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Article
Publication date: 28 June 2013

Helen Lingard, Tracy Cooke and Ehsan Gharaie

Drawing on the findings of coronial investigations, this research aimed to investigate the circumstances and causes of fatal incidents involving plant in the Australian…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the findings of coronial investigations, this research aimed to investigate the circumstances and causes of fatal incidents involving plant in the Australian construction industry. The analysis sought to provide greater insight into how and why fatal incidents occur and to inform recommendations for the prevention of fatal incidents involving plant.

Design/methodology/approach

Fatal incidents involving plant were identified from the National Coronial Information System. In each case, the decedent was a construction worker and the incident occurred at a construction worksite. A systemic incident causation model developed by Loughborough University informed the identification of originating influences, shaping factors and immediate circumstances in each incident.

Findings

Most of the incidents involved excavators, trucks and cranes, and different classifications of plant were associated with different types of incident. The most common incident types involved people being run over by moving plant or struck by a moving object. Site layout and unsafe actions were the most commonly identified immediate circumstances. Shaping factors included site constraints and the design of plant, particularly visibility issues relating to “blind spots”. Originating influences included the design of the permanent work and construction process.

Research limitations/implications

The research highlights the usefulness of systemic incident causation models, such as the “Loughborough Model”, in the analysis of the causes of fatal incidents involving plant in the construction industry.

Practical implications

The results indicate that plant‐related fatalities occur as a result of a complex interplay of different causes, some of which are “upstream” of the construction work. The use of innovative new site planning methods and active monitoring technologies to reduce the risk of collisions between people and plant should be considered.

Originality/value

The analysis provides a more detailed qualitative analysis of the causes of fatal incidents involving excavators than would be possible using national compensation data, which restricts analysis to a classification of the mechanism and agency of injury.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2013

Helen Lingard, Tracy Cooke and Ehsan Gharaie

The paper analyses the nature and causes of fatal incidents involving excavators occurring in the Australian construction industry. A three-level incident causation model…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper analyses the nature and causes of fatal incidents involving excavators occurring in the Australian construction industry. A three-level incident causation model developed by researchers at Loughborough University forms the theoretical framework for this analysis, which seeks to identify immediate circumstances, shaping factors and originating influences in selected incidents.

Design/methodology/approach

Case study incidents were identified from the National Coronial Information System database. These incidents were subjected to content analysis to identify causal factors.

Findings

Ten cases were analysed in total. In all of these cases immediate circumstances could be identified. These included the use of unsafe work methods and the condition, suitability or useability of plant. In several cases shaping factors, such as communication between work-team members and the design of work processes, were identified as likely contributors to the incidents. In none of the cases could originating influences be identified.

Research limitations/implications

The research was limited by the relatively small number of cases for which detailed investigation reports were available and the fact that, for the most part, the reports focused on the immediate circumstances surrounding the incidents.

Practical implications

The circumstances of the fatal incidents in Australia are similar to those reported in the UK and the USA and the identified causes have known safety solutions. The persistence of these incidents in the Australian construction industry suggests that there may be underlying reasons why known safety solutions are not implemented. Further in-depth analysis of incident causes may help to identify organisational and/or cultural causes of incidents involving excavators.

Originality/value

The analysis provides a more detailed qualitative analysis of the causes of fatal incidents involving excavators than would is possible using national compensation data, which restricts analysis to a classification of the mechanism and agency of injury.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 September 2013

Ronald McCaffer

Abstract

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Hafiz Zahoor, Albert P.C. Chan, Ran Gao and Wahyudi P. Utama

The highest number of accidents in proportion to the employment rate is found in construction industry among all industries in Pakistan. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

The highest number of accidents in proportion to the employment rate is found in construction industry among all industries in Pakistan. The purpose of this paper is to identify and prioritize the contributory factors of accident causation that can significantly reduce the rate of accident in the construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 32 contributory factors of accident causation were identified through a triangulation strategy comprising eight face-to-face semi-structured interviews with the academic and industry experts coupled with a comprehensive literature review. Delphi survey was then conducted among the four respondent groups (clients, contractors, safety official and academia) to prioritize these factors. A consensus was achieved among the respondent groups after conducting two rounds of Delphi survey. Finally, the results were validated using the technique of inter-rater agreement (IRA) analysis.

Findings

All the shortlisted accident causation factors were graded as “important” to “extremely important”. Moreover, a “moderate” to “strong level” agreement was developed among the respondent groups. The three most significant factors were highlighted as “poor enforcement of safety rules and regulations by the Government agencies”, “insufficient allocation of safety budget and safety incentives by the client”, and “insufficient provision of safety training and resources by the contractor”.

Practical implications

The findings will help the key stakeholders to prioritize their energies towards achieving zero accident in the construction industry. Moreover, addition of academic experts as one of the respondent groups will enhance the linkages between the academia and the industry practitioners.

Originality/value

Besides highlighting the underlying causes of construction accidents in Pakistan, a detailed methodology is presented in this study for the analysis and validation of the Delphi survey data, which can be extrapolated in other regions and industries for elements prioritization. The findings of the study can also be generalized for other developing countries having similar work environment. The results validation through the use of IRA analysis is an addition to the field of construction safety research. The study also authenticates the applicability of IRA analysis to assess the agreement level among the respondents.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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