Psychosocial work environment risks during building and civil engineering work

Work at a construction site means that there can be different psychosocial risks. These can be stress, working alone, language difficulties, mental or cognitive disabilities, or that the person carrying out the work is young.

Stress at construction sites

New workplaces and working tasks makes the work varied, but at the same time more risky. There are demands for constant adaptation to new work situations, which can be stressful for those who carry out the work, as well as for the person who supervises these employees, often from a distance.

For both employees and supervisors, there must be a balance between the demands and the resources that the employer gives in order to be able to carry out the work. The employer needs to especially think about whether there is sufficient time and knowledge for the different tasks that the employees and supervisors can encounter. There need to be clear directions and support to the staff in order to meet these varied work situations.

Working alone and new working tasks at construction sites

Many jobs in the building sector mean that you work on your own, under your own responsibility. It is common that the employee is supervised by someone who is not situated where the work is being carried out, and that this supervisor simultaneously manages many employees in several different places. For the manager, this can entail discussions by phone about work environment risks.

Leading a team at a distance can create a pressured work situation for both parties. In many cases this means that the employee must carry out a risk assessment themselves. It means that the employer must make sure that the employee has the proficiency to risk-assess and that the employer must create a system to give support for this assessment.

Certain work may not be carried out alone, because the risks are too great. Working alone can in itself cause the employee to feel stressed because there is no substitute. Stress is, at the same time, one of the most common causes of accidents and serious incidents.

Threats and violence at construction sites

Threats and violence, and other provocation, can also arise in connection with the work. It is important to remember these risks, because both managers and employees within many industries in the building sector can be especially vulnerable, as they often change workplaces and working tasks, and come into new situations. Read more on the page about threats and violence.

Threats and violence

Accidents – first aid and crisis support at building sites

At every construction site there should be a plan for first aid and crisis support. There should also be staff that have training for first line care. Every employer should in addition have their own procedures for their staff. There are special rules about this.

Language and employees from other countries at construction sites

A workforce from several different countries is very common today, particularly at construction sites. Employees are hired by both Swedish and foreign companies. The majority of the employees do not speak Swedish and so need information and instructions for their work in another language. Language can therefore sometimes be a risk for employees from another country, other employees at the same workplace, or for the person who must manage the staff. It is important that one takes language, culture and communication into account during the planning of work with staff from several countries.

You will find more information at:

Posting - foreign labour in Sweden

Young employees and minors at construction sites

If you are young, or perhaps work with a young person, it is important to know that there are limitations in the tasks a young person may carry out.

For those who are at upper secondary school or are apprentices as well as being under 18 years old, there are special regulations for how their work in connection with their practical training should be organised, in order for certain types of work to be carried out.

Read more on our page about young people in working life.

Yound and new at work

Accessibility and work environment

Accessibility in a broader perspective means accessibility and usability for persons with different types of disabilities, when it comes to information, products, services and environments.

An accessible work environment

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If you have a question, want to report abuse at a workplace or give us tips on workplaces where the working environment is not good? Contact us via our contact form.

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Last updated 2019-03-19