NOIRS 2000--Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA, October 17-19. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2000 Oct; :35
Aim: Experience has demonstrated that large construction companies have been successful in reducing work-related injuries on well-managed sites. Using focus group methodology, the aim of this qualitative study was to identify construction workers’ and construction managers’ views regarding currently used safety practices. Questions were designed to elicit information on direct safety practices such as equipment and training, but also indirect practices for example, communication style, attitude, expectations, and unspoken messages. Methods: A series of nine focus groups was held with union and non-union carpenters, union roofers, and a mixed group of trades. Seven questions were used to elicit opinions from the construction workers. A second series of three focus groups was held with construction safety personnel or construction managers. Questions for the manager groups were developed, in part, from the worker responses, as well as theoretically and practice derived questions. Analysis: Thematic content analysis was used to determine major themes in both series of groups. Findings suggest that safety management is a complex phenomenon requiring technical, interpersonal, educational, management, and organizational skills. Management commitment to safety, modeling safe behaviors, explicit and implied messages, worksite planning, housekeeping efforts, and personal interactions affect employee morale, and subsequently may contribute to safe work practices. The role of regulatory agencies, the insurance industry, workplace culture, and individual and co-worker behavior was also explored. Conclusions: These findings may assist construction workers and managers in evaluating their safety behavior and safety practices, as well as developing new skills that may enhance their effectiveness in contributing to or managing workplace safety. When applicable, these findings may also be used to develop cost-effective, model safety and health programs for small construction firms.
NOIRS 2000 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA., October 17-19, 2000