Stress in the Construction Industry

Stress in Construction

Stress in construction
Stress is a factor amongst many in working society today. With deadlines, finances, and concerns about family and friends, it’s easy to see why everyone seems so stressed out, not to mention the national and global issues we encounter just by reading the news. But those working in the construction industry have additional stress levels that affect them daily.

The building and construction industry can be incredibly demanding, with workers facing grueling deadlines, tight schedules, and pressure to get jobs done correctly. According to a survey by StrongArm Technologies, 47% of construction workers say that they are currently stressed on the job. Many construction workers also report being recently diagnosed with a stress-related condition. The impact of all these factors can have serious repercussions, both physically and mentally, if not appropriately managed. But what seem to be the main factors of stress for construction employees?

Job demands

Construction workers are under a great deal of stress due to the demanding nature of their job. They are often required to work long hours in difficult and dangerous conditions. Additionally, they may have to work overtime or on weekends in order to meet deadlines.

Physical risks

Construction workers also face physical risks on the job, which can lead to stress. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry accounted for 46.1% of all fatal falls, slips, and trips in 2020, similar to previous years. Some construction employees are often at risk of exposure to harmful materials such as asbestos or lead.

Financial insecurity

Many construction workers are also under financial stress due to their job insecurity. They may be paid by the hour, and thus their income can fluctuate depending on the amount of work they can find. Additionally, they may not have access to health insurance or other benefits that would provide financial security in case of an injury or illness.

Time away from family

Construction workers often have to spend extended periods away from their families, which can add to their stress levels. They may be required to work out of town or on different shifts than their family members. This can make it challenging to maintain relationships and can add to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Pressure to perform

Construction workers may also feel great pressure to perform well on the job. Their work is often critical to the success of a project, and they may feel like they cannot make mistakes. This pressure can lead to anxiety and stress.

What are some ways to help construction workers manage their stress?

  • Encourage regular breaks
    Construction work can be physically and mentally demanding, so it’s important for workers to take regular breaks. Breaks allow workers to rest and recover, which can help reduce stress levels.
  • Provide support
    There is a stigma among those in the construction industry to not talk about issues that may be affecting them on the job. Find ways to provide them with a support system. This could include having a supervisor or manager who is accessible and willing to help with any problems that may arise or offering monthly support groups.
  • Paid time off
    Another way to reduce stress in construction workers is to offer them paid time off. This can allow workers to take a break from work when needed without worrying about losing pay.
  • Employee assistance programs
    Think about offering them access to employee assistance programs. These programs can provide workers with confidential counseling, financial assistance, and other resources to help them cope with stress.
  • Employee training programs
    Offering employee education employees on different positions within their company can make employees feel more valued and feel like they have an opportunity to grow. Basic employee safety training can also bring awareness on dealing with the riskier details of their jobs.

 There are practical approaches employers can take to ensure they are actively helping their crew members manage stress, such as providing a safe work environment where they can voice their concerns. It is possible to create a better environment for these hard-working men and women, increasing the productivity of the whole team. Remember, identifying signs of stress on your team will help boost group morale and protect against burnout.

Resources on Stress Management

American Institute of Stress

National Institutes of Health