Building healthy construction workers: their views on health, wellbeing and better workplace design

2016-01-19T13:43:33Z (GMT) by Steph Eaves Diane Gyi Alistair Gibb
Construction is a heavy manual industry where working into later life can be a challenge. An interview study was conducted to explore workers’ understanding of their health at work and ways of making their jobs easier, safer or more comfortable. Using purposive sampling, 80 trades’ workers were selected from construction sites in the UK. The Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire and Work Ability Index were used to explore aches and pains and reducing strain on the body. A high prevalence of symptoms was reported and ratings of work ability were high. Workers were aware of the physical demands of their work and had over 250 ideas around health and wellbeing e.g. rucksacks for tools, bespoke benches, adapting PPE, and higher cost solutions e.g. mechanical lifting aids. Engagement of the workforce should be encouraged and feed into change processes in the industry to enable all workers stay fit for work for longer.