The construction industry tends to be a feast or famine segment of business. It all too often doesn’t have enough work, or conversely, has too much work for the available personnel.
For workers and employers, the lean times can contribute to a “make hay while the sun is shining” attitude in periods of abundance. This attitude, however, can have construction workers devoting long hours to their jobs with few breaks when there is sufficient work. This can be a dangerous recipe for on-the-job accidents.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction is the tenth most dangerous job in the country. There is no doubt that construction is a dangerous job and overwork, stress, and lack of rest are all contributing factors. Here’s more information on the importance of resting in construction.
Construction workers themselves are often responsible for working too much and not resting enough. Those are two factors that can lead to accidents. It is easy to see how these factors come into play as construction workers, understandably, want to make as much money as possible when the work is available.
There are other factors that can lead to construction workers working long hours without adequate rest:
- Contract Deadlines Loaded With Penalties: By their very nature, many construction contracts encourage workers to log long hours and limit breaks to meet deadlines.
- The Weather: Construction is very often limited by the weather. This means when the weather is good, gains in a project are necessary.
- Efficient Use of Equipment: Costly construction equipment must be scheduled efficiently to make the most of it. Often construction workers pay the price, and long hours can lead to safety issues.
- Budgets: In many situations, budget concerns result in too few workers logging too many hours. It is easy to see why workers would not complain about long hours when those hours mean a bigger paycheck. When construction workers clock long hours, they face physical and mental fatigue which can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities. A momentarily lack of concentration or focus can be dangerous for them and their co-workers.
In order to make sure that construction workers remain safe, they must understand the dangers of working long hours without adequate rest. One way to make sure that they do understand, is to provide training that emphasizes the importance of being well-rested on the job site.
Disclaimer: The information and suggestions contained in these safety talks are believed to be reliable. However, the authors of the topics and the owners of this web site accept no legal responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency, or completeness of such information or suggestions contained within these topics. These guidelines do not supercede local, state, or federal regulations and must not be construed as a substitute for, or legal interpretation of, any OSHA regulations.