Safety Culture, Safety Attitudes and Market Force Influences on Construction Site Safety

Biggs, Herbert C., Sheahan, Vaughn L., Dingsdag, Donald P., & Cipolla, Dean (2006) Safety Culture, Safety Attitudes and Market Force Influences on Construction Site Safety. In Brown, Kerry, Brandon, Peter, & Hamson, Keith (Eds.) Clients driving construction innovation: Moving ideas into practice. CRC for Construction Innovation, Brisbane, pp. 201-213.


Much has already been written regarding safety culture and how organisational values and beliefs work to influence safety on construction sites (see Guldenmund 2000; Glendon & Stanton 2000; Neal & Griffin 2004; Neal, Griffin & Hart 2000; and Mohamed 2002 for a review). From an academic perspective, safety culture is seen to be a construct that describes the values, norms, attitudes and beliefs that are held collectively towards safety within an organisation (Cox et al. 1998; Glendon & Stanton 2000; Williamson et al. 1997). When asking people who work at all levels within this industry to discuss safety and safety culture, most will discuss organisational practices that promote communication, collaboration, education and planning — indicating that a base level of safety culture knowledge exists at all levels throughout the industry workforce (see Biggs et al. 2005). Despite the large volume of safety culture literature and a reasonable degree of knowledge within the industry, there continues to be a high level of incidents and injuries (Cole Royal Commission 2003; National Occupational Health and Safety Commission 2003). A partial explanation for the lack of impact that safety culture knowledge has had on actual safety, is a complaint that the nature of the construction industry inhibits proactive safety culture behaviours. It is an argument in this chapter that more needs to be achieved by those in senior positions within the industry to ensure that safety culture knowledge is applied and managed in such a way that will have maximum impact on actual site safety. This chapter, as presented in a practical and applied sense, will discuss how construction companies can minimise market force influence through safety culture competency planning. Using data gathered recently as part of a Cooperative Research Centre for Construction Innovation research project, this chapter first outlines the research method followed by a discussion of the results pertaining to the identified safety-critical roles and the key market factors that impact OHS. The minimum safety-critical tasks are then listed for each position. Finally, a discussion is made relating to how a company could approach managing these issues through better safety culture competency planning.

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ID Code: 6278
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link) or contact the author. Author contact details :
Additional URLs:
Keywords: safety culture, safety attitudes, construction
ISBN: 1741071283
Subjects: 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 2006 CRC Construction Innovation
Deposited On: 10 Apr 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:25

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