There is, I think, no simple answer as to why construction workers are more likely than others to take their own lives (16 January, page 11). It seems this is not just a UK problem – it may be a universal one in this industry.
For me construction is a very emotional affair. I have had a love–hate relationship with it for all of my 40 years in the industry and I'm sure that many others have the same sort of relationship with the business of making buildings. It also has a habit of bringing out the worst in people.

Building is a creative art that places great demands on those participating in it, including the thousands of anonymous and itinerant people who do the work on site. These people are often working and living in pretty horrible conditions and this seems to be universal. And on top of this, the work is not regular – mortgage companies still classify building workers as casual labour.

Many workers are forced to travel to earn the sort of money they need to live a decent life – there is nothing new in this, of course, but perhaps there are increased pressures these days. Today we have the mobile phone. Everybody has one and therefore people are constantly badgered. Partners, bosses and bank managers can all call whenever they want to. Travelling workers may earn more money but are they actually earning a better quality of life? I think not.

I have left my current employer on two previous occasions during the past 30 years, because of the arduous lifestyle of the travelling man. I have to say that were I financially able, I would do so again – if for no other reason than to get away from the loneliness of other people's bedrooms.