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CLR Report

CLR Study 3 - Stress in the European Construction sector: up-to-the-minute?


Author: Jan Cremers

According to several representative studies work intensity is on the increase in Europe. One feature closely linked to the increase in work intensity is the development of work-related stress. Theoretically there is a broad consensus about the definition of stress and other methodological issues. The relationship between work hazards and stress is treated in handbooks, as is the question of stress assessment and management.

What is less known is the dynamic of work-related stress in different occupations. The latest general research leads to the conclusion that work related stress is not exclusively a disease linked to managerial job demands. In certain occupations and trades the mixture of mental and physical strain contributes greatly to the risk of work related stress. It is self-evident to conclude, therefore, that a widely
encompassing work environment and health and safety policy is the most promising way forward for an adequate and pragmatic strategy for stress management in construction.

The European Institute for Construction Labour Research has prepared this study on work-related stress in the construction sector in close cooperation with the European social partners (FIEC and EFBWW). This publication includes desktop research, case studies, country reports and a first survey among construction workers.