Building Scale
Building Scale
We interview successful Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) business leaders to learn how they use people, processes, and technology to scale their businesses.
Will ForetJustin Neagle

Opioids & Mental Health: Addressing the Dark Side of Construction with Jon O'Brien - KCA

E85 • Mar 26, 2024 • 55 mins

In this episode, guest Jon O’Brien shares his journey into the construction industry, discusses the impact of opioids on the workforce, and the role of outreach, doctors, and companies in addiction prevention. He emphasizes the importance of employee assistance programs and introduces mental health awareness initiatives. O’Brien also discusses his legislative work, issues with Pennsylvania's separations act, and efforts to change outdated construction laws. The episode concludes with reflections on personal growth.

Key Points

  • John O'Brien's experience in the construction industry and with the Keystone Contractors Association has led to initiatives like Construction Opioid Awareness Week, aiming to address opioid addiction and mental health issues in the AEC sector by promoting open communication and providing resources.
  • The Separations Act in Pennsylvania mandates multiple prime contractors for public construction projects, leading to inefficiencies and higher costs, and John is actively working to modernize this century-old procurement law to align with more efficient practices found in other states.
  • Companies in the AEC industry are increasingly hiring health and wellness managers and implementing programs like Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) to support workers with mental health, substance abuse, and personal issues, fostering a healthier work environment and aiding in employee retention.

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