Mental Health in the Construction Industry: a Rapid Review

David Oswald1, Jessica Borg2 & Fred Sherratt3

1Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford Campus, Chelmsford, UK, CB12LZ
2RMIT University, 360 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Australia, 3001
3RMIT University, 360 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Australia, 3001


Principles of lean construction have been suggested as strategies towards improving health and safety (H&S) in construction. Previous research has typically focused on the physical aspects of H&S; yet individuals who work within the construction industry have an increased risk of suffering from mental health conditions. This is an area which is gaining attention but is yet to be researched in depth. Through a rapid review of literature, this paper identifies 15 studies, and reviews the current literature concerning mental health within the construction industry. Theoretically, results suggest that mental health is a significant problem within the construction industry; and practically, it is recommended that organisations should consider evidence-based suggestions of ways to address this issue through approaches such as alternate work schedules, and the use of validated detection tools. The results of the review revealed that the current literature is limited, both in terms of quantity and research approaches adopted, and therefore, further high-quality studies are required in this area. The principles of lean construction present an opportunity for addressing the issue of poor mental health in the construction industry, thus expanding the application of lean construction beyond addressing merely the physical aspects of H&S issues.


Lean construction; waste; safety, quality, health; employee well-being; mental health



Oswald, D. , Borg, J. & Sherratt, F. 2019, 'Mental Health in the Construction Industry: a Rapid Review' In:, Proc. 27th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC). Dublin, Ireland, 3-5 Jul 2019. pp 1049-1058

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