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NORA Construction Sector Strategic Goals

Goal 8.0: Increase understanding of factors that comprise both positive and negative construction safety and health cultures; and, expand the availability and use of effective interventions at the policy, organizational, and individual level to maintain safe work practices 100% of the time in the construction industry.

Intermediate Goal 8.1: Create a working definition and framework for construction industry safety and health culture and improve understanding of the factors that contribute to a positive or negative safety and health culture in the construction industry.

Research Goals
Research Goal Number Goal Description Status
8.1.1 Survey the literature and identify and evaluate factors affecting construction safety and health cultures across the industry and incorporate findings into working construction definitions and a framework for construction safety culture and safety climate. Factors might include, but are not limited to:
  • Inherent construction attributes such as productivity pressure (“time is money”) and low bid practices
  • Industry-wide construction safety practices
  • Project level influences and attributes such as the size and complexity of the project, length of project and employee turnover
  • Type of construction work (e.g. residential construction vs. highway construction)
  • Management involvement and commitment in safety
  • Design for safety
  • Leadership
  • Foreman and supervisor involvement in safety
  • Employee involvement in safety
  • Employee characteristics such as union, non-union, or family member
  • Trade characteristics or sub-cultures
  • Employer characteristics such as prime contractor or subcontractor or size
  • Extent and type of safety training provided
  • Educational levels
  • Ethnic and cultural values of a diverse multinational workforce
  • Regional practices
  • Owner involvement – both positive and negative
  • Safety and health management programs and system components such as use of incentives, discipline, goal setting, accident investigation approaches, communication methods, sharing of findings, etc.

Enhancing Safety through Leadership
Elements of Safety Culture in the Construction Industry
8.1.2 Evaluate how safety and health cultures influence key construction industry subgroups such as:
  • New workers
  • Young/Older workers
  • Apprentices
  • Female workers
  • Immigrant workers
  • Other workers at disproportionate risk of injuries and illnesses
8.1.3 Conduct interviews of best practice construction employers and safety and health professionals to evaluate current practices in regards to construction safety culture and climate and what works for them and why. Collect information that could be used to develop a general baseline regarding the current use of climate surveys and other practices in construction.
8.1.4 Forge new partnerships with construction unions, small and large employers, trade associations, and others to evaluate factors and subgroups identified in RG 8.1.1 and 8.1.2. Attempt to build good relations with employers having a poor safety record to better understand the role of culture in relationship to why these problems exist.
8.1.5 Conduct research on indicators associated with strong safety culture, such as management commitment, policies and procedures, leadership, communication, employee involvement, etc. Examine issues that can help provide diagnostic tools for improving construction safety culture.
8.1.6 Investigate the monetary relationship (e.g. business case) between positive and negative construction health and safety cultures.

r2p Goals
r2p Goal Number Goal Description Status
8.1.7 Create a repository of existing and new research on factors and indicators influencing positive and negative safety cultures in construction.
8.1.8 Disseminate results of this research to the construction industry, workshops, and other communication media to stakeholders, labor unions, and industry associations to raise awareness of construction safety culture issues across the industry.
Page last updated:April 24, 2013
Page last reviewed:May 23, 2011
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Office of the Director


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