LMCI 2017 FIF: Event to Address a Troubling Trend in Construction Industry
In December, the Labor Management Cooperation Initiative (LMCI) will once again hold its annual Finishing Industries Forum (FIF). This event, launched in 2005, hosts IUPAT union leaders, signatory contractors and end users with the purpose of learning industry trends in our many crafts, as well as presenting the opportunity for the many companies from across the United States and Canada to gather in one place to share challenges and solutions.
The event offers presentations from industry experts and workshops facilitated by peers from both labor and management on a variety of subjects important to those who work and lead in the Finishing Trades. This year, among other subjects offered, organizers of the event will conduct workshops for each of our key crafts, where attendees will have the opportunity to address specific industry issues facing both labor and management. Also scheduled are updates by IUPAT Government Affairs staff on legislative issues, current and upcoming, likely to affect the trades; a Pension Fund update by Administrator Tim Maitland; a briefing on organizing efforts by IUPAT General Vice President/Organizing Jim Williams, Jr.; and rundown on training developments by Finishing Trades Institute Director Anton Ruesing. This panel will also field questions from attendees.
One subject new to the FIF is one that is extremely important to address in the construction industry—suicide prevention.
According to a July report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the suicide rate for construction workers is the second highest of all industries (farming, fishing and forestry was first). The report showed that 53.3 construction workers out of every 100,000 fall to suicide; a stark difference to the overall suicide rate of 12.93 people per 100,000 in the United States.
The cause can be traced to the very nature of working in construction. Research from the Carson J. Spencer Foundation, an organization focused on suicide prevention, has found that industries with the highest risk of suicide have the following factors:
- A male-dominated workforce
- A widespread substance abuse problem
- A shift work system
- Access to a lethal means for suicide
- Fearlessness in a risk-taking environment
A discussion on suicide prevention, as well as the issue of substance abuse and its care, will open on the first day of the event. The goal is to find solutions for this two-fold problem that plagues the construction industry and, ultimately, start changing these grim statistics by saving the lives of our brothers and sisters on the job site.
The 2017 Finishing Industries Forum is December 3 – 6, at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Go to www.LMCIonline.org for more details and registration.