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Construction workers' health and safety knowledge: Initial observations on some test‐result data

David J. Edwards (Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Gary D. Holt (Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 28 March 2008

Abstract

Purpose

Numerous factors relate to the effectiveness of health and safety (H&S) management within construction; but a specific factor influencing the extent of H&S “incidents” on site, is the amount of H&S knowledge held by construction workers. This paper aims to offer some initial observations on construction workers' H&S knowledge, based upon test‐result data from an invigilated online H&S test.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from 564 candidates were analysed principally by observing mean performance scores and apparent differences, among the sample and defined sub‐samples, for each of five H&S subject groupings that make up the test.

Findings

Mean scores indicate better retained knowledge in “general H&S” questions and lower knowledge in “manual handling” questions. There was little difference in mean scores between defined candidate age groups; or between different size classifications of candidates' employer organisations. Perceived characteristics of employers' training regimes did not appear to impact test results either.

Research limitations/implications

Disparity among sub‐sample sizes within the data means that these findings are indicative and accordingly, have implications for a follow‐on study that will utilise deterministic modelling to more definitively confirm the effect of formal training and other (e.g. workplace) characteristics, on worker H&S knowledge retention.

Originality/value

The paper shows that workers having recently undertaken H&S training exhibit greatest retained knowledge, the level of which remains relatively consistent regardless of where a candidate lives, or a candidate's age group.

Keywords

Citation

Edwards, D.J. and Holt, G.D. (2008), "Construction workers' health and safety knowledge: Initial observations on some test‐result data", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 65-80. https://doi.org/10.1108/17260530810863343

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited