Stress Levels among Construction Workers in Kibera Resettlement Action Plan Project in Nairobi City County, Kenya
Kioko, Ruth Kamene
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Professionals engaged in the construction industry operate in highly competitive environment as they aim to keep pace with the global and national demands of infrastructural development. Workers engaged in the construction industry are expected to deliver designed projects within strict time lines and defined budgets. In this regard construction workers are subjected to emotionally and mentally demanding circumstances that contribute towards stress levels. Different studies done in segregated countries provide qualitative data concurrence that stress levels are high among construction workers. In Nigeria a study established there was high stress factors among construction workers. The contributing factors were insufficient thermal comfort, high work load; insufficient feedback on previous and ongoing building projects, inadequate security/ safety measures on site, and fragmentation of building work into specialized fields. In the United Kingdom, it was discovered that construction professionals were progressively viewing their work as being stressful. In Hong Kong, high levels of job burnout were evident among construction professionals. This has endangered their well-being and diminished their industrial efficiency and long-term competitiveness All things considered, to ensure that a given task is done considering spending plan and time, development laborers and specialists need to work for longer hours to achieve the targets that are set hence resulting to stress levels. This research looks at levels of stress in the construction business in Kenya with a focus on Kibera Resettlement Action Plan Project. In particular, the research investigates on what causes stress, stress levels and approaches to manage stress among work forces. This examination used a cross sectional descriptive investigation plan and focused on 176 employees working with H. Young and Company, (East Africa) Ltd to carry out the Kibera Resettlement Action Plan Project. The findings of the study found that the principal causes of work stress among construction workers are work overload, role conflict, complexity of roles and feedback which fall under task and organization stressors. The finding revealed that stress in construction firm is managed using different strategies that are either problem or emotional focused at the individual and company level and it established that male workers in the construction company had the highest levels of subjective stress while female workers in this construction company had the highest levels of objective stress. The study further found that general workers had the highest levels of subjective and objective stress followed by skilled workers and managers. The study thus postulates key recommendations in mitigation work stress among the construction workers. Foremost, the study recommends that construction firm to place more emphasis on task and organizational stressors especially with regard to role conflict, complexity of roles, work load and feedback. The second recommendation pertains to efforts by the management of construction firms in developing strategic ways that ensure the low cadre employees are not overburdened with work. The third recommendation is with regard to efforts by management of construction firm in regularly revising the company stress management strategies in order to maintain its efficacy. Finally, the study recommends that construction workers to form worker groups and unions in which they can share their work-related stress and report such stressors to the management for appropriate remedial measures.