Research shows that employees in the construction industry are at a significantly higher risk of developing health problems than their counterparts in other sectors. This risk can lead to the development of chronic diseases, increased rates of injury and psychological distress.
The culture of construction and the intensity of the job means that workers are often more stressed, this stress can result in illness and a healthy lifestyle is therefore vital. Fitness is also important in order to overcome the many physical hazards work on a construction site may present.
Some of the lifestyle choices that can help construction workers stay safe and prevent sickness include a good nutritional and balanced diet, maintaining fitness levels, strength and mobility, getting adequate hours of sleep and limiting the intake of alcohol and other illicit substances.
A range of environmental factors can make it harder for workers to achieve a healthy lifestyle including long work days, regular travel between worksites and limited facilities on sites – facilities such as kitchens to prepare healthy food, are all common barriers for construction workers to living a healthy life.
Employers should consult and collaborate with workers to identify hazards to healthy living and address them by providing solutions to health barriers.
Employers can help by implementing programs and services for workers promoting healthy living, providing them with support to make the necessary changes to improve their health.
For more on health initiatives implemented by members of the construction industry visit: