The job of a construction worker involves intense physical labor in less-than-ideal working conditions, with extended working hours and dangerous construction sites. Construction workers are often required to work on sites with a risk of toxin exposure or weak structural integrity of the building. Hence, all this makes construction work related jobs highly difficult and demanding.
On the other hand, there is no mental peace either, as construction workers are required to focus on ensuring that the construction takes place exactly as per the architectural and engineering plans.
Not to mention, a momentary lapse in attention can potentially lead to a dangerous accident. All these factors pose serious health risks. Therefore, construction workers need to prioritize their well-being.
While small steps towards looking after their health is a good start, however, the only long-term solution is a lifestyle change. Let’s look at some lifestyle changes which construction workers can make in their lives to stay healthy.
Follow Safety Protocols
It is often believed that experts are more likely to make mistakes than newbies, as the former often overlook basic protocols, while the latter requires more care. An error can be extremely dangerous for construction workers as they can expose themselves to hazardous substances or chemicals without following safety protocols.
For instance, working in a site infested with asbestos or silica without the proper protective gear can lead to toxin poisoning and may cause severe illnesses such as mesothelioma. While construction workers who develop such diseases are entitled to compensation and financial assistance through the mesothelioma trust funds, but the fact is money can never replace good health.
Therefore, construction workers must make it a habit to follow all safety protocols and precautions. As a regular habit, construction workers must always check the equipment, wear proper attire, adhere to safety protocols, and watch for the slightest sign of trouble.
Sleep for 8 Hours Every Night
Adults often give less priority to sleep due to the many obligations and responsibilities. For many people, 24 hours a day is not enough. Family time, social commitments, work obligations, and other responsibilities often leave no time for rest and sleep. As a result, we soldier on through the week, tired, exhausted, and far from our potential.
While for many of us, there are little to no problems arising out of such situations in the short term. We can function at an acceptable capacity without proper rest for a few weeks. However, for construction workers, the consequences can be quite dire. Due to the nature of work, construction workers must have their wits about them at all times, and a moment of distraction can have devastating effects.
A minute’s lack of clarity can cause a construction worker to take a shaky step or press the wrong button on a machine, leading to a terrible accident. Therefore, construction workers must get complete 8 hours of sleep every night.
Stay Physically Active
Construction workers are generally fit due to the manual labor they undertake. However, construction workers must maintain their health and overall diet. Everyone knows that construction work is quite demanding physically. Hence, stamina and flexibility are two things that construction workers must constantly work on improving.
Stamina is the ability to carry out intense physical activities for long stretches. Conversely, flexibility is the ability to perform extreme movements without pain and stress. Due to the unpleasant working hours at construction sites, construction workers must work on these fronts to avoid fatigue, exhaustion, and the risk of muscle injury and sprains.
Construction workers must practice an active lifestyle outside work to build muscle strength and reduce their risk of injuries. By going to the gym a few times a week, construction workers can build strength, stamina, and flexibility, which will help them stay healthy and happy.
Eat Well & Stay Hydrated
As physical stress increases, so do a person’s nutrition requirements. For construction workers, a balanced protein-rich diet is essential for staying healthy. Without proper nutrition, the human body cannot produce energy. Without energy, the high exertion of construction workers will undoubtedly lead to serious medical issues.
A healthy diet will help build energy, improve immunity, and strengthen bones. With small meals 5 – 6 times daily, construction workers can stay healthy and meet their nutritional requirements. Since a large part of the day is spent on construction sites without nutritious food options, construction workers should make it a habit to bring their food and snacks to ensure their health is not compromised.
Additionally, nutrition goes hand in hand with hydration. Staying hydrated must be a priority for construction workers since they are at a high risk of dehydration and heat stroke. In addition to the recommended eight glasses of water, they should drink hydrating fluids. Experts recommend that anyone involved in manual labor should keep water on hand and drink a few ounces every 15-20 minutes to maintain the water level in the body.
Another extremely important lifestyle practice construction workers should adopt is sanitizing regularly. Construction workers are exposed to chemicals, dirt, toxic materials, and many other unsafe substances during their work. Without good hygiene practices, this exposure can lead to many diseases.
It is a good practice for construction workers to wash their hands regularly on-site. Since hands often come in contact with one’s face, washing them frequently reduces the risk of infection. Another must-do is to clean and treat wounds immediately while at work. Working on construction sites often causes small scrapes and harmless injuries. However, leaving them untreated can cause infection.
Finally, construction workers should try to get out of their work gear immediately after their shift ends. The clothes and gear construction workers wear are full of toxins and dirt, which can pose health risks. Therefore, construction workers should make it a regular practice to take off their dirty gear and shower immediately after work.
The human body is complex, and like all machines, it requires maintenance and upkeep to function properly. Eating well, staying active, and getting enough rest are some lifestyle changes you can make to maintain your health. However, the more stress your body experiences, the more care it needs to stay healthy.
Hence, it is especially important for people in physically demanding professions, such as construction workers, to care for their bodies. With the above lifestyle changes, construction workers can help keep their bodies in prime shape and stay healthy.