Talking safety: health and safety communication and safety climate in subcontracted construction workgroups

Lingard, H, Pirzadeh, P and Oswald, D 2019, 'Talking safety: health and safety communication and safety climate in subcontracted construction workgroups', Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, vol. 145, no. 5, pp. 1-11.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Talking safety: health and safety communication and safety climate in subcontracted construction workgroups
Author(s) Lingard, H
Pirzadeh, P
Oswald, D
Year 2019
Journal name Journal of Construction Engineering and Management
Volume number 145
Issue number 5
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Publisher American Society of Civil Engineers
Abstract The practice of subcontracting out construction work has been identified as a contributing factor in poor work health and safety (WHS) performance. Relatively few studies have considered the processes through which safety climates develop within subcontracted workgroups. This study sought to examine the relationship between intragroup communication relating to WHS and the workgroup safety climate. Data were collected from 39 subcontracted workgroups in the Australian construction industry using social network analysis to examine worker-to-worker, supervisor-to-worker, and worker-to-supervisor patterns of WHS-related communication. The relationship between group social network metrics and group safety climate were examined. Network density was a predictor of the workgroup safety climate. Furthermore, a suppressor effect was found such that WHS-related communication between group members and the group supervisor increased the variance in group safety climate explained in a regression model. The results highlight the importance of intragroup communication in creating a shared understanding about the priority placed on WHS within subcontracted construction workgroups. In using subcontracted workgroups as the unit of analysis and linking within-group communication patterns to the workgroup safety climate, the research makes an original contribution to knowledge in empirically demonstrating the safety benefits associated with fostering a dense communication network and encouraging frequent supervisor-worker communication in subcontracted workgroups.
Subject Building Construction Management and Project Planning
Keyword(s) occupational safety
supervisors
communication
workgroups
coworkers
safety climate
subcontracting
DOI - identifier 10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0001651
Copyright notice © ASCE
ISSN 0733-9364
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