An investigation into a health and safety rewards system on a large construction project

Oswald, D, Sherratt, F and Smith, S 2017, 'An investigation into a health and safety rewards system on a large construction project', in Paul W Chan and Christopher J Neilson (ed.) Proceedings of the Thirty-Third Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference (ARCOM 2017), Cambridge, United Kingdom, 4-6 September 2017, pp. 370-379.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title An investigation into a health and safety rewards system on a large construction project
Author(s) Oswald, D
Sherratt, F
Smith, S
Year 2017
Conference name ARCOM 2017
Conference location Cambridge, United Kingdom
Conference dates 4-6 September 2017
Proceedings title Proceedings of the Thirty-Third Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference (ARCOM 2017)
Editor(s) Paul W Chan and Christopher J Neilson
Publisher Association of Researchers in Construction Management
Place of publication Manchester, United Kingdom
Start page 370
End page 379
Total pages 10
Abstract Construction companies have widely adopted incentive systems rewarding safe acts and/or low accident rates. Through an ethnographic approach, a reward system used on a large construction project (+£500m) in the UK was investigated. As part of a wider study, the researcher visited a construction project one to three times a week for three years, and utilised participant observation as the main research tool. Data was collected through site walk-arounds, attending meetings, H&S survey results, and informal discussions with employees. H&S survey results revealed that money/vouchers (43%) were the most popular reward choice for construction workers. This was followed by branded clothing (9%), paid leave (8%) and outings (8%), such as golf days; suggesting workers were motivated by financially-based rewards, rather than certificates (6%) or public recognition (4%). An effective reward system required more than an appropriate motivator, as several challenges arose including: a lack of nominations; winners believing they did not deserve an award for 'just doing their job'; variations in prizes from shopping vouchers to iPads which led to feelings of inequality; and operative dissatisfaction when supervisors received awards. The challenges revealed can be used to aid construction companies in creating effective H&S reward programmes.
Subjects Building Construction Management and Project Planning
Keyword(s) unsafe behaviour
rewards
incentives
awards
H&S
Copyright notice © Association of Researchers in Construction Management. All rights reserved.
ISBN 9780995546318
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