Construction worker

A construction worker is a manual laborer employed in the physical construction of the built environment and its infrastructure.[1]

Construction worker
Construction workers wearing reflective vests, hard hats, and other protective clothing at a work site in New York City.
Activity sectors
Fields of
Construction sites
Related jobs

The term construction worker is a broad and generic term and most construction workers are primarily described by the level and type of work they perform. Labourers carry out a wide range of practical tasks to help tradespersons on construction sites. Labourers clean the construction site on a regular basis. They use tools such as rakes, shovels, and wheelbarrows to remove rubble, scraps of metal, and wood or they might also need to sweep out certain areas, and get building supplies in order.

Construction workers may also colloquially be referred to as "hard hat workers" or "hard hats",[2] as they often wear hardhats for safety.


Construction safety is very important to ensure a safe environment for the workers. All construction workers need to be educated on safety at each construction site to minimize injury.[3]


In 2008, a Human Rights Watch report described unsafe and unfair working conditions and failure on the part of the Chinese government to enforce labor standards in the construction industry.[4] The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that, at the end of 2006, 90% of the 40 million construction workers in China were migrant workers. Many of the migrant workers turned to construction work after their farming communities collapsed into poverty.[4]

In the United States, illegal immigrant labor is prevalent in the construction industry. Because of the questionable legal status of these workers, employers often have the ability to commit crimes such as wage theft and violation of workplace standards without fear of facing consequences.[5] Similar abuse of immigrant labor is also a problem in Qatar during the lead up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup where workers mostly from poor countries in the Indian Sub-continent are forced to work in desert conditions for as little as €6.20 a day.[6]

See also


  1. "Construction worker definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary". Retrieved 2018-06-09.
  2. "hardhat".
  3. Gambatese, John A.; Hinze, Jimmie W.; Haas, Carl T. (1997-01-01). "Tool to Design for Construction Worker Safety". Journal of Architectural Engineering. 3 (1): 32–41. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1076-0431(1997)3:1(32). ISSN 1076-0431.
  4. Richardson, Sophie, ed. (12 March 2008). One Year of My Blood: Exploitation of Migrant Construction Workers in Beijing (Technical report). Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  5. "Construction Booming In Texas, But Many Workers Pay Dearly". National Public Radio (NPR). 2013.
  6. "Qatar construction workers earn 55c an hour". Irish Times. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
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