What is Stress in Construction?
Everyone experiences stress at work on occasion. Long hours, tight deadlines, and other frustrations can have a serious impact on employees. Construction industry professionals face unique kinds of workplace stress. In such a physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding field, employees have to master stress management skills early. But what is stress in construction like, anyway? It can be hard to recognize at first. Thankfully, a little education and insight can teach you how to recognize signs of stress and how to combat the most common forms.
What is Stress in Construction Like?
So what is stress in construction actually like? Ask your average construction worker – research indicates that approximately 80% of workers across all industries feel stressed on the job. Meanwhile, construction workers face a wide range of stressors, including:
Long Work Hours
Construction employees may start projects early in the morning and continue into the afternoon or evening. In some instances, construction workers can work more than 50 hours a week. The long work hours can cause workers to feel exhausted and make them increasingly susceptible to stress.
In construction, workers are tasked with performing strenuous activities that put stress on the body, including heat and cold impairments.
Workers may feel stressed about having to use aerial work platforms (AWPs) or other heavy-duty equipment to complete tasks at construction sites. If used improperly, this equipment can lead to workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
Stress in the construction industry can be problematic, but it is manageable. With the right approach, construction workers can find healthy ways to manage their stress.
Recognizing Signs of Stress in Construction
While you might expect it to be obvious, not all signs of stress in construction are easily recognizable. If you’re concerned about how stress might be manifesting for yourself or your colleagues, be on the lookout for red flags including headaches, anxiety, and panic attacks. Some people may have trouble focusing at work, while others may struggle to get enough sleep at night. This may result in low morale, poor dietary habits, and even reduced reaction time. Safety on the construction site is always imperative for all employees.
It’s easy to see how stress can become deadly. In fact, people under stress are at greater risk of heart attacks and strokes. They may be less focused at work and more prone to on-the-job accidents and injuries. All in all, stress in construction workers can be incredibly harmful for both individuals and their colleagues. If you recognize these signs of stress in the construction industry, it may be time to seek help and strategies for managing it.
How Stress in Construction Impacts Workers
It’s impossible to avoid stress altogether. That’s especially true for stress in construction. Still, a constant state of stress can have serious physical and mental health consequences for workers. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the construction industy ranks second in suicides among all professions. Often seen as a silent killer, stress can be exacerbated by chronic pain, low pain, and poor working conditions. To keep stress to a minimum, employees must find ways to relieve tensions so it doesn’t start to impact physical, emotional, or mental health.
Tips to Manage Stress in the Construction Industry
Much in the same way there is no one-size-fits-all solution to avoid stress, there is no surefire option to manage stress in the construction industry. However, there are several tried-and-true techniques that can help construction workers manage their stress. These include:
Write Down Thoughts and Feelings in a Journal
Construction workers can use a journal to put their thoughts and feelings on paper. This can help workers gain insights into their thoughts and feelings and help them identify the root cause of their stress.
It may seem impossible to find time for exercise. Yet, construction workers who take even a few minutes to exercise daily can reduce the body’s stress hormones. And, in the long run, exercise can help construction workers effectively cope with stress.
Perform Acts of Kindness
Give a compliment to a colleague or superior or perform other acts of kindness. Positivity is contagious, and a construction worker who acts kindly towards others can feel good about himself or herself. Plus, this worker can simultaneously enjoy positive feelings and reduce their stress.
If stress feels like too much to handle, a construction worker should meet with their manager. At this point, the employee can work with their manager to find the best ways to alleviate stress.
Minimizing Stress in the Construction Industry
There is no need to let stress levels escalate at a construction site. If an employer can help its workers manage stress, it can improve employee satisfaction. At the same time, this employer can lower its risk of aerial lift accidents and similar issues.
Here’s how construction companies can help their workers cope with stress:
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Encourage workers to come forward any time they feel stressed about work. These workers can then work with their managers to find healthy ways to alleviate stress.
Watch for Warning Signs
Keep an eye out for workers who are struggling to stay on track. If workers seem tired or irritable, they may need extra help to cope with stress.
Promote Employee Wellness
Offer workers healthy snacks, time to exercise, and other employee wellness incentives, so they are well-equipped to manage stress throughout the work day.
Lastly, aerial lift safety training can help your workers identify the signs of stress when they use AWPs. This training can even help your workers comply with OSHA aerial lift training requirements.
The Impact of Quality Aerial Lift Training
Stress management in the construction industry often boils down to resources. If you aren’t equipping your team with the skills, tools, and techniques they need to be successful, workers will fight an uphill battle to get tasks accomplished. Quality aerial lift training can make all the difference.
CertifyMeOnline.net offers a comprehensive aerial lift safety training program that focuses on workplace stress and other safety topics. For more information about our program, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.