Blog: Ensuring health and wellness in the construction sector
by CynthiaMadison

Ensuring health and wellness in the construction sector

It’s a well-known fact that construction is one of the most hazardous industries in the world, with a multitude of risks present at every stage of a construction project.

Date:   9/3/2021 12:18:11 PM   ( 16 mon ) ... viewed 118 times

It’s a well-known fact that construction is one of the most hazardous industries in the world, with a multitude of risks present at every stage of a construction project. That’s why all construction companies place a great deal of importance on ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for all their employees and minimizing risks as much as possible.

Although the topic of health and safety in the construction sector is widely discussed, it usually revolves around identifying potential risks and finding suitable solutions to reduce or eliminate them altogether. While this is an important step in keeping work accidents and unpleasant events at bay, we believe there’s more that companies can do to promote health and wellness in this high-risk industry. 

Measures should go beyond implementing rigorous health and safety policies and making sure every single one of the employees working on a construction site complies with the rules and regulations in place. There should also be a focus on creating wellness programs for construction workers in order to encourage a healthier and safer lifestyle. 

So, here are some of the solutions construction companies should take into consideration if they want to make health and wellness a priority. 

Ongoing training

It’s a basic requirement for construction companies to provide quality construction equipment and accessories for their employees in order to ensure efficiency and productivity, and guarantee the success of their projects. But it’s not enough to purchase or hire the best machines and equipment. They’re also responsible for training their employees on how to operate each and every piece of equipment safely and properly. 

However, this doesn’t mean that once the training is completed everything will be smooth sailing. Over time, employees can forget some of the things they’ve learned during the initial training, and that can lead to potentially dangerous mistakes. That’s why ongoing training is necessary to make sure all workers are well informed on how to perform their duties and stay up to date with the best practices in the industry.   

Create a collaborative culture

It’s not just managers or designated trainers who can provide employees with the information and support they require to work safely and efficiently. More experienced or skilled workers can also become part of the support system, as they can guide new employees and keep them safe while they’re on the job. 

This can be accomplished by creating a collaborative culture within the construction company, and building an environment where everyone can play their part in educating and helping their colleagues grow. Apart from the knowledge employees can share, there’s also an emotional dimension to creating a collaborative culture, since employees can also provide moral support for each other and thus promote mental and emotional health in the workplace. 

Provide health advice and guidance

Working in construction usually implies performing physically demanding jobs, and that can take a toll on employees’ health. The stress and challenges of working in such a high-risk environment can also determine employees to take on unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking, which will obviously further deteriorate their physical condition. 

While companies can’t control their workers’ habits or force them to adopt a healthier lifestyle, they can provide health advice and guidance for those who want to improve their health and wellness. Appointing a professional who can counsel employees on these matters can make a big difference in their overall health and wellness, and also increase employee satisfaction.  

Set up proper rest areas 

Since we’ve mentioned how physically demanding the construction industry can be for most employees, it’s only natural for companies to ensure proper rest areas for their staff. Construction sites are not exactly the coziest and most peaceful places, so it’s up to companies to create a safe and comfortable place where their employees can rest and recharge their batteries before resuming work. 

But it’s not just proper rest areas that should become a normality in the construction industry. Companies should also allow employees to take regular and frequent breaks. Otherwise, those rest areas are not going to serve their purpose.  

Provide healthier food options 

Since construction sites aren’t usually located near a fancy restaurant, workers have very limited food options available. Most of them will bring their lunch from home or buy food from the food trucks that visit construction sites, and we all know they don’t provide the healthiest food possible. 

Companies can step in and offer better food options for their employees. Depending on their possibilities, they can either set up a canteen or bring in food trucks that prepare healthier foods for their employees. It’s an investment that employees will definitely appreciate and that can also boost their morale and productivity levels. 

Educate workers on wellness matters 

There are many health and wellness resources out there that anyone can access for free, but construction companies shouldn’t expect their employees to educate themselves on these topics without outside motivation. Even if they might be eager to learn more about it, they might not know where to start. 

The easy solution is to bring someone that could teach workers about health and wellness, provide relevant information and answer all of their questions. Construction companies can also pay for online health and wellness courses for their employees, if they really want to ensure a proper education. 

Encourage open communication 

Last but not least, construction companies should keep in mind that creating a work environment that supports health and wellness always starts with good communication. Employees should feel encouraged to ask questions that concern their health and wellbeing and speak up whenever they have an issue. 

 

This can be done by asking employees for input regularly, engaging with them on a personal level, providing different communication channels and acting on employee feedback. Stronger relationships between employer and employees are directly related to workers’ satisfaction and wellbeing. 

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