Open Access Open Badges Study protocol

A worksite prevention program for construction workers: design of a randomized controlled trial

Karen M Oude Hengel12*, Catelijne I Joling12, Karin I Proper13, Birgitte M Blatter12 and Paulien M Bongers12

Author Affiliations

1 Body@Work TNO VUmc, Research Center Physical Activity, Work and Health, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

2 TNO Quality of Life | Work & Employment, Hoofddorp, the Netherlands

3 Department of Public and Occupational Health, The EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:336  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-336

Published: 14 June 2010



A worksite prevention program was developed to promote the work ability of construction workers and thereby prolong a healthy working life. The objective of this paper is to present the design of a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of that intervention program compared with usual care for construction workers.


The study is designed as a randomized controlled trial with a follow-up of one year. Employees eligible for this study are construction workers performing actual construction work. The worksite intervention will be compared with usual care. This intervention was developed by using the Intervention Mapping approach and consists of the following components: (1) two individual training sessions of a physical therapist to lower the physical workload, (2) a Rest-Break tool to improve the balance between work and recovery, and (3) two empowerment training sessions to increase the influence of the construction workers at the worksite. Outcome measures are assessed at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months. The primary outcome measures of this study are work ability and health-related quality of life. Secondary outcome measures include need for recovery, musculoskeletal complaints, work engagement and self efficacy. Cost-effectiveness will be evaluated from the company perspective. Moreover, a process evaluation will be conducted.


The feasibility of the intervention and the study has been enhanced by creating an intervention program that explicitly appeals to construction workers and will not interfere too much with the ongoing construction. The feasibility and effectiveness of this worksite prevention program will be investigated by means of an effect- and a process evaluation. If proven effective, this worksite prevention program can be implemented on a larger scale within the construction industry.

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