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Site manager safety training

Billy Hare (School of the Built and Natural Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)
Iain Cameron (School of the Built and Natural Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 8 November 2011




This paper aims to present findings on research funded by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) on factors contributing to superior safety performance amongst construction firms in the UK – specifically, the level of training received by site managers.


A random sample of 100 construction firms provided details of the type and duration of health and safety (H&S) training received by their site managers. This was analysed against a three point scale: up to two days training; the Site Managers Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) five days training; and, National/Scottish Vocational Qualification for H&S – Level 3 or above. This was cross‐tabulated with their Accident Incidence Rate (AIR).


The results were as follows: up to two days training gave a mean AIR=1825; SMSTS mean AIR=1566; N/SVQ 3 or above mean AIR=211. This shows that increased durations of training are associated with lower accident rates. If duration is accepted as a measure of “level” of training then the findings support the hypothesis that increased levels of training lead to increased safety performance.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was skewed with over 70 per cent having accident rates lower than the industry average. This is common in such studies and is difficult to control without losing data. It also meant non‐parametric tests were used. The findings cannot be reliably extended to organisations with turnover less than £4m.

Practical implications

These findings add a new dimension to previous studies that have generally compared the mere presence, or otherwise, of training with safety performance.


The paper establishes a baseline in relation to the minimum level of H&S training for site managers as well as providing evidence for increased investment to achieve superior performance.



Hare, B. and Cameron, I. (2011), "Site manager safety training", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 568-578.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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