Pilot Assessment of Physiological Measures for Construction Workers
Limited data exists informing how and to what extent construction activities impact worker health and productivity. This research explores the impact of construction activities and environmental factors on the health and productivity of five professional construction workers over a two-week period as they worked to construct the concrete foundation of the Olympic Museum in Colorado Springs, CO, August 2017. The study collects and analyzes physiological data from the construction employees using off-the-shelf monitoring devices. Vital signs and physical indicators measured include factors related to cardiovascular stress, musculoskeletal stress, heart rate, breathing rate, and core temperature. The research documents data collection and analysis methods, as well as preliminary findings. Findings begin to show how such data can be used to characterize and distinguish health and productivity measures for individual construction workers across weather conditions and construction activities. The contribution is a demonstration of monitoring and analysis techniques applicable for professional construction workers when performing activities including: leveling dirt, setting walls forms, installing embeds for concrete and driving heavy equipment.
Aging Workforce and Their Safety and Health Concerns in the Construction Industry
The aging population is an increasingly urgent issue worldwide. A report by the United Nations indicates that in 2015, there were approximately 66.5 million people aged 60 and over in the United States, accounting for 20.7 percent of the US population. As the number of aging workers increases in the construction industry, their injuries appear to be more severe than those of younger workers, and it is becoming necessary to take a proactive approach to injuries and illnesses of older workers. In this regard, nonfatal injuries and illnesses among the aging workforce in the construction industry have not received the attention necessary to understand and address this issue. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a common illness among older workers, and the rate of MSDs steadily increases with age. The objective of this study is to identify safety and health concerns of the aging workforce and suggest possible interventions for providing a safe work environment for older workers in the US construction industry. This paper discusses three intervention strategies: ergonomic solutions, wellness programs, and safety climate. The ergonomic solutions are predominantly concerned with new and emerging technologies like exoskeleton devices. Second, the types and benefits of wellness programs for the aging workforce are addressed. Lastly, this work discusses developing inclusive safety climate through an increased understanding of the characteristics of an aging workforce.