Influence of work organization and work environment on missed work, productivity, and use of pain medications among construction apprentices

B. A. Evanoff, D. S. Rohlman, J. R. Strickland, A. M. Dale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Construction is among the most dangerous industries. In addition to traditional hazards for workplace injury and illness, other threats to health and well-being may occur from work organization and work environment factors, including irregular employment, long commutes, long work hours, and employer policies regarding health and safety. These nontraditional hazards may affect work and health outcomes directly, or through effects on health behaviors. The cumulative impacts of both traditional and nontraditional hazards on health-related outcomes among construction workers are largely unknown. Methods: We conducted a survey among apprentice construction workers to identify relationships between work organization and environmental factors with five outcomes of economic relevance to employers: missed work due to work-related injury, missed work due to any pain or injury, self-reported workability, health-related productivity, and use of prescription medications for pain. Results: A total of 963 surveys were completed (response rate 90%) in this young (mean age 28) working cohort. Multivariate Poisson regression models found associations between the outcomes of interest and multiple work factors, including job strain, safety behaviors of coworkers, and mandatory overtime. Univariate analysis showed additional associations, including precarious work, and supervisor support for safety. Conclusions: Findings from this cross-sectional study suggest that work organization and environment factors influence health and work outcomes among young construction trade workers. Future work with longitudinal data will examine the hypothesized paths between work factors, health behaviors, health outcomes, and work outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-276
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Total Worker Health
  • construction workers
  • health-related productivity
  • safety climate
  • work environment
  • work organization
  • workplace safety


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