The owner's role in contractor safety management : a pattern language
"Construction is a dangerous industry that historically accounts for a disproportionate number of injuries and illnesses. Despite improvements in the last few decades, this trend of injuries compared to other industries persists year over year. The owner has been shown to be a pivotal member of construction projects with the ability to improve contractor safety performance. It has also been shown that owners ultimately reap the benefits of these improvements in safety performance, yet buyers of construction are still inconsistent in their focus on the importance of construction safety.Previous research studied owners whose contractors exhibited exemplary contractor safety performance to establish recommended practices. These studies have not considered the reality owners must operate in, including what bad practices owners may unintentionally participate in that lead to an increase in problems and ultimately liability for the owner.This research investigated how an owner should interact with independent contractors when it comes to safety management. To do this, pattern language and grounded theory methods were combined to examine the practices of owners, the preferences of safety professionals, and the existing academic recommendations to both determine the state of the industry and to identify the aspirational practices owners may seek to employ.This study found that owner practices do not align with the practices identified in the literature, and that both owners and academics need to expand their perspective to maximize any potential improvement. Thirty-six positive practices were identified across four major categories, including communication, site safety planning, contractual control, and owner involvement. Further, eleven potentially negative practices were also identified that often led to owners unknowingly and needlessly taking responsibility and, by extension, shouldering liability for their contractors. Finally, the forces that an owner must consider when balancing competing priorities were identified to help understand the often conflicting priorities that shape owner behavior.Ultimately, the owner's role in construction safety is driven by their project risk, risk tolerance, capability, resources, and other characteristics specific to that owner, at that time, and in that space. Each situation remains a fact-intensive occurrence that deserves careful consideration and action. The work practices, identified in this research as patterns, allow owners to understand the recommended practices of the industry and allow each to make a careful assessment of their best course of action. Owners who understand the implication of their actions, as well as the impact of each related practice, will make decisions that more appropriately fit their needs.Future work on this topic should take the practices laid out in this research and begin to assess the impact of each practice on the balance of the remaining practices of the pattern language. With this information, owners could identify their best course of action in a quantitative way. Likewise, research in this area must reevaluate prior findings in the light of the current environment in which these owners work. Some practices and solutions suggested in existing work are untenable in many owner situations. This is evident from the significant difference in the practices recommended by academia and the current practices of owners."--Pages ii-iii.Read
- In Collections
Electronic Theses & Dissertations
- Copyright Status
- Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International
- Material Type
Hansmann, Zachary David
- Thesis Advisors
El-Gafy, Mohamed A.
- Committee Members
Berghorn, George H.
Wilson, Mark I.
Hall, Angela AT
Construction industry--Safety measures
Communication in the building trades
Communication in industrial safety
Scheduled tribes in India--Health and hygiene
- Program of Study
Planning, Design and Construction - Doctor of Philosophy
- Degree Level
- xvi, 332 pages