The risk of psychological harm among construction workers is more effectively controlled if early decisions are made about exactly what practical solutions will be used at worksites to 'prevent, eliminate or minimise factors that cause it', a study has found.
Survey data from over 400 construction workers was analysed, with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the University of Queensland making the recommendation as part of the People at Work project.
The study revealed that control measures that only aimed to help individuals cope, such as individual counselling or stress management training, didn't 'adequately' address the risk of work-related psychological injury in the construction industry.
Workplace control measures were recommended to be targeted at the 'organisational level', focussing on work environment, job design and working conditions.
Six risk factors that increased the risk of psychological harm were identified and included: high supervisor relationship conflict; high role ambiguity; high role overload; high emotional demand; strong project contract pressures and strong pressure to accept work.
Factors were also identified to help construction workers cope with stressors including: high co-worker support, high supervisor support, tasks with high cognitive demands, high job control, high procedural justice and high task interdependency.