The purpose of this paper is to propose and test a framework to foster safe work behaviour among workers on construction sites.
The proposed framework identifies two main reasons for unsafe behaviours: “don't know how”, and “don't care”. Technical and safety training is proposed to overcome the former problem, while for the latter it is proposed that organisations systematically apply operant conditioning techniques to promote safety, using organisational behaviour modification. A postal survey of contractors in Singapore was conducted to test the framework. The four tools of operant conditioning theory (positive reinforcements, negative reinforcements, extinction, and punishments) were evaluated.
Close and strict supervision, sending workers for safety and health training, and imposing fines are found to be most effective methods. Positive reinforcements (both monetary and non‐monetary) have also been found to be effective, while extinction did not receive much support. Other methods that may foster safe work behaviours are also discussed.
Safety on site could be enhanced via training and application of operant conditioning theory.
Ai Lin Teo, E., Yean Yng Ling, F. and Sern Yau Ong, D. (2005), "Fostering safe work behaviour in workers at construction sites", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 410-422. https://doi.org/10.1108/09699980510608848Download as .RIS
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