Using participatory video to understand subcontracted construction workers' safety rule violations

Lingard, H, Pink, S, Hayes, J, McDermott, V and Harley, J 2016, 'Using participatory video to understand subcontracted construction workers' safety rule violations', in Proceedings of the 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference (ARCOM 2016), Manchester, United Kingdom, 5-7 September 2016, pp. 457-466.

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Using participatory video to understand subcontracted construction workers' safety rule violations
Author(s) Lingard, H
Pink, S
Hayes, J
McDermott, V
Harley, J
Year 2016
Conference name ARCOM 2016: Construction Work and the Worker?
Conference location Manchester, United Kingdom
Conference dates 5-7 September 2016
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference (ARCOM 2016)
Publisher Association of Researchers in Construction Management
Place of publication Manchester, United Kingdom
Start page 457
End page 466
Total pages 10
Abstract Traditional approaches to managing occupational health and safety (OHS) adopt a top-down approach in which rules prescribing safe work procedures are written and enforced. However, these rules are sometimes broken. Rather than actions taken by deviant workers, research suggests it is appropriate to understand violations as system problems. In some cases, rules are broken because the rules themselves are not practical given situational constraints, or because working to rule would impact the ability to meet production targets. In some instances managers are complicit in rule-breaking, quietly ignoring routine violations in the interests of getting the work done. In making participatory videos about their work, insulation installers in the Australian construction industry reflexively critiqued their everyday work practices, shared information and identified and explained gaps between procedures and situated practices. Interviews conducted with workers revealed how the installers sometimes committed rule-based mistakes, unintentionally breaking rules because they were not aware of them, or did not understand or remember the content of complex written procedures. Other routine violations were necessitated by not having the correct equipment. The interviews also revealed how the (sub-contracted) insulation installers are routinely expected to violate standard operating procedures by general contractors, placing them at significant risk of coming into contact with live electricity or falling from roofs. The participatory video process provided a feed-back opportunity to understand rule violations and learn from situated practices, as well as a feed-forward opportunity to engage workers in the design of better rules. The interview data suggests the reflexive learning afforded by the participatory video approach also equipped the insulation installers with the knowledge and confidence to refuse to work in unsafe ways.
Subjects Building not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) rule violations
safety management
rule-based mistakes
Copyright notice © 2016
ISBN 9780995546301
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