Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
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Psicothema, 2009. Vol. Vol. 21 (nº 3). 427-432

Health behaviour and safety in the construction sector

José L. Meliá and Marta Becerril

Universidad de Valencia

Workers’ health behaviour includes habits or actions related to physical exercise, nutrition, smoking, and drug or alcohol consumption. Unhealthy behaviour, and especially alcohol consumption, has been considered a source of accidents and injuries among construction workers. However, unhealthy behaviour can also be seen as a result of the safety and risk conditions of these jobs. The purpose of this paper is to contrast the role of unhealthy behaviour as a source or as an outcome of safety and risk in the construction sector. Data was collected from 180 workers belonging to a Spanish construction company. Two path models representing these two hypotheses were tested. The model in which unhealthy behaviour is an antecedent of injuries did not fit the data (Chi square= 73.798, df= 3, p<0.001). Results support the hypothesis of unhealthy behaviour as a result of safety and risk factors through the mediating effect of the experience of tension (Chi-square= 4.507, df= 2, p= .212). This model not only corroborates the stressful nature of exposure to risk and the absence of supervisors’ safety response, but it also makes it possible to consider injuries as a cause of tension that, in turn, affects the employees’ unhealthy behaviour.

Conducta saludable y seguridad en el sector de la construcción. La conducta de salud abarca hábitos relacionados con el ejercicio, nutrición, tabaco y consumo de drogas o alcohol. La conducta no saludable, en especial el consumo de alcohol, se ha considerado una fuente de accidentes en construcción. Sin embargo, la conducta no saludable puede también verse como un resultado del nivel de seguridad y riesgo de esos trabajos. El propósito de este trabajo es contrastar el papel de la conducta no saludable como fuente o resultado de la seguridad y el riesgo en construcción. Los datos fueron obtenidos en 180 trabajadores de una empresa constructora española. Dos modelos path representando estas dos hipótesis fueron contrastados. El modelo en que la conducta no saludable es un antecedente de los accidentes no ajusta a los datos (Chi-cuadrado= 73,798, gl= 3, p<0,001). Los resultados apoyan la hipótesis de la conducta no saludable como un resultado de factores de seguridad y mediados por la experiencia de tensión (Chi-cuadrado= 4,507, gl= 2, p= 0,212). Este modelo corrobora la naturaleza estresora de la exposición al riesgo y la ausencia de una respuesta de seguridad de los supervisores, y permite considerar los accidentes como una causa de tensión que, a su vez, afecta la conducta no saludable.


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