Safety climate as a relative concept: Exploring variability and change in a dynamic construction project environment

Zhang, P, Pirzadeh, P and Lingard, H 2018, 'Safety climate as a relative concept: Exploring variability and change in a dynamic construction project environment', Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 298-316.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Safety climate as a relative concept: Exploring variability and change in a dynamic construction project environment
Author(s) Zhang, P
Pirzadeh, P
Lingard, H
Year 2018
Journal name Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Volume number 25
Issue number 3
Start page 298
End page 316
Total pages 19
Publisher Emerald Publishing
Abstract Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to use a longitudinal approach to measure safety climate at construction projects, and explore the relationship between safety climate and the level of project completion in the dynamic construction project environments. Design/methodology/approach: Multi-wave safety climate surveys were conducted at four processing plant construction projects in New Zealand. Safety climate was measured with a multi-level measurement instrument, which measured construction workers' perceptions of client's organisational safety response (COSR), principal contractor's organisational safety response (PCOSR), supervisors' safety response (SSR) and co-workers' safety response (CWSR). Findings: At the organisational level, the research identifies a general downward change trend in workers' perceptions of COSR and PCOSR. At the group level, no clear or consistent change trend is identified between the level of project completion and workers' perceptions of SSR and CWSR. Research limitations/implications: The research suggests that the construction project management should consistently emphasise the importance of safety, even when they are facing production pressure. The research highlights the opportunity to examine the role of supervisors' leadership as an antecedent to the group-level safety climate and the development of workers' safety concerns for their co-workers over time. Originality/value: This research provides the starting point for understanding safety climate in the dynamic and constantly changing construction project environments, in which the relative priorities change, adverse events arise and production pressures fluctuate over time.
Subject Building Construction Management and Project Planning
Keyword(s) Organization
Project management
DOI - identifier 10.1108/ECAM-09-2016-0207
Copyright notice © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited.
ISSN 0969-9988
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