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Article

WILLIAM S. DESTER and DAVID I. BLOCKLEY

The construction industry has a poor safety record. There is a common perception that this is because it is an inherently dangerous industry. It is suggested that the…

Abstract

The construction industry has a poor safety record. There is a common perception that this is because it is an inherently dangerous industry. It is suggested that the industry would be better characterized as one with a poor safety culture and that attempts to improve the safety record will not be fully effective until the safety culture is improved. The relationship between unsafe behaviour and safety culture is discussed together with the difficulties of assessing and managing safety culture. Some of the influences on safety culture in construction are described. The initiative to develop an improvement in the safety culture of construction needs to come from within the industry through a genuine commitment to safety.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

Mu’awiya Abubakar, Bello Mahmud Zailani, Muhammad Abdullahi and Abubakar Muhammad Auwal

Despite the efforts of organizations to improve safety performance, shortfalls of the strategies have been reported in numerous studies around the globe. However, previous…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the efforts of organizations to improve safety performance, shortfalls of the strategies have been reported in numerous studies around the globe. However, previous studies in countries with more organized construction sectors show that adopting a resilient safety culture by organizations has a tendency of improving safety performance. As safety culture is dynamic which differs with geographical context, the purpose of this paper is to achieve two objectives: testing the causal relationship between safety performance and resilience safety culture in the Nigerian construction environment; and determining the key components for ensuring the resilience of construction organizations with regards to safety.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative research approach was used. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire. The population of the study comprises small and medium construction organizations predominantly across the Northern region in the Nigerian built environment. A total of 180 questionnaires were distributed to construction managers and safety managers in respective organizations to serve as respondents to the study. Partial least square – structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was used to test the relationship between safety performance and resilience safety culture. While principal component analysis was used determining the key components for ensuring the resilience of construction organizations with regards to safety.

Findings

Findings of this study revealed that resilient safety culture has a significantly strong positive relationship with safety performance. Safety hazard recognition and effective safety response attitude were identified as the key components for guaranteeing a resilient safety culture.

Practical implications

With a view to achieve a consistently high safety performance, organizations have to acknowledge and anticipate unexpected hazardous events and provide the necessary safety resources to manage them. Furthermore, there is also the need to create awareness on recognized safety concerns on safety hazards, coupled with a dynamic risk response attitude to ensure consistent improvement in safety performance.

Originality/value

This study presents an alternative to the slow and reactive safety culture of the Nigerian built environment. This study builds on existing literature, and the findings explore the potential impact of adopting a resilient safety culture in construction organizations in Nigeria. This study provided further insights into key factors organizations need to focus on to ensure resilient nature. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no prior study in this regard was conducted in Nigeria despite its apparent need.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Book part

Patrick A. Palmieri, Lori T. Peterson, Bryan J. Pesta, Michel A. Flit and David M. Saettone

Through a number of comprehensive reviews, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has recommended that healthcare organizations develop safety cultures to align delivery system…

Abstract

Through a number of comprehensive reviews, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has recommended that healthcare organizations develop safety cultures to align delivery system processes with the workforce requirements to improve patient outcomes. Until health systems can provide safer care environments, patients remain at risk for suboptimal care and adverse outcomes. Health science researchers have begun to explore how safety cultures might act as an essential system feature to improve organizational outcomes. Since safety cultures are established through modification in employee safety perspective and work behavior, human resource (HR) professionals need to contribute to this developing organizational domain. The IOM indicates individual employee behaviors cumulatively provide the primary antecedent for organizational safety and quality outcomes. Yet, many safety culture scholars indicate the concept is neither theoretically defined nor consistently applied and researched as the terms safety culture, safety climate, and safety attitude are interchangeably used to represent the same concept. As such, this paper examines the intersection of organizational culture and healthcare safety by analyzing the theoretical underpinnings of safety culture, exploring the constructs for measurement, and assessing the current state of safety culture research. Safety culture draws from the theoretical perspectives of sociology (represented by normal accident theory), organizational psychology (represented by high reliability theory), and human factors (represented by the aviation framework). By understanding not only the origins but also the empirical safety culture research and the associated intervention initiatives, healthcare professionals can design appropriate HR strategies to address the system characteristics that adversely affect patient outcomes. Increased emphasis on human resource management research is particularly important to the development of safety cultures. This paper contributes to the existing healthcare literature by providing the first comprehensive critical analysis of the theory, research, and practice that comprise contemporary safety culture science.

Details

Strategic Human Resource Management in Health Care
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-948-0

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Book part

Darren Wishart, Bevan Rowland and Klaire Somoray

Driving for work has been identified as potentially one of the riskiest activities performed by workers within the course of their working day. Jurisdictions around the…

Abstract

Driving for work has been identified as potentially one of the riskiest activities performed by workers within the course of their working day. Jurisdictions around the world have passed legislation and adopted policy and procedures to improve the safety of workers. However, particularly within the work driving setting, complying with legislation and the minimum safety standards and procedures is not sufficient to improve work driving safety. This chapter outlines the manner in which safety citizenship behavior can offer further improvement to work-related driving safety by acting as a complementary paradigm to improve risk management and current models and applications of safety culture.

Research on concepts associated with risk management and theoretical frameworks associated with safety culture and safety citizenship behavior are reviewed, along with their practical application within the work driving safety setting. A model incorporating safety citizenship behavior as a complementary paradigm to safety culture is proposed. It is suggested that this model provides a theoretical framework to inform future research directions aimed at improving safety within the work driving setting.

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Book part

Sharon Newnam and Carlyn Muir

Road trauma remains a significant concern internationally. Traffic crashes rank within the top three leading causes of death for individuals aged between 15–44 years old…

Abstract

Road trauma remains a significant concern internationally. Traffic crashes rank within the top three leading causes of death for individuals aged between 15–44 years old, with nonfatal casualties occurring at around 30 times the rate of fatal incidents. Historically, road safety research has not captured factors relating to driving purpose. However, more recently, researchers have focused on the importance of driving for work. Over a third of traffic volume represents commuting or driving in the line of employment; improving workplace road safety practices represents a tangible way of reducing road trauma. This chapter considers the link between safety culture and best practice in workplace road safety. It is argued that best practice is not a term to define individual safety practices, but a system of practices that create a culture of safety. This research uses data collected on organizations workplace road safety practices within the Australian context. This data has been collected by the National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP); an initiative that constitutes a network of organizations and academics working together to develop a positive road safety culture. Twenty-four case studies are presented of organizations that have implemented workplace road safety programs to improve their safe driving culture. Qualitative analysis was conducted to systematically categorize the safety initiatives and their indicators of success. Almost all case studies expressed the importance of developing a safety-first culture in the workplace. Third-party regulation, internal policy and corporate social responsibility form the foundation of workplace safety. However, it was the culture and attitude towards the safety initiatives that achieved effectiveness in the long-term. The findings of this research support the argument that best practice is best achieved when integrated within a culture that values and prioritizes safety, rather than implemented in isolation to other elements in the workplace system.

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Article

Deepak MD and Gangadhar Mahesh

Safety in construction projects is essential and requires more attention towards minimizing the accident rate. Problems concerning awareness of safety risks, procedures…

Abstract

Purpose

Safety in construction projects is essential and requires more attention towards minimizing the accident rate. Problems concerning awareness of safety risks, procedures and practices still exist in the industry, which indicate a shortfall in diffusion of safety-related knowledge in construction industry. Also, there is dearth of studies on knowledge management strategies to prevent reoccurrence of accidents and thereby improve safety culture in construction industry. This study attempts to unveil aspects of knowledge management that are ignored in considering safety culture and discern the differences in the perception of key stakeholders of construction industry. Therefore, the objective of this study is to identify and measure knowledge-based safety culture elements.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the focus is on the application of a reliable, valid and sensitive knowledge-based safety culture assessment tool on key stakeholders operational in construction industry. Research method adopted is a questionnaire-based survey to seek responses from industry professionals. A total of 199 responses were obtained from 106 different companies operational in Indian construction industry. Statistical analyses including ranking analysis, t-test, correlation analysis, and ANOVA test are utilized for comparing and identifying the differences in view of stakeholder's perceptions concerning workplace safety.

Findings

This study helps to identify and rank critical knowledge-based safety culture elements from the perspective of key stakeholders of construction industry. This contributes in identifying the most critical and neglected variables among the key stakeholders regarding aspects of safety culture. Also, the study shows the importance of knowledge dimension in developing overall safety culture in construction industry.

Originality/value

Results of this study offer valuable insight in enabling key stakeholders of construction industry to examine and enhance their safety performance. The implications of this study contribute new knowledge in assessing conditions that will improve worker safety in the construction industry. The paper should be of interest to researchers and practitioners in the area of occupational health and safety management.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article

Rounaq Nayak and Joanne Zaida Taylor

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the challenges for food inspectors when attempting to assess the food safety culture of a business. It is the eighth article in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the challenges for food inspectors when attempting to assess the food safety culture of a business. It is the eighth article in this issue of Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, discussing the importance of measuring food safety and quality culture.

Design/methodology/approach

As part of a larger research project, 15 semi-structured interviews were conducted to gain a deeper understanding of the current challenges faced by food inspectors in assessing food safety and the future prospects of measuring food safety culture in the UK food system.

Findings

Food inspectors face increasing challenges in their role of assessing not just the visible level of legal compliance but also potential risk within a food business; while aware of the importance of food safety culture, they are unsure how to formally assess it. The UK Food Standards Agency developed a toolkit to assist inspectors in assessing the food safety culture of a business; however, this has been found to be onerous and difficult to implement in practice.

Originality/value

This paper will be of value to practitioners, researchers and other stakeholders involved in the hospitality industry.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

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Article

Pedro M. Arezes and A. Sérgio Miguel

The emergence of implementation and certification of structured management systems, such as the occupational health and safety management system, implies that companies…

Abstract

The emergence of implementation and certification of structured management systems, such as the occupational health and safety management system, implies that companies should be able to measure the results and achievements from such implementation. This paper focuses on the description and comparison of the traditional indicators of health and safety performance and the use of different safety performance indicators, such as the companies’ safety culture. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the safety measurement performance process and analyze what is the potential role of safety culture in this process.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article

Mohmaed Almazrouei, Khalizani Khalid, Salam Abdallah and Ross Davidson

This paper aims to assess the ways through which the concept of health, safety and environment (HSE) is perceived by workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) oil and gas…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the ways through which the concept of health, safety and environment (HSE) is perceived by workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) oil and gas industry. The study focused on different aspects of the HSE culture and how employees with and without leadership responsibilities differed in their conceptualization of HSE culture.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted for 30 staff of the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in the UAE. The interviewees were purposively selected which included both those in leadership and non-leadership roles.

Findings

The findings revealed that the interviewees viewed HSE culture as a descriptive term, a causal phenomenon, a systemic approach or a legal requirement/obligation. Interviewees in the production and maintenance units mentioned safety most often. Employees and managers exhibited negligible differences in their usage of the HSE culture concept. Managers predominantly featured in the narratives as important drivers of HSE culture. Physical conditions, behavior and procedures, management, competence and collaboration emerged as important components of a sound HSE culture.

Originality/value

To enable better communication and subsequent improvement of the HSE culture, an analogical HSE culture “vehicle” was developed in the study. The vehicle is a novel illustration based on the key roles of managers and employees, as well as the main components of a sound HSE culture.

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Article

Justice Williams, Frank Fugar and Emmanuel Adinyira

The degree to which accidents happen or are prevented in any organisation is the function of both the health and safety culture and the safety culture maturity level of…

Abstract

Purpose

The degree to which accidents happen or are prevented in any organisation is the function of both the health and safety culture and the safety culture maturity level of the organisation. Therefore, this paper aims to determine the state of health and safety culture in the construction industry in developing economies and to assess their category on the safety maturity ladder using the Ghanaian construction industry as an example. This is to help construction companies in developing countries become conscious of the state of health and safety in the industry so they can be motivated to improve along the ladder.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 250 contractors made up of 155 building contractor,s and 95 road contractors took part in the survey. The sample size was determined by Yamane’s (1967) formula with stratified simple random sampling technique adopted in selecting the companies in the survey. This paper also uses (Guttman Scale) Scalogram analysis to measure the state of health and safety culture in the Ghanaian construction industry.

Findings

The results show that health and safety culture of the Ghanaian construction industry is at the first level, the pathological stage. Even though Ghanaian contractors have health and safety policies and codes of conduct in place, safety is not seen as a key business risk. Consequently, management and most frontline staff do not emphasise the importance of integration of safety measures in the various activities on the site. Thus, safety is not seen as unavoidable and a part of the construction activity.

Practical implications

The findings of this study inform state authorities, consultants and contractors of areas that they need to focus more on improving health and safety culture in developing countries. This would go a long way in protecting construction workers in the industry.

Originality/value

This study, to the best of the authors’ current knowledge, is the first of its kind in the Ghanaian construction industry. The study brings to the fore the actual state of health and safety in the construction industry in developing countries such as Ghana. The value of the findings lies in the fact that it will provide the motivation for construction companies in developing countries to develop a commitment to safety, and to provide appropriate and effective safety improvement techniques to progress to the subsequent stages of the safety culture maturity ladder.

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