Common hazards and their mitigating measures in work zones : a qualitative study of worker perceptions

Debnath, Ashim Kumar, Blackman, Ross, & Haworth, Narelle (2015) Common hazards and their mitigating measures in work zones : a qualitative study of worker perceptions. Safety Science, 72, pp. 293-301.

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Road construction and maintenance activities present challenges for ensuring the safety of workers and the traveling public alike. Hazards in work zones are typically studied using historical crash records but the current study took a qualitative approach by interviewing 66 workers from various work zones in Queensland, Australia. This supplemented and enhanced the limited available data regarding the frequency and nature of work zone crashes in Australia, provided worker insights into contributing factors, and assessed their opinions on the likely effectiveness of current or future approaches to hazard mitigation. Workers may not be aware of objective data regarding effectiveness, but their attitudes and consequent levels of compliance can influence both the likelihood of implementation and the outcomes of safety measures. Despite the potential importance of worker perceptions, they have not been studied comprehensively to date, and thus this study fills a significant gap in the literature. Excessive vehicle speeds, driver distraction and aggression towards roadworkers, working in wet weather, at night and close to traffic stream were among the most common hazards noted by workers. The safety measures perceived to be most effective included police presence, active enforcement, and improving driver awareness and education about work zones. Worker perceptions differed according to their level of exposure to hazards.

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3 citations in Scopus
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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 78058
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Work zone safety, Roadworks, Roadworker, Safety perception, Qualitative study
DOI: 10.1016/j.ssci.2014.09.022
ISSN: 0925-7535
Subjects: 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)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Industrial and Organisational Psychology (170107)
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 2015 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Safety Science. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Safety Science, [VOL 72, (2015)] DOI: 10.1016/j.ssci.2014.09.022
Deposited On: 27 Oct 2014 23:52
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2014 04:52

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