Stakeholders must prioritize health and safety of construction workers

Stakeholders in the construction value chain, have been urged to prioritize health and safety issues of workers in the construction industry.

Construction work is a high-risk-prone sector, it employs a significant number of the working population in the any country.

There was therefore the need for serious action by construction companies to safeguard the health and safety of workers.

Research was commissioned in Ghana by the Youth Sector Engagement Group (Y-SEG) in partnership with Participatory Development Associates (PDA) to explore the health conditions of young construction workers and to identify the key stakeholders responsible for managing youth health and safety in the country’s construction industry.

The construction sector has the tendency to expose workers to risk in the physical environment at the workplace, nature of construction operations, construction methods and materials, heavy equipment use, physical properties, personality conflicts as well as heavy workload.

The dominance of young people in construction presents an invaluable opportunity to rethink and prioritize their health and safety both on and off the site, and more so, as they underwent physical, emotional, mental, social, and professional development.

Among the key findings in the report were the physical health problems such as general body pains, stomach problems, skin problems, sexual weakness, hypertension, and heart problems.

On the mental front, the study portrayed common mood and substance use disorders, high prevalence of mania, substance abuse/addiction disorders, bodily symptoms, sleep problems, depression and anxiety disorders.

The report identified poor physical and mental health as significant contributors that reduce the work capability of young construction workers.

The conclusion is, that construction workers needed to safeguard themselves, by taking precautionary measures at all times because of the health and safety dangers posed by their work.

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