Two years after John Prescott launched his construction safety drive, the industry is coming under renewed pressure to improve its dreadful accident record.
The government is drafting corporate manslaughter legislation, and the Health and Safety Executive is campaigning to reduce falls from height – still the biggest cause of site deaths. But while the headlines and political attention have been dominated by these tragedies, there is a growing awareness that the industry also needs to improve the whole physical and mental wellbeing of its employees.

Over the next four weeks, we will highlight ways in which construction executives can help to prevent both accidents and ailments. We will be examining the latest thinking about averting falls from heights, and looking at new occupational health schemes raising awareness about the perils of a poor lifestyle – including the role played by the industry's notoriously bad diet. But we start today with a disturbing report on the rising incidence of suicide among construction workers, which is claiming the lives of four people every week. Why are so many people working in one of Britain's most exciting industries deciding that they just can't cope?