Construction work is an inherently dangerous occupation and exposure to additional job stressors is likely to exacerbate the level of danger, increasing workers' risk for injury. Thus, it is important to identify and then reduce worker exposure to extraneous job stressors. This study examines the relationships between a variety of job stressors and injury or near-miss outcomes among construction workers. Self-reported questionnaire data collected from 408 construction labourers (male and female) via telephone interview were analysed using structural equation modelling. A theoretical model was tested whereby work stressors, classified into three groups, could be related, either directly or indirectly through the mediating effects of physical or psychological symptoms/strain, to self-reported injuries and near misses. Ten of the 12 work-related stressors were found to be directly related to either injury or near misses, including: job demands, job control, job certainty, training, safety climate, skill under-utilization, responsibility for the safety of others, safety compliance, exposure hours, and job tenure. Other stressors (i.e. harassment/discrimination, job certainty, social support, skill under-utilization, safety responsibility, safety compliance, tenure in construction) were indirectly related to injuries through physical symptoms or indirectly related to near misses through psychological strain. There was no support for the modelled gender differences. Implications for health and safety on construction sites are discussed.
Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, P.O. Box 670840, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0840