A study of behaviour based safety in the Irish construction industry
The accident record of the Irish construction industry is poor, HSA statistics report that injury rate in the construction sector is consistently higher than any other sector since 2001. The researcher had a personal interest in exploring what drives people to behave unsafely at the risk of personal injury, having developed this interest while working as a safety officer in the construction sector, and wanted to explore the application of a behaviour based safety initiative to the Irish construction industry The method used was qualitative research by postal questionnaires, specifically designed for this thesis, one questionnaire aimed at management and a second for operatives, to include the views of both parties, the questionnaires followed up on findings from previous similar Irish studies. A pilot study was undertaken to improve the questionnaires and research technique. The research sample was small to medium sized construction companies based in predominately in the west of Ireland, one Dublin based company. The research found that organisations have a strong ability to influence the behaviour of their workforce, management commitment, having a strong safety culture and good supervision were identified as being the main influential factors. Contrary to previous research the role of the Safety Representative was found to be the least influential factor. Worker behaviour was found to be the biggest contributor to accident causation in participating organisations, and was considered to have a major input to the construction sector accident record. Management and operative’s survey revealed some differences of opinion between the employer and employee, the results suggested problems with communication and trust between the parties, neither the employer or the employee have taken ownership of the safety problem, while management indicated a strong will and a significant level of interest in a behavioural safety programme, a lot of ground work is needed to establish the cultural maturity and readiness of the Irish Construction Industry before its introduction. Unless there is active involvement and strong commitment by all the major stakeholders, to address the issues identified behavioural safety is very much an initiative for the future.
- Theses - Science ITS 
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