Survey: Stress on the Rise in U.K. Construction Industry

April 12, 2006
Britain's construction industry is more stressful today than it was 5 years ago, according to a survey.

The survey, conducted by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), interviewed almost 1,000 construction managers and other professionals to see whether there was an increase in occupational stress in construction sites.

Results of the survey concluded that 68 percent of construction professionals reported that they have suffered from stress, anxiety or depression. Out of that figure, only 27 percent sought medical advice and 6 percent of those who had experienced occupational stress took time off.

More than half of the survey's participants (55 percent) said that inadequate staffing was a lead cause for occupational stress.

"The construction industry can in one breath be challenging and stimulating, providing exciting careers and a great sense of achievement," said Michael Brown, deputy chief executive of the CIOB, "and in the next, the pressures can take their toll, raising stress levels and tipping individuals into anxiety and depression."

The difference between the number of people who took time off while stressed compared to the number of people that knew taking time off would help them cope with their ailments but didn't (51 percent) is due to fear of being stigmatized and fear that there would be a negative impact on their career, Brown added.

Construction work is one of the most stressful occupations around the globe, according to the International Labor Office. Meanwhile, the U.K. Health and Safety Executive has estimated that across all industries almost 13 million working days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety.

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