The well-being of workers in the South African construction industry: A model for employment assistance

01 Mar 2017

The construction industry is an important player in the economy of South Africa. In spite of the numerous constraints facing the industry in developing countries, it makes significant contributions to economic growth. The construction industry is a challenging place to work. This diverse industry is, however, associated with high risk environments and employees are exposed to harsh and dangerous situations, for example, employees have to work with dangerous machines and equipment. The industry stands out from other industries as having the highest worker injury and fatality rates. Every construction worker is likely to be temporarily unfit to work at some stage as a result of moderate injuries or health problems after working on a construction site. The construction industry is closely linked to the economy of a country and is often a good indicator of the state of that economy. If the construction sector and the economy of a country are so closely linked, then it makes sense to effectively manage the human resources active within that industry. In order to investigate and explore the well-being of employees, a research questionnaire was developed and presented, to a sample of 34 male respondents in a medium sized construction company for completion. A non-probability sampling procedure was utilised for the study. The empirical results indicated the difficulties that the respondents are experiencing. The results further revealed the need for assistance from the employer to the respondents. It is anticipated that the research will contribute, firstly, to an awareness of problems in the construction industry regarding the well-being of workers, and secondly to develop a model which will positively contribute to the effective development and implementation of assistance programme for employees in the construction industry.