Construction Workers Participate in Stand Down to Address Overdose and Suicide Deaths in Construction Industry

More than 500 construction workers participated in a stand down at Turner Construction’s Commonwealth Pier job site to address the skyrocketing overdose deaths and suicide rates in the construction industry. The stand down held a 60-second moment of silence to recognize the 229 overdose deaths for every 100,000 construction workers.

The National Stand Down is part of The Building Trades Employers’ Association (BTEA) Northeast’s 2022 National Recovery Week, which took place April 25 – April 29, to curtail substance use disorder (SUD) and its effects that are devastating the construction industry.

View a video of the National Stand Down. 

The National Stand Down is part of The Building Trades Employers’ Association (BTEA) Northeast’s 2022 National Recovery Week, which took place April 25 – April 29, to curtail substance use disorder (SUD) and its effects that are devastating the construction industry. The week-long awareness campaign has already proved to be successful as several workers have come forward to seek treatment. Learn more about National Recovery Week.   

Industry leaders, such as Brian Chase, construction executive at Turner Construction; Paul Greeley of the Carpenters Assistance Program; Martin Walsh from the Laborers Union Local 223; and Thomas S. Gunning, executive director of BTEA Northeast, spoke to all 500 construction workers that joined together from three job sites of Turner Construction, John Moriarty & Associates, and Lee Kennedy Co. in the Seaport area on the final day of National Recovery Week.

“I am up here today, to show you that if you are out there struggling with substance use disorder that you can come forward and ask for help,” says Gunning, “it is ok to ask for help, it is ok to have a problem and it is ok to get help.”

Gunning started the Building Trades National Recovery Week in 2019 with the mission to remove the stigma of SUD and save lives. Since then, all of BTEA Northeast’s subcontactors and top construction firms, such as Turner Construction, John Moriarty & Associates, and Lee Kennedy Co., have instituted training on their job sites to combat the growing numbers of those struggling with pain and substance misuse.

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