The role of line managers in creating and maintaining healthy work environments on project construction sites

Townsend, Keith, Loudoun, Rebecca and Markwell, Katherine orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-6349-3525 (2016) The role of line managers in creating and maintaining healthy work environments on project construction sites. Construction Management and Economics, 34 (9). pp. 611-621. ISSN 0144-6193

[thumbnail of Author Accepted Manuscript]
PDF (Author Accepted Manuscript) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL:


The focus of this article is healthy work environments in project-based construction work, and particularly a sub-element of the work environment, the food environment. Although it is well accepted that stressful work environments negatively impact on organisational and individual health indices and project construction produces some of the most severe work environments in the modern industrial landscape, the role of line managers in creating these environments is largely unknown. Healthy work environments are explored in this article because they contribute to the development of many ‘behavioral’ diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, both of which are known problems amongst construction workers. Qualitative data were collected from eighty project-based construction workers and mangers on six large civil engineering construction projects in Brisbane, Australia. Unanimous views were expressed by all interviewees that managers should not and do not influence food choices on-site. However, results also revealed clear examples of managers making decisions about food environments, work and time pressures and permitted and discouraged behaviours on-site that impact on food choices. These findings indicate limited awareness of healthy work environments in construction with the impact of management actions being largely unrecognised and unintended. It suggests with more informed management decision-making, eating habits in construction are likely to improve.

Repository Staff Only: item control page