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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2013

Helen Lingard, Tracy Cooke, Nick Blismas and Ron Wakefield

The research aims to explore the interaction between design decisions that reduce occupational health and safety (OHS) risk in the operation stage of a facility's life…

Abstract

Purpose

The research aims to explore the interaction between design decisions that reduce occupational health and safety (OHS) risk in the operation stage of a facility's life cycle and the OHS experiences of workers in the construction stage.

Design/methodology/approach

Data was collected from three construction projects in Australia. Design decisions were examined to understand the reasons they were made and the impact that they had on OHS in the construction and operation stages.

Findings

The case examples reveal that design decisions made to reduce OHS risk during the operation of a facility can introduce new hazards in the construction stage. These decisions are often influenced by stakeholders external to the project itself.

Research limitations/implications

The results provide preliminary evidence of challenges inherent in designing for OHS across the lifecycle of a facility. Further research is needed to identify and evaluate methods by which risk reduction across all stages of a facility's life cycle can be optimised.

Practical implications

The research highlights the need to manage tensions between designing for safe construction and operation of a facility.

Originality/value

Previous research assumes design decisions that reduce OHS risk in one stage of a facility's life cycle automatically translate to a net risk reduction across the life cycle. The research highlights the need to consider the implications of PtD decision‐making focused on one stage of the facility's life cycle for OHS outcomes in other stages.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

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Article
Publication date: 23 January 2009

Helen Lingard, Nick Blismas, Tracy Cooke and Helen Cooper

Clients of the construction industry, an important segment of the project management (PM) discipline, can make an important contribution to the occupational health and…

Abstract

Purpose

Clients of the construction industry, an important segment of the project management (PM) discipline, can make an important contribution to the occupational health and safety (OHS) performance of the construction projects they procure. This practice note aims to describe an initiative of the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

A model client framework was developed to assist Australian Government agencies to embed OHS into their procurement and PM practices.

Findings

The model client framework establishes principles for the management of OHS in construction projects and establishes processes for client involvement in OHS through the planning, design and procurement, construction and completion stages of construction projects. Within each project stage, key management actions are established for Australian Government agencies.

Practical implications

The model client framework will enable Australian Government agencies to operate in a consistent framework and on a similar footing, with respect to the management of OHS in their construction projects. This practice note describes the key components of the framework.

Originality/value

The model client framework is the first comprehensive set of tools and resources to support construction clients to integrate OHS into their procurement and PM processes. The life‐cycle approach ensures that OHS information is transferred throughout the construction supply chain from the client, through the designer, constructor and ultimately to the end‐user. The Framework shows how the integration of OHS into all aspects of project decision making (led by the client) can significantly improve the OHS performance of construction projects.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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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

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Helen Lingard, Tracy Cooke and Nick Blismas

The paper's aim is to document a survey of Australian construction workers that was conducted to examine whether conditions of within‐group homogeneity and between‐group…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper's aim is to document a survey of Australian construction workers that was conducted to examine whether conditions of within‐group homogeneity and between‐group heterogeneity in perceptions of coworkers' safety response were satisfied. The factor structure of coworkers' safety response is to be explored and the relationship between workgroup members' perceptions of their coworkers' safety response and the workgroups' injury rate is to be examined in three organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

A safety climate survey was conducted within three organizations. Retrospective and prospective workgroup injury data were collected from company records. The factor structure of coworkers' safety response was analysed using principal components analysis (PCA). Within‐group homogeneity and between‐group heterogeneity were examined using inter‐rater agreement and analyses of variance respectively. Bivariate correlations were used to explore linkages between perceptions of coworkers' safety response and workgroup injury rates.

Findings

Two distinct factors were indicated by the PCA were labeled “Coworkers' actual safety response” and “Coworkers' ideal safety response”. “Coworkers' actual safety response” demonstrated significant between‐group variance and within‐group consensus in two of the three organizations. No significant between‐group variation was found for ‘Coworkers' ideal safety response'. Neither aspect of coworkers' safety response was consistently significantly correlated with workgroup injury rate.

Research limitations/implications

Further research should examine the relationship between coworkers' safety response and workgroup safety performance using measures other than reportable injury rates.

Practical implications

The confirmation that “Coworkers' actual safety response” is a facet of group safety climate suggests that interventions to develop coworkers' support for safety within workgroups may be helpful. In particular, strategies to speed up the process of assimilation into workgroups through induction and teambuilding exercises should be evaluated.

Originality/value

The study builds on previous research examining group safety climate in construction, providing further evidence that coworkers' safety response items should be included along with supervisors' safety response items in the measurement of group safety climate. The findings suggest important directions for future empirical evaluation of the impact of coworkers' response on workgroup safety climate and performance in the construction industry.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2016

Lance W. Saunders, Andrew P McCoy, Brian M. Kleiner, Helen Lingard, Tracy Cooke, Thomas Mills, Nick Blismas and Ronald Wakefield

– The purpose of this paper is to advance knowledge on the advantages of integrating safety earlier in the construction project lifecycle.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance knowledge on the advantages of integrating safety earlier in the construction project lifecycle.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study approach is used to collect data from construction sites in the USA, which performs poorly in construction safety and health, and Australia (AU), which performs well in construction safety and health. Qualitative data are collected to determine how and when safety is considered in the project lifecycle in both countries, and then the results are benchmarked to determine the benefits of addressing safety earlier in the process.

Findings

Data show that addressing a potential hazard earlier in the project lifecycle has performance benefits in terms of the level of hazard control.

Research limitations/implications

The processes that are identified as possibly explaining the performance difference are just based on qualitative data from interviews. Targeted research addressing the relationship between these processes and safety outcomes is an opportunity for further research.

Practical implications

The case study data are used to identify specific processes that are used in AU that might be adopted in the USA to improve performance by integrating safety earlier into the decision-making process.

Social implications

This paper highlights the advantages of integrating safety as a decision factor early in the process. Worker safety is not just an issue in the construction industry, and thus the findings are applicable to all industries in which worker safety is an issue.

Originality/value

This paper advances the safety in design literature by quantitatively supporting the link between when a hazard is addressed and performance. It also links the results to specific processes across countries, which advances the literature because most research in this area to data is within a single country.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2008

Tracy Cooke, Helen Lingard, Nick Blismas and Andrew Stranieri

The purpose of this paper is to describe an innovative information and decision support tool (ToolSHeD™) developed to help construction designers to integrate the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe an innovative information and decision support tool (ToolSHeD™) developed to help construction designers to integrate the management of OHS risk into the design process. The underlying structure of the prototype web‐based system and the process of knowledge acquisition and modelling are described.

Design/methodology/approach

The ToolSHeD™ research and development project involved the capture of expert reasoning regarding design impacts upon occupational health and safety (OHS) risk. This knowledge was structured using an innovative method well‐suited to modelling knowledge in the context of uncertainty and discretionary decision‐making. Example “argument trees” are presented, representing the reasoning used by a panel of experts to assess the risk of falling from height during roof maintenance work. The advantage of using this method for modelling OHS knowledge, compared to the use of simplistic rules, is discussed

Findings

The ToolSHeD™ prototype development and testing reveals that argument trees can represent design safety risk knowledge effectively.

Practical implications

The translation of argument trees into a web‐based decision support tool is described and the potential impact of this tool in providing construction designers (architects and engineers) with easy and inexpensive access to expert OHS knowledge is discussed.

Originality/value

The paper describes a new computer application, currently undergoing testing in the Australian building and construction industry. Its originality lies in the fact that ToolSHeD™ deploys argument trees to represent expert OHS reasoning, overcoming inherent limitations in rule‐based expert systems.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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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

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

Content available
Article
Publication date: 23 January 2009

Derek H.T. Walker

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 July 2014

Mohan Kumaraswamy

Abstract

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

1 – 10 of 57