Ethnic background and risk perception in construction workers: development and validation of an exploratory tool
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University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy (Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences)
Local Health Unit Company, Modena, Italy (Department of Public Health)
Observatory for the Prevention, Fontanafredda, Italy
Local Health Unit Company, Bologna, Italy (Department of Public Health)
Online publication date: 2019-12-30
Corresponding author
Alberto Modenese   

University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, via G. Campi 287, 41125 Modena, Italy
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2020;33(2):163-72
Objectives: Among occupational sectors, construction is still one of the branches with the highest reported numbers of work-related injuries and diseases, which can even lead to death and in many cases induce permanent health consequences. The vast majority of these occupational injuries and diseases are preventable; accordingly, an improvement in preventive strategies, also through a better knowledge of the main factors involved in these events, is one of the most important objectives for better occupational health and safety in the construction sector. Considering the individual factors associated with a higher risk of work-related adverse health effects in workers, an inadequate perception of occupational risks is among the most relevant issues. Risk perception can vary according to different cultural backgrounds, highly influenced by ethnicity, and it affects the relations between workers in the work environment, and the way by with they undergo the specific occupational tasks and manage risky situations frequently occurring on construction sites. Accordingly, the aim of the authors was to develop a new tool for the assessment of risk perception in construction workers with different ethnic backgrounds. Material and Methods: A team of health and safety experts involved in the training of construction workers from various ethnic backgrounds and in different regions of Italy developed and validated a questionnaire-based tool for the evaluation of their risk perception. Furthermore, through a factor analysis, a reference model defining various dimensions of occupational risk perception, relevant for the different ethnicities, was identified. Results: The final tool included 12 items aimed to assess the associations between the ethnic background and occupational risk perception of construction workers. The authors identified 4 relevant dimensions: behavioral control, work conditions, safety climate and personal attitude. Conclusions: The proposed tool should be considered to explore the appropriate ways for the development of effective preventive strategies for construction workers with different ethnic backgrounds in Italy. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2020;33(2):163–72
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