construction burnout

According to new research from the team at Delamere Health Cheshire, the construction industry is facing high levels of burnout during Covid-19, as HSE offers a range of practical support and guidance to combat workplace stress

Burnout is when an individual physically cannot do their job anymore, this could be due to heavy work pressures, long hours or workloads. When you have long exposure to these stressful factors, burnout can be the result. Stress is also a major cause of anxiety and depression.

Full-time working averages out at 37 hours a week, in the UK law around working time regulations, ensures that you cannot work more than 48 hours a week on average, but you can opt-out of this working time limit.

In a recent survey carried out by YouGov, UK residents were asked whether they would support a government initiative that will force employees to leave work at a certain time to reduce the overworking culture.

Looking into industry working hours and quality of work-life balance the study determined the industries most at risk of burnout.

Topping the list as the most hazardous industry for burnout was construction, scoring 1.21 rated with the lowest score being 4.

These are the top five most burnt out industries:

  • Construction – 1.21
  • Manufacturing – 1.27
  • Wholesale, retail and auto repair – 1.37
  • Administrative & Support Services – 1.62
  • Transport and Storage – 1.65

Stress, depression or anxiety account for 51% of all work-related ill health cases and 55% of all working days lost due to work-related ill health.

Stress impacts all sectors and businesses of all sizes and employers have a legal duty to protect employees from stress at work by doing a risk assessment and acting on it.

Evidence shows that there are six key factors that, if not properly managed, are associated with poor health, lower productivity and increased accident and sickness absence rates.

Six key factors are:

  • Demands: workload, work patterns and the work environment.
  • Control: how much say the person has in the way they do their work.
  • Support: encouragement, sponsorship and resources available to workers.
  • Relationships: promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour.
  • Role: whether people understand their role within the organisation and whether the organisation ensures that they do not have conflicting roles.
  • Change: how the change (large or small) is managed and communicated.

HSE support

Rob Vondy, head of stress and mental health policy at HSE, said: “It’s well known that stress can make you ill.

“We know that work-related stress depression and anxiety has increased in recent years, and the last year has presented new challenges that have never been faced before, and which may affect the workplaces of the UK for some time to come.

“Good communication is vital as stress affects people differently – what stresses one person may not affect another. If you don’t understand the problem or its extent, tackling it will be more difficult.

“Factors like skills and experience, age or disability may all affect whether an employee can cope. People feel stress when they can’t cope with the pressures or demands put on them, either in work or other outside issues.

“Start talking to your colleagues about any issues now – the earlier a problem is tackled the less impact it will have.

“Employers should match demands to employees’ skills and knowledge. Recognising the signs of stress will help employers to take steps to prevent, reduce and manage stress in the workplace.

“Healthy and safe work and workplaces are good for business and good for workers.”

HSE has a range of practical support and guidance available including risk assessment templates, a talking toolkit to help start conversations, workbooks, posters, a new mobile app and a new automated stress indicator tool (SIT).

Check out the stress section at for help.


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