Associations between Wage System and Risk Factors for Musculoskeletal Disorders among Construction Workers

Piece rate and performance based wage systems are common in the construction industry. Construction workers are known to have an increased risk of pain and musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). In this cross-sectional questionnaire study, we examined the association between wage system and (1) physical exertion, (2) time pressure, (3) pain, and (4) fatigue. The participants comprised 456 male Danish construction workers working on one of three different wage systems: group based performance wage, individually based performance wage, and time based wage system. The statistical analyses indicated differences between the wage systems in relation to physical exertion () and time pressure () but not to pain or fatigue. Workers on group based performance wage scored higher (i.e., worse) than workers on individual performance based wage and workers with an hourly/monthly wage. In conclusion, group performance based wage was associated with higher levels of physical exertion and time pressure. Accordingly, group performance based wage can be viewed as a factor that has the potential to complicate prevention of MSD among construction workers. Since performance based wage systems are common in many countries across the world, more attention should be paid to the health effects of these types of payment.

Source: Ajslev JZ, Persson R, Andersen LL. Pain Research and Treatment, 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/513903 

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