Preventing psychosocial risks in the construction industry.

RD – 10/2019

The significance of psychosocial illnesses in the constantly changing world of work and the necessary preventive measures cannot be neglected. The problem of psychosocial stress is now increasingly being dealt with by the construction industry.

Against this backdrop, the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) and the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) recently joined forces in a joint project to publish a good practice guide to psychosocial risks in the construction industry.

The guide has already been translated into several European languages and has been well received by stakeholders at international level. It is intended to serve as a tool for good practice, risk assessment and risk reduction. The guide is addressed to employers, project managers and coordinators as well as workers and worker representatives.

A construction site, as a workplace, is particularly challenging. In contrast to other static workplaces, a construction site is constantly changing. Construction is mobile and is carried out under constantly changing climatic conditions. Construction itself changes the environment permanently and is confronted with different kinds of technologies, which are often not standardised.

According to the report, psychosocial risk factors include tighter deadlines and coordinating with other trades. The guide is a tool for identifying risk factors and developing individual measures and can be used universally in various areas. For example, the guide can be used to develop unbureaucratic risk assessments.

The diversity of the world of work requires action to be taken. The German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the Building Trade has already dealt with this issue and published helpful advice and guides (German only) for its insured persons and companies.