The role of collaboration in defining and maintaining a safety culture : Australian Perspectives in the construction sector

Biggs, Herbert C., Dingsdag, Donald P., Sheahan, Vaughn L., & Stenson, Nicholas J. (2005) The role of collaboration in defining and maintaining a safety culture : Australian Perspectives in the construction sector. In Association of Researchers in Construction Management 21st Annual Conference, September 2005, London.


The nature of the Australian construction industry, with strict time and work demands, serves to challenge construction organisations in how they can develop and maintain a positive site safety culture. Much research has examined the role management has in influencing culture, however more is needed to specifically elucidate the attributes required by leaders within organisations (Cox, Tomas, Cheyne, & Oliver 1998; Glendon & Stanton 2000; Williamson, Feyer, Cairns & Biancotti 1997). To answer this question, focus groups were held with eleven of the twelve largest construction companies across Australia. Discussion centred around safety culture and the attributes required by those who hold ‘safety critical roles’ i.e. key safety positions. Data was analysed qualitatively to identify key themes. The results indicated the strong role that leadership style, communication and workplace collaboration had in influencing the ability of organisations to develop and maintain a positive safety culture. Specifically, the participants indicated that leadership and communication styles that served to reduce conflict and work demands, and sought to involve workers in decision making and problem solving appeared to increase personalisation, which in turn increased safety awareness and safety performance.

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3 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 3798
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: CRC for Construction Innovation, Program A : Business and Industry Development, Project 2003-050-A : Construction Site Safety Culture
ISBN: 0902896938
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Icon.Net Pty Ltd
Copyright Statement: The Participants of the CRC for Construction Innovation have delegated authority to the CEO of the CRC to give Participants permission to publish material created by the CRC for Construction Innovation. This delegation is contained in Clause 30 of the Agreement for the Establishment and Operation of the Cooperative Research Centre for Construction Innovation. The CEO of the CRC for Construction Innovation gives permission to the Queensland University of Technology to publish the papers/publications provided in the collection in QUT ePrints provided that the publications are published in full. Icon.Net Pty Ltd retains copyright to the publications. Any other usage is prohibited without the express permission of the CEO of the CRC. The CRC warrants that Icon.Net Pty Ltd holds copyright to all papers/reports/publications produced by the CRC for Construction Innovation.
Deposited On: 19 Jul 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:13

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