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Abdelhamid, T S and Everett, J G (2002) Physiological Demands during Construction Work. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 128(05), 427–37.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Construction management; Research; Occupational health; construction industry; project management; safety; civil engineering;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0733-9364
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9364(2002)128:5(427)
  • Abstract:
    Notwithstanding the use of earthmoving equipment, cranes, and other machinery, physically strenuous and demanding tasks remain endemic to the construction industry. This research was motivated by the need to investigate the physical demands of construction work and to evaluate whether these physical demands are excessive. Physiological measures of energy expenditure, including oxygen consumption and heart rate data, were collected for 100 construction workers performing typical construction work. The average oxygen uptake for the measured construction activities was 0.82 L⋅min−1 (±0.22 L⋅min−1), and the average heart rate for the measured construction activities was 108 beats ⋅min−1 (±17 beats ⋅min−1). The measured data were evaluated against published guidelines for acceptable levels of physical performance in industrial settings indicating that a significant number of craft workers (20 to 40%) routinely exceed these physiological thresholds. The results clearly point to the need to promote and apply concepts of work physiology at the workplace to better the occupational health and safety of the construction workforce. This paper developed the foundation for further applied research regarding the physical demands of construction work.