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Stakeholders in the construction value chain, have been urged to prioritize health and safety issues of workers in the construction industry.

Mr Gideon Bidor, President of Artisans Association of Ghana (AAG), said though construction work was a high-risk-prone sector, it employs a significant number of the working population in the country.

There was therefore the need for serious action by players to safeguard the health and safety of workers.

Mr Bidor made the call at the launch of a research report on the state of the youth in Ghana’s construction industry in Kumasi.

The research was commissioned by the Youth Sector Engagement Group (Y-SEG) in partnership with Participatory Development Associates (PDA) to explore the health conditions of young construction workers and to identify the key stakeholders responsible for managing youth health and safety in the country’s construction industry.

Mr Bidor said the construction sector has the tendency to expose workers to risk in the physical environment at the workplace, nature of construction operations, construction methods and materials, heavy equipment use, physical properties, personality conflicts as well as heavy workload.

He said the dominance of young people in construction presents an invaluable opportunity to rethink and prioritize their health and safety both on and off the site, and more so, as they underwent physical, emotional, mental, social, and professional development.

Among the key findings in the report were the physical health problems such as general body pains, stomach problems, skin problems, sexual weakness, hypertension, and heart problems.

On the mental front, the study portrayed common mood and substance use disorders, high prevalence of mania, substance abuse/addiction disorders, bodily symptoms, sleep problems, depression and anxiety disorders.

The report identified poor physical and mental health as significant contributors that reduce the work capability of young construction workers.
Mr Bidor urged the youth in the construction sector to be mindful of their health.

Mr Samuel Yaw Frimpong, Lead Researcher, said construction workers needed to safeguard themselves, by taking precautionary measures at all times because of the health and safety dangers posed by their work.

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