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Contractor safety practices and injury rates during construction of Denver International Airport.

Glazner-JE; Borgerding-J; Bondy-J; Lowery-JT; Lezotte-DC; Kreiss-K
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; :54-55
Background: We sought to explain variation in injury rates found for categories of companies and contracts involved in the construction of Denver International Airport (DIA) by surveying contractors about company and contract-level safety practices. Methods: We conducted 213 telephone interviews (83% response) with representatives of contracts with payrolls of more than $250,000. We investigated the relationship between safety actions reported in the survey and injury occurrence by calculating aggregate injury rates (lost-work-time (LWT) rates and non-LWT rates) for the group of respondent contracts reporting always taking the action and for the group not always taking the action. Using Poisson regression, we examined the association between contract injury rates and contract safety practices, controlling for variables previously shown to affect contract-level injury rates. Results: In Poisson regression, two actions, (1) disciplinary action always resulting when safety rules were violated and (2) contractors always considering experience modification ratings when selecting subcontractors, were associated with lower LWT injury rates. Three actions or contract characteristics resulted in lower non-LWT rates: management always establishing safety goals for supervisors, conducting drug testing at times other than badging or after an accident, and completing the DIA contract on budget, rather than over budget. In contrast, reportedly consistent use of a number of accepted safety practices was associated with significantly higher injury rates in bivariate and multivariate analyses. Conclusions: The pattern of counterintuitive results found in this study suggests that survey questions reflecting agreed-upon safety practices, when asked of the person responsible for all on-site construction activities, are likely to elicit normative responses. Objective validation of reported safety practices, when used in conjunction with measures of both time at risk and outcome as well as control for prevailing risk of the work performed, is critical to evaluating their efficacy in reducing injury rates.
Accidents; Accident-prevention; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Injury-prevention; Construction-industry; Safety-programs; Safety-practices; Safety-research; Statistical-analysis
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NOIRS 2000 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA., October 17-19, 2000
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division