Most construction workers have gone to work 'when too ill'

Published:  25 November, 2015

More than 90% of construction workers have admitted going to work despite knowing they were too ill or injured to carry out the task to a high enough standard, according to a new poll from www.constructaquote.com.

The 2,384 tradespeople polled said the worries of not being able to make ends meet, support loved ones and pay the bills had made them go to work despite being injured or unwell. Almost half (47%) said their freelance, contracted or self-employed status meant they would not be paid if they did not work, while a further 21% admitted they were unsure of the sick pay rules in place with their current employer.

Participants were then given a list of answers and asked to pick all those which applied to them to explain their determination to work despite not being in fit health. The most common answers given were as follows:

  • I needed to make sure I earned enough to pay my bills - 72%
  • I didn’t appreciate how ill I was until I arrived at work - 61%
  • I didn’t want to risk losing my job by getting sick - 53%
  • I didn’t want younger colleagues to think I was getting too old for the job - 21%
  • I thought being at work would make me feel more healthy - 14%

Lyndon Wood, CEO and founder of constructaquote.com, said: "While it may be easier for those working in office-based jobs to 'power through' and continue to work while struck down with illness or injury, for those working in the high-pressured and manual construction sector, it is going to have a harsher effect and be far harder to keep going. As a result, it's extremely worrying to see the results of this study.

"Not only are those willing to work when ill clearly anxious about keeping their jobs and worried about potential replacement, they also make sure their families don't suffer as a result of their personal situation. Perhaps these results indicate that more needs to be done when it comes to helping hardworking individuals feel secure in their employment after years of dedicated service to a particular industry."