Insulators LMCT task force will address construction worker suicide

Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust (LMCT) Executive Director Pete Ielmini recently joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and talked about efforts to address construction worker suicide and the resources available to help union Mechanical Insulators. 

Sadly, five times as many construction workers die by suicide than job injury.

The Mechanical Insulators LMCT is putting together a diverse task force of psychologists, doctors and training facilitators to advise labor leaders on this subject. The task force will also create a training course on how to best address construction worker suicide, Ielmini explained. 

He explained that addiction to prescription medication is a major contributor to suicide. Construction workers are prone to injury and are often prescribed opioid painkillers, which if not taken as directed, can become an addiction in as little as seven days of use. Difficult family issues can also lead to depression and cause other mental health challenges, he added.

Ielmini encouraged members of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers to use an Employee Assistance Plan, which is available through most Local Union healthcare plans and provides mental health resources. 

The economic and environmental savings of Mechanical Insulation

Ielmini also spoke about proposed legislation to incentivize Mechanical Insulation energy audits through a partnership program between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE). The bill is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Linda Sánchez  (D-Calif.) 

He explained how a Mechanical Insulation energy audit provides building managers with data that proves the value of a Mechanical Insulation project. It factors how much money is saved as well as the amount of pollution the project would reduce.

Mechanical Insulation has a return on investment of less than two years, Ielmini added.

By properly installing Mechanical Insulation, billions of dollars in oil reserves could be saved through improved energy efficiency, he said. Mechanical insulation is a good energy policy and simultaneously protects the environment. 

Ielmini then discussed legislation passed by the Maryland state legislature to provide grant funding to help pay for the installation of Mechanical Insulation. It is expected to soon be signed by Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican. Ielmini hopes the bill will bring awareness to the importance of Mechanical Insulation and that more states will follow with similar efforts.

Listen to the interview.

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