Stress increases in construction industry

The construction industry is more stressful than it was five years ago, according to a survey of 1,000 professionals working in the sector.

The research by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) studied the main causes of occupational stress by examining different areas of the individual’s role within the organisation, including physical work environment, the organisation itself and other construction-specific potential stressors, such as site safety and industry image.

The reesults show that more than two thirds of respondents (68%) have suffered from stress, anxiety or depression.

Skills shortages are also a cause of occupational health problems, with 55% of respondents indicating that inadequate staffing levels was a factor in causing stress.

Michael Brown, CIOB deputy chief executive said, “Most people would recognise that occupational health issues like stress, anxiety and depression are present in every industry. The construction industry, however, can in one breath be challenging and stimulating, providing exciting careers and a great sense of achievement, while in the next the pressures can take their toll, raising stress levels and tipping individuals into anxiety and depression.”

The survey also suggests that poor planning, lack of feedback and generally poor communications feature highly as a cause of stress. 

“These demonstrate weaknesses in management and must be addressed as a matter of good practice,” Brown said.

The Health and Safety Executive estimates that across all industries almost 13 million working days are lost to stress, depression and anxiety – at a cost to business of at least £4bn.

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