New Factor Linked to Injuries in Construction

New Factor Linked to Injuries in Construction

Many contractors have a safety program in place with proactive measures to minimize risk from falls, electrocutions, and other hazards common on the job site. A panel of safety experts determined one factor that can cause injury is often overlooked in construction: psychosocial factors.
Working conditions prevalent in the construction industry such as: physically demanding responsibilities, little control over work tasks, lack of support from supervisor or co-workers, and job dissatisfaction are all examples of negative psychosocial factors which can lead to adverse health effects (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Researchers have uncovered that heightened stress increases injury rates and negatively impacts organ systems. When systems begin to shut down, individuals will begin to lose their motivation and ability to complete difficult tasks. Stress can also lead to musculoskeletal disorders which account for 20% of nonfatal construction injuries (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Psychosocial factors previously stated along with unrealistic job expectations or lack of control over the work environment have resulted in greater lower back and neck or shoulder pain among construction workers, according to research conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To prevent the effects these psychosocial factors can have on construction workers, employers should look at creating a wellness program to help provide mental and physical support for their construction firm. When safety and wellness programs work together, they can provide exceptional benefits to workers and your bottom line. Small changes can help decrease the number of injuries and illnesses which will make a large impact in reducing fatalities within the construction industry. Providing benefits targeted towards mental health will go a long way in showing you care about your employee’s well-being. For example, providing telehealth services can be a resource for workers to schedule a call or visit with a therapist whenever they need to talk to someone. Employers should also look into hosting a Mental Health First Aid training for HR teams and managers, so they know how to identify mental health issues within their workplace. This will allow companies to best be equipped with any tools they need to help with and show support for their employee’s mental health.

To learn more about providing mental health and wellness resources for your workers, reach out to a member of the ‘A’ team.

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Michael Rivas

Michael Rivas is Senior Vice President, Risk Services at Assurance. He oversees the company’s risk services department, which includes compliance, wellness, risk transfer, safety and claims. Michael is responsible for integrating risk management services that provide a more holistic approach to minimizing risk and maximizing health. Michael received a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Governors State University. He sits on the Governors State Advisory Board and is a member of the Illinois Occupational Therapy Association, Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers and American Occupational Therapy Association. He’s authored several published articles and has spoken on a wide range of risk management topics for various associations.