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'Wake Up Call' Suicide Figures by Occupation

Friday, March 17, 2017


ONS identifies process plant workers, construction workers and carers as particularly at risk.

GMB, Britain’s general union which represents manufacturing, construction and care workers, has described new statistics on suicide rates by occupation as "a wake up call for the whole country". 

The official figures, which breakdown suicide rates by occupation for the first time, found that:

· For shop-floor process plant workers the Standardised Mortality Ratio for suicides was 541 amongst women, and 370 amongst men

· For general construction workers the ratio was 369 (these figures are for men only)

· For care workers and home carers the ratio was 192 amongst men, and 170 amongst women

The average Standardised Mortality Ratio for all occupations across the country is set at 100. [1]

Jude Brimble, GMB National Secretary for Manufacturing, said:

“Every suicide is a personal tragedy but these figures expose a national crisis that has been in the shadows for too long.

"There can be no excuse for high suicide rates in any sector, but unacceptable cultures of exploitation, poverty pay and insecurity still persist in parts of the manufacturing and construction industries.

"This is a national wake up call for employers and Ministers to urgent steps to improve the lives of workers.”

Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary for Public Services, said:

“The national social care crisis has a deeply human cost.

"We know that care workers endure incredibly stressful conditions for very low rates of pay.

"It’s time for the UK to care about its care workers.

"The care sector has been underfunded, fragmented and poorly regulated for too long: this must now change for the sake of its staff and everyone who relies on social care.”

Contact: GMB press office on 07958 156846 or

Notes to editors

[1] ONS, ‘Suicides by occupation, England: 2011 to 2015,’ 17 March 2017:


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