Preventing construction worker injury incidents through the management of personal stress and organizational stressors

Accid Anal Prev. 2012 Sep;48:156-66. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2011.03.017. Epub 2011 Apr 14.


Construction workers (CWs) are positioned at the lowest level of an organization and thus have limited control over their work. For this reason, they are often deprived of their due rewards and training or sometimes are even compelled to focus on production at the expense of their own safety. These organizational stressors not only cause the CWs stress but also impair their safety behaviors. The impairment of safety behaviors is the major cause of CW injury incidents. Hence, to prevent injury incidents and enhance safety behaviors of CWs, the current study aimed to identify the impact of various organizational stressors and stress on CW safety behaviors and injury incidents. To achieve this aim, we surveyed 395 CWs. Using factor analysis, we identified five organizational stressors (unfair reward and treatment, inappropriate safety equipment, provision of training, lack of goal setting, and poor physical environment), two types of stress (emotional and physical), and safety behaviors. The results of correlation and regression analyses revealed the following: (1) injury incidents were minimized by safety behaviors but escalated by a lack of goal setting, (2) safety behaviors were maximized by moderate levels of emotional stress (i.e., an inverted U-shape relationship between these two variables) and increased in line with physical stress and inappropriate safety equipment, (3) emotional stress was positively predicted by the provision of training and inappropriate safety equipment, and (4) physical stress was predicted only by inappropriate safety equipment. Based on these results, we suggest various recommendations to construction stakeholders on how to prevent CW injury incidents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Construction Industry / organization & administration
  • Construction Industry / standards*
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Environment
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Goals
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Organizational
  • Models, Psychological
  • Occupational Injuries / etiology
  • Occupational Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Occupational Injuries / psychology
  • Protective Devices
  • Regression Analysis
  • Reward
  • Safety Management / methods*
  • Self Report
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*