness.
Instability of work and finances a factor
Former tradie business owner turned apprentice training advisor, Craig Bulloch, said it was a ‘harden up’ mentality that encouraged tradies to push aside their mental health concerns and made them afraid to ask for help. This is dangerous, he added, as the physical demands of trades – as well as the instability of work and finances – meant that tradies juggle a lot of potentially negative forces.
These all contribute to suicide being the leading cause of death among Australians aged 15 to 44, and make tradies almost three times more likely to commit suicide than the average Australian. Bulloch said the boom-and-bust cycle of building was hard to deal with, particularly for subcontractors who had little control over a project but were affected by its fortunes. “It does tip a lot of people over the edge,” he explained.
A report released in 2018 by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute in the UK said, “Over 420,000 people in problem debt consider taking their own life each year, and more than 100,000 people in debt actually attempt suicide.” It added that “people in problem debt are three times more likely to have considered suicide than those who are not.”
Statistics and reports like these highlight the importance of having a sound financial plan in place, so you can sleep easy at night knowing you and your family are taken care of should something unforeseen happen. Unfortunately, like mental health, financial issues are another area that tradies struggle to open up about, although they are getting better at it.
How does your cash reserve look?
As job availability goes up and down with the market, incomes can sometimes be stretched, causing a great deal of stress. Experts believe a cash reserve should be able to last you at least three, but upward of six, months. Although this reserve should be measured in time and not in dollar amounts, the amount you do save should also take any dependents and debts into consideration. (Check out our guide to Earning Money on the Side.)
For many tradies, time spent off work could be financially crippling; for most, having a cash reserve that’s sufficient to sustain you and your family during a time of hardship can feel like a pipe dream. The team at LiveWell, however, have helped countless people get on the path to financial success. We can help:
- Secure your and your family’s financial future
- Make sure you can continue to work on your terms
- Take care of your financial health
- Cover yourself for unforeseen events like redundancy, or a business downturn.
If you’re worried about your financial stability, get in touch
Our free financial health check will help identify if your finances are at risk and our team of experts can help plan a roadmap towards future financial security. We will help lay the foundations to ensure that you and your family are ready if you fall on hard times.
Take our free 10-step health check, which also covers wills, powers of attorney, home loans, savings, and all types of insurance, including life, trauma, health and income protection.
Complete a free financial health check today and find out how you’re tracking on your path to financial freedom. Don’t procrastinate any longer! It only takes a few minutes to check if your finances are on the right track. Joel and the LiveWell team have many years of financial guidance behind them, and they have access to specialist advisors and consultants who can help you become financially stable.