AbstractPoor mental health has become rampant in the construction industry globally, causing productivity and profit losses for organizations as well as disabilities and diminished quality of life for workers. Addressing the challenge is critical for a progressive industry and healthy workforce. Existing literature discusses the causes and effects of poor mental health among construction workers. Yet, it does not, based on real-world incident data, explain vulnerable trades, common incident mechanisms, and recurring psychological injuries, nor does it examine variations of lost time within the incident severity outcome due to psychological injuries. The present study addresses these gaps by analyzing workers’ compensation offered to construction trades workers from 2008 to 2019 for psychological injuries in the Australian construction industry. Carpenters and joiners, electricians, plant operators, structural steel workers, and construction and plumbing laborers suffered more permanently incapacitating psychological injuries than other trades. Workers in projects located in metro, small rural towns, and very remote regions were more heavily represented in permanently incapacitating psychological injuries than workers in other locations. The worst psychological injury, which resulted in a combination of permanent incapacity and an extended period of lost time (over 3,000 h), was caused by anxiety combined with depression or stress, or posttraumatic stress disorder from experiencing traumatic incidents, workplace violence and bullying, or vehicle incidents. Age and gender of workers did not show a statistically significant association with psychological injuries. The findings offer practical insights for developing optimized occupational health and safety management programs for improving the mental health of construction workers.

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