Sherratt, Fred, & Michelle Turner (2018, August 1-3). Exploring the hidden social consequences of working in construction with Q methodology: Developing a study for Australia and the UK. In Tarcisio Abreu Saurin, Dayana Bastos Costa, Michael Behm, & Fidelis Emuse (Eds.), Coping with the complexity of safety, health, and wellbeing in construction (Conference Proceedings, Joint CIB W099 and TG59 international Safety, Health, and People in Construction Conference, Salvador, Brazil, pp. 283-291). Blacksburg, VA: International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction.

Abstract: Construction work is unhealthy and bad for worker wellbeing. The industry structure results in insecure contracts, transient work, long working hours, stressful workplaces and poor occupational health, all of which contribute to poor worker wellbeing, influence their social determinants of health, and impact society in the broadest terms, workers often unable to fully participate due to poor work-life balance. Industry has become more aware of this in recent times, yet interventions continue to focus on readily identifiable symptoms and easy solutions, such as smoking cessation programmes, rather than underlying and more systemic causes. A study which will mobilise Q methodology is proposed, to reveal how construction workers experience industry demands in the widest possible sense. By exploring subjective evaluations, the organisational and industry characteristics that impact most significantly on workers’ health and wellbeing are revealed as well as their influences on workers’ wider social contexts. This paper presents the proposed research design alongside the development of the Q-sample, the data set to be evaluated by the participants, for discussion, evaluation and feedback, before it is mobilised in the field as part of a future research project to be undertaken in Australia and the UK.

Fred Sherratt <> is in the Department of Engineering and the Built Environment, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK.