Improving Industry Safety Culture: The Tasks in Which Safety Critical Positions Holders Must be Competent

Biggs, Herbert C., Sheahan, Vaughn L., & Dingsdag, Donald P. (2006) Improving Industry Safety Culture: The Tasks in Which Safety Critical Positions Holders Must be Competent. In CIB99 International Conference on Global Unity for Safety & Health in Construction, 28/06/2006, Beijing, China.


One proposed reason for poor occupational health and safety (OHS) performance within the Australian construction industry is a lack of a consistent OHS competency framework for key positions holders. Currently, there are no minimum OHS training or competency requirements to work as any management or supervision position, from Supervisor, to Construction Manager to Managing Director. This research sought to identify the base level competencies required by those who held safety critical roles – roles previously identified by the authors (see Biggs et al, 2005). A survey was administered to key position holders within member companies of the Australian Constructors Association (Australia’s 11 largest constructors). This survey asked participants to rate how important they perceived 39 safety tasks were to the reduction of injury and incidents on site. 359 responses were returned. Data analysis extracted the tasks that were rated, on average, as important to extremely important. 18 tasks were identified as important to reducing injury, with the top three tasks being: Challenge unsafe behaviour/attitude at any level when you encounter it; Monitor subcontractor activities; and Carry out workplace and task hazard identification, risk assessments & control. It is argued that all key position holders must have competency in these top 18 tasks. By defining what competencies and behaviours are required by those who hold safety critical roles, it should be possible to provide a solid base for improving safety culture within the Australian and International Construction Industry.

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ID Code: 4675
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Construction OHS, competencies, roles, safety culture, tasks
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Industrial and Organisational Psychology (170107)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 12 Jul 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:23

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