Effect of safety investments on safety performance of building projects

The construction industry is increasingly reliant on the voluntary effort of contractors to reduce accidents on construction sites. This study aims to investigate the effects of contractors’ safety investments on safety performance and identify the factors influencing the effects of safety investments on safety performance. To fulfill the research aims, a regression/correlation research design was adopted. Data were collected using multiple techniques (structured interviews, archival data and questionnaires) with 47 completed building projects. Bivariate correlation and moderated regression techniques were used to analyze the data collected. The results show that the effect of basic safety investments on safety performance does not hold constant under different project conditions. Basic safety investments have a stronger positive effect on accident prevention under a higher safety culture level and a project hazard level; while the effect of basic safety investments on accident prevention might not be positive if the project hazard level and safety culture level of the project were low. The implication of the findings is that more protection and safer environment do not always produce better safety performance without the improvement of safety culture. To achieve better safety performance, contractors need to implement the interventions that synthesize physical protection with cultivation of positive safety culture. The findings of this study offer a better understanding of the theory behind the role of safety investments in accident prevention and provide the theoretical basis to support contractors’ decisions to invest in safety.

Source :
Yingbin Feng, Effect of safety investments on safety performance of building projects, Safety Science, vol. 59, Nov. 2013, p. 28-45.

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