Safety culture : a multilevel assessment tool for the construction industry

Mayze, Brett R. & Bradley, Lisa M. (2008) Safety culture : a multilevel assessment tool for the construction industry. In Third International Conference of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Construction Innovation – Clients Driving Innovation: Benefiting from Innovation, 12-14 March 2008, Gold Coast, Queensland.


Traditional approaches to safety improvement often target specific audiences or single organisational levels, yet studies have long recognised the benefits of addressing interventions at multiple levels simultaneously (e.g. Hofmann & Stetzer, 1996). However, there is little empirical research that has actually investigated organisational (or in the current study worksite or project) level effects (Hofmann & Tetrick, 2003) and even fewer that have included these in considering multiple levels for improving individual's health and safety (Zohar & Luria, 2005). Furthermore, "safety culture" a concept increasingly being held liable for many workplace incidents and injuries, is derived by interactions across multiple levels of the organisational social system (Kozlowski & Klein, 2000). Accordingly, safety culture remains ill defined, and associated empirical safety research exploring antecedents of safety performance remains an underdeveloped area in the management literature (e.g. Cooper, 2000). Extending a model proposed by Neal and Griffin (2004), and using a sample of one of Australia's largest construction contracting organisations, the current research provides some insight into aspects of safety culture and its effects on individual's engagement in unsafe work practices. Development of the research model, its assessment and the findings from this study hold important implications for the construction industry at a time when lag indicators for reporting OH&S effectiveness are increasingly viewed as restrictive in providing feedback on proactive risk management strategies. Therefore it is the purpose of this paper to investigate the construct of safety culture in the construction industry, by identifying predictors of individual's safety behaviour across multiple levels and considering these in light of actual safety performance. This paper addresses contemporary research and assessment to enable the identification of culturally specific lead indicators for construction organisations to better manage key workplace characteristics demonstrated to be influential on individual’s engagement with safe work practices.

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ID Code: 15284
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The contents of this conference can be freely accessed online via the conference's web page (see hypertext link).
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Safety Culture, OH&S, Construction Industry, Measurement
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Human Resources Management (150305)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Research Centres > CRC Construction Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 22 Oct 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 16:00

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