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Article
Publication date: 25 November 2020

David John Edwards, Igor Martek, Obuks Ejohwomu, Clinton Aigbavboa and M. Reza Hosseini

Human vibration exposure from hand-operated equipment emissions can lead to irreparable and debilitating hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). While work-place health and…

Abstract

Purpose

Human vibration exposure from hand-operated equipment emissions can lead to irreparable and debilitating hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). While work-place health and well-being (H&WB) policies, strategies and procedures have been extensively researched and documented, little has been done to develop a specific strategic framework tailored to the management of hand-arm vibration (HAV). This study fills that gap.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed philosophical approach of interpretivism and critical realism is adopted within a case study of a utilities contractor. Within this overarching epistemological design, action research approach is implemented via a three-stage investigation, namely, relevant company H&WB documents and procedures were examined, leading to the formulation of semi-structured interview questioning of the H&WB team. Their responses informed the next line of questions, delivered to middle-management responsible for overseeing H&S.

Findings

The findings are instructive in revealing that while substantial documentation management (augmented with protocols and checks) was in place, the system fell short of implementation within the workforce and thus failed to preserve worker H&WB. The investigation generated recommendations for shoring up H&WB deficiencies observed and developed a theoretical model to represent these. Though these recommendations were developed in response to a specific case, they form the core of a HAV operational H&WB strategy framework with applicability over a broader context.

Originality/value

This research provides unique insight into contemporary industry practices employed to manage HAV in the workplace and represents an invaluable opportunity to learn from prevailing practices and rectify deficiencies observed.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2020

David John Edwards, Iain Rillie, Nicholas Chileshe, Joesph Lai, M. Reza Hosseini and Wellington Didibhuku Thwala

Excessive exposure to HAV can lead to hand–arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) which is a major health and well-being issue that can irreparably damage the neurological…

Abstract

Purpose

Excessive exposure to HAV can lead to hand–arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) which is a major health and well-being issue that can irreparably damage the neurological, vascular and muscular skeletal system. This paper reports upon field research analysis of the hand–arm vibration (HAV) exposure levels of utility workers in the UK construction sector when operating hand-held vibrating power tools.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical epistemological lens was adopted to analyse primary quantitative data on the management of hand-held tool trigger times (seconds) collected from field studies. To augment the analysis further, an interpretivist perspective was undertaken to qualitatively analyse interviews held with the participating company's senior management team after field study results. This approach sought to provide further depth and perspective on the emergent numerical findings.

Findings

The findings reveal that none of the operatives were exposed above the exposure limit value (ELV) and that 91.07% resided under the exposure action value (EAV). However, the Burr four parameter probability model (which satisfied the Anderson–Darling, Kolmogorov–Smirnov and chi-squared goodness of fit tests at α 0.01, 0.02, 0.05, 0.1 and 0.2 levels of significance) illustrated that given the current data distribution pattern, there was a 3% likelihood that the ELV will be exceeded. Model parameters could be used to: forecast the future probability of HAV exposure levels on other utility contracts and provide benchmark indicators to alert senior management to pending breaches of the ELV.

Originality/value

HAV field trials are rarely conducted within the UK utilities sector, and the research presented is the first to develop probability models to predict the likelihood of operatives exceeding the ELV based upon field data. Findings presented could go some way to preserving the health and well-being of workers by ensuing that adequate control measures implemented (e.g. procuring low vibrating tools) mitigate the risk posed.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 February 2018

Maxwell Fordjour Antwi-Afari, Heng Li, David John Edwards, Erika Anneli Pärn, De-Graft Owusu-Manu, Joonoh Seo and Arnold Yu Lok Wong

Work-related low back disorders (LBDs) are prevalent among rebar workers although their causes remain uncertain. The purpose of this study is to examine the self-reported…

Abstract

Purpose

Work-related low back disorders (LBDs) are prevalent among rebar workers although their causes remain uncertain. The purpose of this study is to examine the self-reported discomfort and spinal biomechanics (muscle activity and spinal kinematics) experienced by rebar workers.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, 20 healthy male participants performed simulated repetitive rebar lifting tasks with three different lifting weights, using either a stoop (n = 10) or a squat (n = 10) lifting posture, until subjective fatigue was reached. During these tasks, trunk muscle activity and spinal kinematics were recorded using surface electromyography and motion sensors, respectively.

Findings

A mixed-model, repeated measures analysis of variance revealed that an increase in lifting weight significantly increased lower back muscle activity at L3 level but decreased fatigue and time to fatigue (endurance time) (p < 0.05). Lifting postures had no significant effect on spinal biomechanics (p < 0.05). Test results revealed that lifting different weights causes disproportional loading upon muscles, which shortens the time to reach working endurance and increases the risk of developing LBDs among rebar workers.

Research limitations/implications

Future research is required to: broaden the research scope to include other trades; investigate the effects of using assistive lifting devices to reduce manual handling risks posed; and develop automated human condition-based solutions to monitor trunk muscle activity and spinal kinematics.

Originality/value

This study fulfils an identified need to study laboratory-based simulated task conducted to investigate the risk of developing LBDs among rebar workers primarily caused by repetitive rebar lifting.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Marwan Mohamed, Erika Anneli Pärn and David John Edwards

The purpose of this paper is to present an understanding of the potential impact of Brexit upon the UK construction industry. Specifically, the work analyses the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an understanding of the potential impact of Brexit upon the UK construction industry. Specifically, the work analyses the construction industry’s reliance upon European Union (EU) skilled labour and seeks to determine the potential impact that Brexit poses upon EU skilled labour entering the sector.

Design/methodology/approach

A perceptual questionnaire survey was used to elicit responses from construction professionals using the two techniques of opportunity and snowballing non-probability sampling. Summary statistical analysis of Boolean and Likert item scale data accrued was employed to elucidate upon respondents’ perceptions.

Findings

The majority of survey participants either “strongly agreed” or “agreed” that the UK construction industry relies upon EU skilled labour and that a career in the sector would not be attractive for foreign skilled labour post-Brexit. Future research proposed includes: predicting future trends in labour supply and demand and deriving new policies to address skills shortage imbalances that may be created by Brexit.

Originality/value

Original insight into an historic and unprecedented moment for the UK construction industry is presented. The work also provides pragmatic recommendations to policy makers and Higher Education Institutes to prevent the risk of Brexit further exacerbating skilled labour shortages within the industry.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2021

Simeon Babatunde, Hatem El-Gohary and David Edwards

With the growth of entrepreneurship education adoption in higher education institutions (HEIs), the importance of assessments as a tool to gauge and enhance learning is of…

Abstract

Purpose

With the growth of entrepreneurship education adoption in higher education institutions (HEIs), the importance of assessments as a tool to gauge and enhance learning is of utmost importance. The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence and appropriateness of current assessment methods for engineering and technology students in Nigerian and British HEIs.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs a qualitative research method with a case study approach to investigate the impact and suitability of assessment methods currently used within entrepreneurship education in Nigeria and England.

Findings

The results reveal that lecturers across both countries believed that assessment methods currently in use were appropriate, but were not uniform in its influence on learning. However, students were unanimous in that most assessment methods currently used were not effective at enhancing their learning, not very appropriate, and were not a good judge of their work and effort. The results were used in building a framework to understand the importance of assessment methods in entrepreneurship education.

Originality/value

In light of the inadequate literature, this paper covers an acute gap in the field. This will allow policymakers and different interested parties to reassess the development of suitable assessment methods to involve students as key stakeholders.

Details

Education + Training, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

Ruel R. Cabahug and David J. Edwards

Conducts an in‐depth examination of the current Certification of Training Achievement (CTA) scheme and critically appraises the role of construction plant operatives…

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1411

Abstract

Conducts an in‐depth examination of the current Certification of Training Achievement (CTA) scheme and critically appraises the role of construction plant operatives within the UK construction industry. Reveals a cacophony of practitioner disapproval of the CTA scheme and the Intermediate Construction Certificate (ICC) route towards attaining the National Vocational Qualification/Scottish Vocational Qualification (NVQ/SVQ) standard.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 22 September 2021

De-Graft Owusu-Manu, David Mensah Sackey, Dickson Osei-Asibey, Rachelle Kyerewah Agyapong and David John Edwards

The purpose of the study is to investigate the challenges in improving women's energy access, rights and equitable sustainable development from a Ghanaian perspective.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to investigate the challenges in improving women's energy access, rights and equitable sustainable development from a Ghanaian perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The research utilizes a mixed method. A qualitative in-depth exploratory design was chosen to understand how gender is mainstreamed within Ghana's energy sector. This included semi-structured interviews with key managers, experience policy experts and focus groups. The semi-structured interviews were analyzed using thematic content analysis (TCA).

Findings

The study reveals that the National Energy Policy of 2010, as the main energy policy regulating the energy sector in Ghana, does make provision for gender equality, safety especially women, in line with Ghana's sustainable development goals. The energy policy aims to empower women and create gender parity in the sector. Nevertheless, the study also found major challenges to gender mainstreaming in the energy sector, including poor analysis in formulating energy policies, inadequate financial resources, and poor monitoring and evaluation.

Originality/value

The paper exposes gender equity challenges associated with the energy sector in Ghana. It also offers a new policy angle which connects gender mainstreaming to sustainable development. The research describes how women are included in developing energy policies and in addressing gender challenges in the energy sector.

Details

Ecofeminism and Climate Change, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2633-4062

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 August 2020

Andrea Nana Ofori-Boadu, De-Graft Owusu-Manu, David John Edwards and Fafanyo Asiseh

This paper presents a conceptual model of effective subcontractor development practices to guide general contractors' development of a network of high-performing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper presents a conceptual model of effective subcontractor development practices to guide general contractors' development of a network of high-performing subcontractors (SCs) for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing from supplier development theories and practices in the manufacturing sector, a mixed interpretivist and empirical methodology is adopted to examine the body of knowledge within literature for conceptual model development. A self-reporting survey questionnaire with a five-point Likert scale is used to assess 30 construction professionals' perceptions of the effectiveness of 37 SC development practices classified into five categories. Descriptive statistics, weighted means, and t-tests are used for data analysis.

Findings

SC prequalification, commitment, incentives, evaluation and feedback practices can be effective in generating high-performing SCs. Practices that require more direct involvement and linkages between GC and SC are perceived to be less effective.

Research limitations/implications

Theoretical contributions include a framework to foster future research to advance knowledge and understanding to enhance the adoption of SC development practices in the construction sector.

Practical implications

Implementation of ranked SC development practices can equip GCs with a network of high-performing SCs for improved competitive advantage and revenues.

Originality/value

The proposed conceptual model expands discussions on the modification of supplier development theories and practices currently utilized in the manufacturing sector toward their application in the construction sector. This research differs from previous research, which primarily focused on the manufacturing sector.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Lee H. Fisher, David John Edwards, Erika Anneli Pärn and Clinton Ohis Aigbavboa

This paper aims to investigate the impact that building design has upon the quality of life for residents of a care home who have dementia. To present a balanced…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the impact that building design has upon the quality of life for residents of a care home who have dementia. To present a balanced perspective, carers within the care home also participate in the research.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study methodological approach was adopted using one care home, ten residents and five staff as a sample frame. During interviews conducted, participants were asked semi-structured questions on how building design features impact upon the quality of life of residents. Questions posed focussed upon key design principles that emerged from a detailed review of extant literature.

Findings

Building design for people with dementia must consider a complex array of features to provide a safe and habitable living space for residents and family members who visit. This living space must also be suitably utilitarian and provide a workable environment for staff. Hence, an appropriate balance between these two competing requirements must be attained, and often a tailor-made solution is required that fits the individual’s level of dementia. Three prominent areas that study participants expressed a desire for were a safe environment; support for wayfinding, orientation and navigation; and access to nature and the outdoors.

Originality/value

The work reports upon the rarely discussed issue of building design for people with dementia and could be used by policymakers and construction firms to enhance their knowledge capabilities in this area. The research concludes with direction for future research which should seek to provide more evidence-based research vis-a-vis perception enquiry and extend this seminal work to a larger sample of care homes or people with dementia living at home.

Details

Facilities, vol. 36 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2018

Christopher James Roberts, Erika Anneli Pärn, David John Edwards and Clinton Aigbavboa

Advancements in digital technologies have provided significant opportunities to improve the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Owner-operated (AECO) sector’s…

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1105

Abstract

Purpose

Advancements in digital technologies have provided significant opportunities to improve the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Owner-operated (AECO) sector’s performance through superior data management, streamlined processes and cooperative working practices. However, whilst academic literature widely espouses these benefits during the design and construction phases of development, research suggests that the operational phase of a building’s lifecycle has yet to fully realise performance improvements available through the application of digital modelling technology. The purpose of this paper is to synthesise extant digital modelling, asset management and emergent digital asset management literature, to report upon the beneficial implications of digitalised asset management and identify obstacles hampering its adoption in industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A componential synthesis of future work reported upon in extant literature is organised into thematic categories that indicate potential research avenues and a trajectory for digital asset management research and practice.

Findings

Themes identified include: imprecise Building Information Modelling definitions; isolated software development; data interoperability; intellectual property and virtual property rights; and skills and training requirements. Notably, increased environmental performance also arose as a theme requiring further research but received considerably less academic coverage than the other obstacles identified.

Originality/value

The work presents a comprehensive review of digital technologies utilised within the AECO sector and as such provides utility to researchers, policy makers and practitioners to enhance their knowledge capabilities.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

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