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Am J Ind Med. 2010 Jun;53(6):641-53. doi: 10.1002/ajim.20838.

Monitoring working conditions and health of older workers in Dutch construction industry.

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Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. <>



Accurate reporting of work-related conditions is necessary to monitor workplace health and safety and to identify the interventions that are most needed. In the Netherlands, working conditions and health are monitored on an aggregated level in the construction industry. One of the purposes of monitoring is to identify specific risk factors and risk groups. The objectives of this study was to examine (1) whether older workers (> or =55 years) in the construction industry are a special group at risk and (2) whether there are specific risk factors for older workers in the construction industry.


Every 2 years, more than 70,000 construction workers in the Netherlands fill out a questionnaire as part of their periodic health checkup. In a repeated cross-sectional (trend) design, we compared working conditions (physical and psychological demands), musculoskeletal disorders (symptoms and conditions), and injuries of older workers with other age categories.


Older construction workers have fewer complaints about physically demanding work and psychosocial workload, but have more complaints about working in awkward postures. Older workers have more complaints about their health than workers in other age categories. Older construction workers have fewer injuries than younger workers.


Older construction workers are a risk group for musculoskeletal disorders. Working in awkward postures can be considered a risk factor for older workers in construction industry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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