Construction is a traditionally a rough and tumble work environment so any discussion about feelings and well being might seem a bit out of place. Construction is often perceived as an industry full of tough individuals who should have no problem dealing with health or mental problems. The truth is that we need to focus more on the well being of our workers no matter what industry they are in. We need to shake off the traditional perceptions and take a more proactive approach to supporting worker well being.
Construction workers are at higher risk of health issues
Statistically construction workers are 100 times more likely to die from disease such as silicosis or asbestosis as a result of their job. As our industry continues to age we need to ensure that they live long productive careers. Construction workers are also more likely to suffer from mental health issues in addition to the physical ailments that may plague them. Nearly 16.5% percent of full-time construction workers report that they drink heavily. In addition nearly 11.6 utilized illicit drugs and 14.3 percent were addicted to one of these substances. Construction workers are traditionally under high stress and strain which can lead some of these issues. It is not hard to see that health of our workers is a major concern for our industry and we need to focus more heavily on both their mental and physical health.
Start thinking long term
In order to reduce the amount of missed worked caused by health issues we need to focus on reducing that instances of sickness and injuries. This can mean strengthening health and safety assessments as well as reducing exposure to key factors that cause illness. In addition many employers are beginning to focus on health factors that are not directly related to the work. Employers should consider putting in place masuresto help workers deal with non-work related conditions. This can lead to improving overall health making workers more productive and therefore returning a reasonable return on that investment. Wellbeing programs can also be very effective at recruiting new employees and retaining existing employees. You are demonstrating to employees that you care for them and that you are investing in their wellbeing.
There certainly can be financial implication of implementing such programs but they should be considered an investment in your employees.
Ensuring worker well being is extremely important to the overall success of a company. Our employees are how we complete the work and are our most valuable asset. Investing in both their physical and mental health is important factor in improving the overall profitability and long term success of an organization.