Construction workers and laborers arguably have one of the toughest jobs in the world. A lot goes into building a structure that remains firm in the long term. Therefore, a construction worker’s daily work requires extensive manual labor, a meticulous eye for detail, and considerable mathematical prowess.
Due to the physically demanding nature of the job and often difficult working conditions, the health and safety of construction workers and laborers are at risk. Operating heavy machinery, long working hours, and unsafe construction sites further add to the health risks. This makes it extremely important for construction workers to care for their health and well-being.
With the right precautions and care, construction workers can stay safe and healthy despite the risks of their profession. Here are seven ways in which construction workers can look after their health.
The most cardinal rule that construction workers need to follow to ensure their health and safety is to take all necessary precautions and follow protocols while working. It includes running diagnostics, wearing protective gear, avoiding contact with unknown substances/materials, and undergoing the required training.
There are many risks that construction workers can expose themselves to while working on-site without the proper protocols. Exposure to toxins such as lead, asbestos, silica, etc., is common and can lead to many serious health conditions, such as silicosis and mesothelioma. If a construction worker develops such a disease, they can hold their employer liable and claim asbestos compensation or file a case of employer negligence. However, prevention is always better than cure. Hence, it is best to follow all safety protocols and avoid such a fate altogether.
Good Hygiene Practices
For anyone involved in outdoor work, especially work that requires contact with various materials, chemicals, and dust, hygiene must be prioritized. Construction workers fall right within this criteria as they are exposed to multiple potential toxins and dirt, which can cause various diseases. Practicing good hygiene is the best way to safeguard their health against such risks.
General recommendations for construction workers related to hygiene include immediate showers after leaving the worksite and disposing of the gear and clothes properly before heading home. Additionally, washing hands frequently at work and treating on-site wounds without delay can help limit health risks.
Hydration is extremely important in physically demanding jobs such as construction work. Since the job usually requires outdoor work, there is a great risk of heat exposure-related ailments. A mere two hours of construction work can onset heat stress, potentially leading to dehydration and, eventually, a heat stroke. Therefore, construction workers must remain hydrated throughout the day.
While adults’ recommended daily water intake is around eight glasses, construction workers may have to exceed that number. A good practice is to always keep a water bottle on hand so that the water lost through sweat can be replenished at regular intervals.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Nutrition is essential for good health. Food is the primary energy source, and our bodies cannot function properly without sufficient energy. A balanced diet rich in nutrients that includes all the food groups has many benefits, such as building immunity, strengthening bones, and lowering the risk of disease.
For individuals involved in physically demanding work, the importance of a healthy diet cannot be emphasized enough. Construction workers, in particular, should try to eat small, nutritious meals every few hours that help boost energy. A good tip is to bring lunch from home, as the food available on-site may be filling but rarely nutritious. For construction workers, a balanced diet will make them healthier and improve productivity.
Rest & Sleep
Personal and professional responsibilities often lead us to compromise on our rest and sleep. While for most people, a lack of sleep has little to no lasting consequences; it can be the difference between life and death for construction workers. Exhaustion has no place on a construction site, as a minor lapse in attention can have devastating effects and lead to an accident.
Construction workers work on shaky, under-development structures and operate heavy equipment. Therefore, they must always be alert and attentive. For this reason, construction workers must get the recommended 7 -8 hours of sleep every night, rest, and catch a break to avoid any mistakes during work.
Physically demanding jobs require physically fit workers. Therefore, construction workers need to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives. By practicing an active lifestyle, construction workers can build muscle strength and stamina, which can help them perform better at work and also reduce the risk of serious illnesses and injuries.
Construction workers should make it a regular practice to exercise to build strength and improve their physical health. While taking time for exercise every day can be difficult, it is perfectly all right to work out 2 – 3 days a week. With regular strength training and stretching exercises, construction workers can stay healthy and improve their productivity.
Another great way for construction workers to stay healthy is to monitor their health. Early detection and diagnosis of medical problems can significantly improve the chances of treatment and recovery. Since the risk of developing medical issues related to the heart, gut, etc., is higher for construction workers, wearing health tracking devices can help identify such problems early on.
Many health tracking devices are available in the market, including several affordable options. With health tracking devices, construction workers can easily monitor their physical and emotional well-being. These devices can track a person’s heart rate, respiratory rate, activity levels, and other important health-related things.
Undoubtedly, there is nothing more important than one’s health. This statement applies to people everywhere, including construction workers. Construction is a high-risk profession when it comes to safety and health. Therefore, practicing good habits and following protocols is essential for construction workers to stay healthy. Moreover, following the above-discussed ways to stay healthy, construction workers can ensure their safety and health and also boost their performance and productivity at work.