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Managing occupational stress of professionals in large construction projects

Nayanthara De Silva (Department of Building Economics, University of Moratuwa, Katubedda, Sri Lanka)
Rasika Samanmali (Department of Building Economics, University of Moratuwa, Katubedda, Sri Lanka)
Harsha Lal De Silva (Department of Oral Diagnostics and Surgical Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 7 August 2017



Occupational stress among professionals in construction industry is increasing considerably due to faster economic development projects in many developing countries. Reportedly, construction professionals are the third most affected group after miners and police officers. Hence, the study aims to explore profession-specific occupational stressors, their impact on professional and the prevention strategies in place at an organizational level. The study is further focused to identify specific prevention strategies that can be implemented at the organizational level.


A questionnaire-based survey was performed among construction professionals such as project managers, engineers and quantity surveyors involved in large construction projects to identify occupational stress causing factors pertinent to construction professionals, their impact and occupational stress prevention strategies. Stress prevention strategies at primary, secondary and tertiary levels were analyzed to establish the stress prevention framework for large organizations.


Eleven occupational stress causing factors were identified to be significant in creating negative impact at work. Further, 13 resultant impacts of negative stress were recognized. Three primary prevention strategies, three secondary prevention strategies and a tertiary prevention approach were identified using a factor analysis to manage these occupational stresses at the organizational level.


Impact of occupational stress on construction professionals that may cause poor performance of the industry can be controlled by effectively managing and controlling the negative stresses.



De Silva, N., Samanmali, R. and De Silva, H.L. (2017), "Managing occupational stress of professionals in large construction projects", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 488-504.



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