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Attitudes of College Students towards Construction Safety

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0043870/00001

Material Information

Title: Attitudes of College Students towards Construction Safety
Physical Description: 1 online resource (65 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Decker, Christopher Cameron
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: attitudes -- college -- construction -- safety -- students
Building Construction -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Building Construction thesis, M.S.B.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This research examined the attitudes of current and recent college students towards construction safety on the jobsite. Construction safety was a topic that was stressed in the master's curriculum this researcher received. Proper safety measures help to keep workers from suffering injuries. Education helps to inform people in the construction industry of work-place dangers and of new techniques or technologies that are available to help keep workers safe. The expectation was that those entering the field of construction, who have been educated about the importance of proper construction safety, will strive for a safer work environment in the future. Current students, who are pursuing careers in construction, represent many of the future leaders in the construction industry. They will play instrumental roles in defining the manner in which worker safety is addressed. Their attitudes about safety will be reflected in their actions. Construction safety is very important for individuals as well as companies. The emphasis that leaders in construction place on safety may be well-entrenched by the time they graduate with their upper-level degreed. Thus, the attitudes of students towards safety are important to determine. Data were obtained from 1,950 survey participants from five different universities. The majority of these surveys were completed at the University of Florida by building construction students, but there was also significant participation from business, engineering, and architecture students. The universities that participated in this study were the University of Florida, the University of Southern Mississippi, North Dakota State University, Oregon State University and Michigan State University. The objective of this research was to obtain insights as to the current attitudes of students toward construction safety. There was not a single question in this study which had responses that showed a majority of respondents felt that construction safety was not important. One key finding of this study was when the university students were asked to indicate the extent they agreed with the belief that work related injuries are preventable. Eight out of every ten respondents expressed some level of agreement with this statement. This was a very promising finding and it showed that the majority of respondents believe, given the appropriate safety measures, accidents can be prevented. A more puzzling finding was that higher safety attitude scores occurred with students with less construction experience, and then again with respondents with a lower perceived knowledge of safety.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Christopher Cameron Decker.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.B.C.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Hinze, Jimmie W.
Local: Co-adviser: Minchin, Robert E.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2014-12-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0043870:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0043870/00001

Material Information

Title: Attitudes of College Students towards Construction Safety
Physical Description: 1 online resource (65 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Decker, Christopher Cameron
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: attitudes -- college -- construction -- safety -- students
Building Construction -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Building Construction thesis, M.S.B.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This research examined the attitudes of current and recent college students towards construction safety on the jobsite. Construction safety was a topic that was stressed in the master's curriculum this researcher received. Proper safety measures help to keep workers from suffering injuries. Education helps to inform people in the construction industry of work-place dangers and of new techniques or technologies that are available to help keep workers safe. The expectation was that those entering the field of construction, who have been educated about the importance of proper construction safety, will strive for a safer work environment in the future. Current students, who are pursuing careers in construction, represent many of the future leaders in the construction industry. They will play instrumental roles in defining the manner in which worker safety is addressed. Their attitudes about safety will be reflected in their actions. Construction safety is very important for individuals as well as companies. The emphasis that leaders in construction place on safety may be well-entrenched by the time they graduate with their upper-level degreed. Thus, the attitudes of students towards safety are important to determine. Data were obtained from 1,950 survey participants from five different universities. The majority of these surveys were completed at the University of Florida by building construction students, but there was also significant participation from business, engineering, and architecture students. The universities that participated in this study were the University of Florida, the University of Southern Mississippi, North Dakota State University, Oregon State University and Michigan State University. The objective of this research was to obtain insights as to the current attitudes of students toward construction safety. There was not a single question in this study which had responses that showed a majority of respondents felt that construction safety was not important. One key finding of this study was when the university students were asked to indicate the extent they agreed with the belief that work related injuries are preventable. Eight out of every ten respondents expressed some level of agreement with this statement. This was a very promising finding and it showed that the majority of respondents believe, given the appropriate safety measures, accidents can be prevented. A more puzzling finding was that higher safety attitude scores occurred with students with less construction experience, and then again with respondents with a lower perceived knowledge of safety.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Christopher Cameron Decker.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.B.C.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Hinze, Jimmie W.
Local: Co-adviser: Minchin, Robert E.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2014-12-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0043870:00001


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1 ATTITUDES OF COLLEGE STUDENTS TOWARDS CONSTRUCTION SAFETY By CHR I S TOPHER DECKER A THES I S PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011

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2 2011 Chr i s topher Decker

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3 To my mom, dad, and w ife, who nurtured my intellectual curiosity, academic interests, and sense of scholarship throughout my life Thanks for making this milestone possible.

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank th e chair and members of my supervi s ory committee for their mentoring, the professors and staff of the M.E. Rinker, Sr., School of Building Construction for their careful instruction d uring my time here, the staff at the UF Libraries for their astute research ass i s tance, and the participants in my survey for their honest and open responses I also want to especially thank my parents and wife for their loving encouragement, which motivat ed me to complete my study. Thank you all so very much.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 4 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 6 LIST OF ABBREV IATIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 9 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 12 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 14 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ........................... 21 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 24 4.1 Descriptive Statistics (Frequency Counts) ................................ ................................ ........ 24 4.2 Further Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 42 5 CON CLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ................................ ................................ 57 APPENDIX : SURVEY INSTRUMENT ................................ ................................ ....................... 61 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 64 BIOGRAPHIC AL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 65

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6 L I S T OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 Respondents by university (n = 1,364). ................................ ................................ ............. 25 4 2 Classification of the respondents (n = 1,360). ................................ ................................ ... 25 4 3 Major of the respondents (n = 1,250). ................................ ................................ ............... 26 4 4 Age of the respondents (n = 1,255). ................................ ................................ ................... 26 4 5 Ethincity or race of respondents (n = 1,365). ................................ ................................ ..... 27 4 6 Extent of personal experience in construction in months (n = 1,368). .............................. 28 4 7 Number of firms for which respondents had worked (n = 1,362). ................................ .... 28 4 8 Who can best change safety trends in a firm (n = 1,326). ................................ ................. 29 4 9 Perception that accidents are a natural part of construction (n = 1,362). ........................... 29 4 10 Number of s afety sessions/meeting respondent has attended (n = 1,343). ........................ 30 4 11 Value of the safety sessions/meetings (n = 500). ................................ ............................... 31 4 12 Assessment of whether the witnessed injury was preventable (n = 383). ......................... 31 4 13 ..................... 32 4 14 University course completed that addressed safety (n = 1,360). ................................ ....... 33 4 15 Belief that work injuries are preventable (n = 1,348). ................................ ....................... 33 4 16 Party that shoulders responsibility for accidents (n = 1,351). ................................ ........... 34 4 17 d knowledge of safety (n = 1,357). ................................ ................ 34 4 18 Extent that safety rules are obeyed on construction sites (n = 1,260). .............................. 34 4 19 Perception of importance of safety on construction sites (n = 537). ................................ 35 4 20 Percent of safety responsibility that lies with field personnel (n = 1,172). ....................... 35 4 21 Importance of specific project attributes (n = 1,326). ................................ ........................ 36 4 22 Perceived importance to the company on specific project attributes (n = 1,324). ............. 37 4 23 Perceived importance to supervisors of specific project attributes (n = 1,134). ................ 38

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7 4 24 Perception of respondents with no previous experience and with more than six months experience that accidents a re a natural part of construction. ................................ 38 4 25 Perception of respondents with no previous experience and with more than six months exp erience in the belief that work injuries are preventable. ................................ .. 39 4 26 Perception of construction majors and business majors that accidents are a natural part of construction. ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 41 4 27 Perception of construction majors and business majors in the belief that wo rk injuries are preventable. ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 42 4 28 Mean safety attitude scores of respondents who were construction majors when grouped by pre or post term participation and by their grade level classification. ......... 44 4 29 Mean safety attitude scores of respondents by their m ajor. ................................ ............... 45 4 30 Mean safety attitude scores of construction major respondents by age. ............................ 46 4 31 Mean safety attitude scores based on personal experience in construction as reported by construction major respondents. ................................ ................................ ................... 47 4 32 Mean safety attitude scores of respondents by the number of firms worked for. .............. 48 4 33 Mean safety attitude scores of respondents based on the number of safety sessions attended. ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 50 4 34 Mean safety attitude scores of respondents when aske the perceived value of the safety sessions or meetings they had attended. ................................ ................................ .. 50 4 35 Mean safety attitude scores of respondents by whether or not they thought the witnessed injury could have been prevented. ................................ ................................ .... 51 4 36 Mean safety attitude scores of construction major respondents who had been injuried and whether or not they thought it coud have been prevented. ................................ ......... 52 4 37 Mean safety attitude scores of construction major respondents when asked who they thought shoulders the greatest responsibility for accidents. ................................ .............. 53 4 38 Mean safety attitude scores of construction major respondents when asked how they would rate their knowledge of construction safety. ................................ ........................... 54 4 39 Mean safety attitude scores of construction major respondents when asked to what extent safety rules were obeyed on construction sites. ................................ ...................... 55 4 40 Mean safety attitude scores of construction major respondents when asked how they relative to the completion of a job. ................................ ................................ .................... 56

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8 4 41 Mean safety attitude scores of construction major respondents when asked how important was working safely to typical construction companies. ................................ .... 56

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9 L I S T OF ABBREVIATIONS ACCE The American Council of Construction Education AFL American Federation of Labor CIO Congress of Industrial Organizations IRB Institutional Review Board n Number of respondents in the sample set NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health SPSS Statistical Package for Social Sciences

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10 Abstract of Thes i s Presented to the Graduate Sc hool of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Building Construction ATTITUDES OF COLLEGE STUDENTS TOWARDS CONSTRUCTION SAFETY By Chr i s topher Decker December 2011 Ch air: Jimmie Hinze Co chair : R. Edward Minchin Ma jor: Building Construction This research examined the attitudes of current college students towards construction safety on the jobsite. Construction safety was a topic that was stressed in th is curriculum. Proper safety measures help to keep workers from suffering injuries. Education helps to inform those in the construction industry of work place dangers and of new techniques or technologies that are available to help keep workers sa fe. The expectation was that those e ntering the field of construction who have been educated about the impor tance of proper construction safety will strive for a safer work environment in the future Current students, who are pursuing careers in const ruction, represent many of the future leaders in the construction industry. They will play instrumental roles in defining the manner in which worker safety is addressed. Their attitudes about safety will be ref lected in their actions. Construction safet y is very important for individuals as well as companies. The emphasis that leaders in construction place on safety may be well entrenched by the time they graduate with their upper level degreed. Thus, t he attitudes of students towards safety are import ant to determine. Data were obtained f rom 1,950 survey participants from five different universities. The majority of these surveys were completed at the University of Florida by building construction students, but there was also participation from busin ess, engineering, and

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11 architecture students The universities that participated in this study were the University of Florida, the University of South ern Mississippi, North Dakota State University, Oregon State University and Michigan State University. The objective of this research was to obtain insight s as to the current attitudes of students toward construction safety There was not a single question in this study which had responses that showed a majority of respondents felt that construction safety was not important. One key finding of this study was when the university students were asked to i ndicate the extent they agree d with the belief that work related injuries are preventable Eight y percent of respondents expressed some extent of agreement with this statement. This was a very promising finding and it showed that the majority of respondents believe, given the appropriate safety meas ures, accidents can be prevented. A more intriguing finding was that higher safety attitude scores occur red with students with less construction experience, and then again with respondents with a lower perceived knowledge of safety.

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12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTI ON A n accident is an unplann e d event, but the term is often used interchangeably to refer to an injury occurrence. Such event s may or may not r e sult in serious injury or pro pe rty damag e T he con struction industry has consistently ranked among the worst i ndustries in terms of the fr e quency of fataliti e s and disabling injuries. Ther e ar e approximately a half million O ccupational S afety and H ealth A dministration (OSHA) recordable injuries (injuries requiring treatment by a physician) per year in the construction injury. Prior to the recent economic recession, over 1,200 construction fatalities occurred each y e ar. These statistics were based on the information gathered at the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 1992 2010) An attitude can be described as a n individual's degree of like or d i s like for an item. It may also represent the level of importance placed on a concept. To possess an attitude in which safety i s viewed as being important wil l be reflected in the actions of the individual The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary for 2010 for the construction industry showed that fatal work injuries during this period accounted for 530 deaths ( U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010) Although this was a 15 % decline from the same time period in 2009, much of this decline could be attributed to the decline in construction activity from the downturn in the economy. This demonstrates that there is considerable room for improvement. The American Council of Construction Education (ACCE) has had a long standing mandate that the construction curriculum include information on the importance of construction safety The effectiveness of conveying this information may vary by university pro grams or the individual professors. T he past and present d ownsizing of companies, moving of operations to companies with a specialization or to overseas countries where labor is less expensive, the

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13 increasing complexity of operating systems, the increased specialization of equipment, and the fact that more and more potent chemical products are being produced, all combine to create a potentially dangerous environment (BrassMein 2010) The purpose of th is study was to examine the attitudes of current univ ersity students t oward construction safety. Much research has been conducted in the area of construction safety but almost no current literature exists specifically on the area of the attitudes of students, those that is, who will be entering the constru ction workforce in the near future.

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14 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW While the construction industry e mploys 6% to 8% of the industrial workforce in the United States, it has consistently accounted for a disproportional ly higher 10% of th e disabling injuri e s and mor e than 18 % of the fat a lities. Its record has not helped to create an image in which the industry can take pride Studies have consistently shown that safety performance can be drastically improved, and this can be accomplished in the shor t term. While improvements have been made in the safety performance of the construction industry, these improvements have not kept par with other industrial sectors ( BrassMein 2010 ) There are probably many r e ason s why construction ha s not had a g ood saf e ty record One reason may be that the construction industry differs from most other industries The nature of the work change s with the start of each new project. Each construction project is unique with its own characteristics. In addition, the parties who have participated o n each project have usually not been that same as those from previously completed projects. Even if the same company used the same management team, the subcontractors and their employees no doubt will differ Also, the environment in which construction takes place is ever changing. This d oes not only refer to weather and other physical environmental conditions, but a vast number of environmental factors. No two jobsite locations have ever been exactly ali k e, even if the project itself wa s an exact duplicate of another previously completed project This has made it necessary that changes be made to the process to successfully complete projects. These factors do not justify the occurrence of accidents T he nature of construction work does not justify the dismal safety record that it has established The point to be made here wa s that safety must be dealt with in different ways in the construction industry as compared to other industries. T he responsib ilit y for safety has always be en (Hinze 1997)

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15 s afety personnel that are assigned to projects to help ensure workers are educated on dangers to obser ve and take actions when rules are not followed, and to keep an ever watchful eye for dangers that most individuals might not notice They are also there to help the company achieve its safety objectives (Hinze 1997) When establishing safety objectives for a construction company, it has always been more effective when started at the top level of management There are many ways that attitudes could be pas sed down from top management. If top management made it clear th at wh at they are really looking for wa s for their project managers to meet budgets and schedules, then these would often become the driving focus for their field employees. This would make all the workers think this was the most important aspect of the pr oject and this would not be good for safety. If safety wa s not shown to be the primary concern of the company, than those individuals who work ed in the field would tend to share the same belief. If the company had decided to show a strong commitment to safety, tha n those same workers would probably have mimicked the behavior of the ir top managers When concerns of top management have been made evident to others in a company, it has shown to become the concerns of the lower project level workers as well ( Hinze 1997) A study was conducted to examine the attitudes towards safety and accident prevention among presidents, vice presidents and other managerial position s in an industrial company. This was done to analyze the associations between attitudes, be havioral intentions and behavior. The sample consisted of 210 respondents and the data were collected in 1997 and 1998 among participants at the Hydro Management Safety Training Workshop which was a safety course for the managers employed by the company. Results showed that m

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16 s related to the achievement of safe working practices. The study showed that safety attitudes may be an important causal factor for itself High management commitment, low passivity high safety importance and high risk awareness seemed to be particularly relevant attitudes for manager s to possess if their attitude s towards project safety were important ( Hale and Rundmo 2002). Another study that relate s was conducted in 2002 which recognized that unsafe behavior is a factor in the majority of workplace accidents, which led to research in the behavio ral attributes of occupational health and safety. This research noted that factors such as workers' beliefs and attitudes towards occupational health and safety had been less thoroughly studied than other attributes. The study wanted to examine the findin gs of a sample of Australian construction workers whose attitudes towards occupational health and safety had been studied in depth through interviews and through observed behavior. Readings were taken before and after the workers had received training in first aid. The results of their study suggested that the first aid training changed the workers' attitudes towards safety. In particular, it was noted the first aid training appeared to make the workers more aware that their behavior was an important fac tor in the avoidance of injuries and it increase d participants' perceived probability that they would suffer an accident at work if they were not taking proper safety measures After receiving the first aid training, workers seemed less likely to accept g reater levels of risk and showed a stronger likelihood of avoiding activities that could lead to an injury. This change in behavior was most notably observed in the improvements of better housekeeping, the proper use of tools, and properly using the correc t personal protective equipment (Lingard and Yesilyurt 2002).

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17 Another study showed that a company c an show it ha d a strong commitment to safety through daily communications. Constan tly using phrases that reflect a top manager's commitment to safety can be very helpful in creating a better culture of sa fety Of course the words would have to have be en chosen very carefully to avoid conflict with other company objectives, such as profitability, quality and efficiency (Hinze 1997) There is an old have three choices: cheap, fast, and quality. And y If an individual were to pick cheap and fast, the quality would suffer. If the individual were to have chosen quality and fast, it would have been very expensive. If they were to have selected cheap and quality, the n the project would have lasted a long time. The addition of the safety objective further complicates the issu e (source unknown). Construction safety performance is highly dependent on the attitudes of individuals and companies. The most important element in construction safety or industrial safety is a good attitude toward accident prevention and hazard recognit ion. Habitually adhering to good safety practice s and safety rules is essential for l ong and prosperous career s in the construction industry. Either from a personal standpoint, or that of a company, construction safety is good business. Careless and pre ventable accidents could ruin a company's finances and damage its reputation within the construction industry, not to mention increase its cost of doing business via higher insurance rates. From a personal perspective, accidents literally destroy ed career s, families, and lives. Having a healthy d i s position or attitude towards construction safety is very important (BrassMein 2010) Construction is one of the largest industries in the United States, with 13% of the gross national product It is also one of the most dangerou s accounting for 1 7 % of all workers'

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18 compensation claims In 1989, the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL CIO, completed an agreement with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to develop a nati onal labor management initiative to improve occupational safety and health throughout the construction industry. The aim was to remedy a lack of research on construction occupational safety and health. A second phase was initiated in 1994, which focused on intervention activities. Results from this joint program include d a growth in annual federal construction safety and health research funding from $300,000 in 1989 to $12 million in 1995, a research network that now encompasses more than 30 institutions a national conference that established an agenda to change construction safety and health, four regional conferences to develop coalitions and implementation strategies, and the development of a feasible goal to reduce fatality and injury rates by 8% T he program may already be having an impact. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, lost time injury rates for construction for the three most recent years of reporting declined by 20 % (BrassMein 2010) Every person, every crew, and every company mu st have a workable safety program in place designed to protect people and property from the painful consequences of an accident. It is everyone's responsibility to look out for the safety of themselves and those around them. It is also every company's re sponsibility to provide a safe working environment along with adequate safety training and attitude development (BrassMein 2010) A construction safety program must cons i s t of sharing information, enforcing establ i s hed safety rules and learning to recogni ze new hazards in an ever changing landscape. Each new task and each new day should start with a safety audit to determine the hazards involved and the preventive measures required (BrassMein 2010) E mployee s with g ood attitude s know what it takes to obt ain both their professional and

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19 personal goals. The most important reason for proper safety practices was for each employee to return home each day healthy and uninjured. A company with a good attitude knows the value of keeping good employees, so its go al must be to provide a healthy and safe working environment. Constant training and frequent safety audits hel p to maintain production and protect the bottom line (BrassMein 2010) Safety in the construction work environment was under pressure by a varie ty of industry indicators that showed there was an interest in seeing an improvement. Downsizing and outsourcing of work, the increasing complexity of operating systems, increased specialization of equipment, and more potent chemical products all create a n environment that is not conducive to good safety performance With new graduates entering the construction field at the end of each semester, cultivating healthy attitudes through training should be an integral part of all construction education programs Only through regular communication s of hazard recognition proper control measures, and safe work practices can the incident rate of work injuries be reduced (H i s lop 1999). Having a healthy attitude towards construction safety is not a new c oncept. Management studies of the safest construction firms in 1987 found that employees in these firms felt that they were part of a strong culture, or company attitude, in which safety was given priority (Levitt and Samelson 1987). The culture of such an organization cons i s ts of: a shared view of a higher purpose or meaning to the daily activ ities of each ordinary employee; w ritten and unwritten codes of behavior and conduct in the organizat ion; s tories, or legends, about events from the i s tory (Levitt and Samelson 1987). The complicated working environment that exists on construction sites means that construction workers and their superv i s ors are frequently placed in situations where they must

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20 exerc i s e a great deal of d i s cretion. A clearly art iculated company culture that places emphas i s on having a healthy attitude towards construction safety provides these workers with set of principles to guide them in making cons i s tently good dec i s ions as they go about their daily tasks. Also very importan t is the selection of individuals for promotion. The qualifications of people who were promoted into managerial positions provide one of the most powerful indicators of organizational priorities for employees. The attitudes and behavior of newly promoted managers are likely to be emulated by others seeking promotion. Not surpr i s ingly, it was found that chief executives in the safest companies ensure that newly hired or promoted managers hold a deep and healthy attitude toward safety (Levitt and Samelson 1993). It has been found useful to require the most senior member of a project team to sign a safety p lan, thus demonstrating commitment to it, and in so doing setting the groundwork for a healthy attitude towards safety from all involved with the particu lar project (Holt 2001) also have a large impact on attitudes towards safety. The responsibility of safety at a construction site was normally divided between the employer and the employee. It was taken for granted that, after the employer has laid down the necessary safety policies and provided the required safety gear, the employees would comply with it. Very often, the cultural background of the employee was not taken into consideration This background has a strong influence on their likeli hood to observe safety procedures (Singh et al. 1999).

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21 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The objective was to gather data on the construction safety attitudes of current university students Of particul ar interest were the attitudes of the students majoring in construction. The decision was made to conduct in class survey s which could be administered and proctored by professors who were willing to participate. The survey was developed by Dr. Jimmie Hi nze and Dr. Raymond Godfrey over the course of several months. It was designed to elicit answers in a manner in which the data could easily be quantified. No short answer responses were permitted, other than when the respondents were asked what class the y had previously taken that covered safety. All other answers were selected from a set range of responses. The survey template went through ten different iterations before one was finally piloted in a classroom setting with real college students. The fi rst run was a success, and no further changes were made. Later, one of the three last questions was deleted due to a redundancy with one of the other questions of the last three. The two questions elicited almost identical responses across all participan ts. The survey comprised of a total of 33 questions, which were thoughtfully worded so as to help elicit answers from the respondents with as little bias as possible ( Appendix A). T he re were five general types of questions The first type was the basic d emographic q uestions that asked about facts such as gender, age, major, and ethnicity. The second type of question s asked w ere more philosophical in nature This type asked about the amount of experience or perceived knowledge the respondent had, or possibly their relative if they had one who worked in the construction industry This second type asked the number of sa fety sessions the respondent had attended, their perceived value of these sessions, the number of firms they had worked for, and how th ey would rate their knowledge of safety. The third type was questions that focused on

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22 who primarily carried the responsibility o f safety on a construction site, and what percentage of The fourth type questions was concerned with whether or not the respondent had ever been injured or witnessed an injury on a construction jobsite, and whether or not they thought it could be prevented. Lastly, the fifth type of questions asked about the p perception of the importance of four main attr ibutes of construction projects. This last group of questions was asked with regard to the respondent themselves their perception of the four attribute s to the company, and how they perceived a s upervisor s After the survey was developed, it was submitted to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the University of Florida After it was approved by the IRB, the surveys could be administered. The surveys were conducted in a voluntary and anonymous manner Any student that did not want to participate was free to refus e to participate N o participants were asked to provide their name or any other information that could be used to identify them It was d ecided early in the study that using a sample that consisted of participants from multiple institutions would help to give a more realistic and accurate sampling as it increased the variation in the demographics of the sample set. The surveys were adminis tered at the University of Florida, as well as four other cooperating institutions including the University of Southern Mississippi, North Dakota State University, Oregon State University and Michigan State University. There was also cooperation from departments other than just those that instructed in building construction sciences. Once the o ther university professors had agreed to participate, the survey template was emailed to each professor hat it could not be altered) The surveys were then administered to the students This was done once at the beginning of t he semester, and in some cases, also at the end of the semester. Th is was

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23 intended to enable comparisons of the responses from the same group of students from before participation in a safety focused course, to after. Student participants were instructe d to answer the questions truthfully and honestly. The surveys were conducted over the course of a number of years, from 2006 to 2010. The data from all the surveys were then entered into the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software for a nalysi s. A total of 1,950 instructor proctored surveys were completed and returned. Next was to decide which of the different ways of using the data would be most beneficial to the study. It was decided that t he first part of the study results w ould be done in a manner to show descriptive statistics using frequency counts. Later, in a second part of the results section, the data were analyzed using a scoring method that enabled the comparison of different subgroups by using Z scores and p values to see if there were any significant differences between them. Once these scores were calculated, figures were created to better exhibit the findings

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24 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The results were presented in two sections. The first section present s the frequency statistics of the questions in the survey. The second section provide s information on further analysis of the data, especially as it pertains to respondent attitudes toward safety. 4. 1: Descriptive Statistics ( Frequency Counts ) There were a total of 1,950 student participants, including those that participated before taking a course that was safety focused, as well as those who participated after taking such a course. Some respondents participated both before and after. Because most of th e surveys were administered pre term, o nly the pre term responses were considered in the first portion of the study results. There were a total of 1,370 students who participated in the survey admin i s tered at the beginning of the school term. F igure s 4 1 through 4 27 were used to illustrate the descriptive stat i s tics that resulted from the pre term survey results. Unless specifically stated, all data and figures were developed from information gathered from the pre term respondents only. The surveys were coded to indicate the university in which the survey was administered There were participants from five differe nt universities in this study. The majority ( 6 8.8 % ) of the respondents attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL ( Figure 4 1) T his was not surprising as the survey was develope d at t he University of Florida. T he other academic institutions did participate, just to a lesser degree There were over 170 responses from students at Southern Mississippi University and North Dakota State University. Oregon State conducted post term surveys, so there were no pre term surveys from that institution. R espondents were asked to indicate their classification Most of the student respondents (811) were either sophomores, juniors or seniors ( Figure 4 2). Fifty four graduate students and 141 freshmen also participated in the study. Participation of students was largely dependent on

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25 the cooperat ion of the individual faculty members. No particular classification of student was targeted in this study. Figure 4 1 R espondents by university ( n = 1 364) Figure 4 2 Classification of the respondents ( n = 1 360) While the survey was focused on the attitude s of university students towards constrcuction jobsite safety, t he survey was conducted primarily with construction majors but other majors were also asked to participate Responses of different majors would facilitate comparisons of respo nses with those of construction majors Most student respondents (525) majored in building constr uc tion, but a large number (312) were majoring in business (Figure 4 3 ) Pre construction

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26 majors provided 119 responses. A small number of respondents repres ented engineering, architecture and interior design. Figure 4 3 Major of the respondents ( n = 1 250) R espondent s were asked to indicate their age. About 71 % of the respondents were between the age s of 17 and 21. About 22 % of the respondents were 22 to 24 years of age It was also noted that 6.9 % (85 respondents) were 25 years of age and older ( Figure 4 4 ) Figure 4 4 Age of the respondents ( n = 1 255 )

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27 T he majority of participants (74 % ) who participated in this study were male. The respondents were then asked to indicate their race or ethnicity. Most respondents (78.6%) were Caucasian. Asians made up the next largest group accounting for 6. 8 % of the participants. Hispanics constituted the next largest group account ing for 6.6 % of the participants. Seventy three participant s (5.3%) were African American ( Figure 4 5 ). Figure 4 5 Ethincity or race of respondents ( n = 1 365). Respondents were asked about their personal experience in construction Almost half the participants in this study (46.8%) reported they had no previous experience in construction Note that for many university students, it was assumed that most experience would be gained through summer employment. Consequently, the results were presented i n three m onth increments ( Figure 4 6 ). About a fourth of the respondents (26.4 % ) with experience had up to one year of experience. Almost 11% of the respondents had more than three years experience. R espondents were also asked about the number of different construction firms for which they had worked Nearly half (49.6 % ) responded they had not worked for any firms. Over a fourth (27.3%) of the respondents had worked for one firm. Less than 10% of the respondents (9.3 % ) had worked for three or m ore firms ( Figure 4 7 ).

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28 Figure 4 6 Extent of personal experience in construction in months ( n = 1 368 ) Figure 4 7 Number of firms for which respondents had worked ( n = 1,362 ) different aspects of construction safety. They were asked who, among the possible positions listed, could best change safety trends in a firm? The project manager was the position selected by 25.7 % of the respondents Superintendents were next with 22.2 % followed closely by top management, with 19.1 % Foremen was selected by 18.4 % of the respondents while w orker s receiv ed the fewest responses with 1 4 .6 % ( Figure 4 8 )

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29 Figure 4 8 Who can best change safety trends in a firm ( n = 1,326 ) Respondents were asked if they agreed with the statement that a ccidents are a natural part of construction. There were seven possible stages of agreement ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Nearly half, 49.2 % agreed to some extent with the statement A total of 37.3 % of the respondents disagreed to some extent with the attitude that accidents are a natural part of construction. Slightly over 13 % were neutral in their view ( Figure 4 9 ). Figure 4 9 Perception that accidents are a natural part of construction ( n = 1,362 )

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30 The survey then asked respondents if they had ever attended a safety session or safety meeting. The majority of the students (62 % ) had never attende d a safety session or meeting, while the remaining s tudent s had attended at least one safety meeting or session at some point in their lives As a follow up question, respondents who had attended a safety session/meetin g were asked to provide the number of such safety sessions or meetings they had attended. Of t he students who had attended at least one session or meeting 96% had attended fewer than 20 sessions/meetings ( Figure 4 10 ). Figure 4 10 Number of safety sessions/meeting respondent has attended ( n = 1,343 ) The students who had attended a safety session or safety meeting were then asked to give thei r assessment of the value of those safety sessions/meetings. There were 500 student respondents who had attended a safety session/meeting and who provided an asse ssment of their value. The major ity of the respondents ( 54 % ) felt the safety meetings were somewhat valuable or very valuable ( Figure 4 11 ) About 43% % of the respondents R espondents were asked if they had ever witnessed a construction injury. A total of 385 respondents (28.2 % of 1,363 respondents) reported having witnessed a construction injury at

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31 some point in their lives. The severity of the w itnessed injuries were not assessed. As a follow up question, the respondents who had witnessed a construction injury were asked if the injury could have been prevented. Of those who had witnessed a construction injury, about 90 % felt that the injury cou ld have been prevented ( Figure 4 12) Figure 4 11 Value of the safety sessions/meetings (n = 500 ) Figure 4 12 Assessment of whether the witnessed injury was preventable ( n = 383 ) R espondent s were asked if they themselves had ever been injured on a construction site M ost respondents ( 8 9.2 % ) ha d n ever experienced a construction injury. The respondents who had sustained an injury on a construction site were asked if the injury could not have been prevented. Of the 144 respondents who had sustained an injury on a construction site, 124 of the respondents (86.1 % ) felt that the injury could not have been prevented ( Figure 4 13 )

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32 Figure 4 13 Assessment of whether the was preventable ( n = 144 ) P articipants were asked if they had taken any college courses that had addressed construction safety. Fifty six percent of the respondents stated that no such safety class had previously been taken. Of the classes specifi % was the class that students answered most frequently that had addressed construction safety ( Figure 4 14 ) Construction safety and construction techniques were also noted as classes that addressed the topic of construction safety Survey respondents were asked about their level of agreement with the belief that work injuries are preventable on construction sites. N early 80 % of the respondents expressed some level of agreement that injuries are preven table, while 13.7 % expressed some level of disagreement with the belief ( Figure 4 15 ). The survey participants were asked about the party they felt was most responsible for The responses were fairly evenly distributed between the different jobsite positions the respondents had to choose from (Figure 4 16 ). The responsibility for accidents was allocated to worker and to project manager with no apparent tre nd.

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33 Figure 4 14 University course completed that addressed safety ( n = 1,360 ) Figure 4 15 Belief that work injuries are preventable ( n = 1,348 ) R espondents were asked about their own perceived knowledge of safety. Thirteen percent had no knowledge of safety, while 3 7.8 % % of the respondents, 22.1 % and 2.4 % assessed their Figure 4 17 ). Safety rules should always be followed, whether it be on a construction site or anywhere else. They were developed to prevent injuries from occuring. Respondents were asked if they felt that safety rules were obeyed on construction sites. The majority of the participants (51.3%) s %

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34 answer ed that they and 3.9% felt they were obeyed Slightly over 11% felt that safety rules tended to not be obeyed ( Figure 4 18 ). Figure 4 16 Party that shoulders responsibility for accidents ( n = 1,351 ) Figure 4 17 perceived knowledge of safety ( n = 1,357 ) Figure 4 18 Extent that safety rules are obeyed on construction sites ( n = 1,260 ) It was presumed that people who work in construction might influence others to also enter the field. Specifically, respondents were asked if they had a close relative who worked in the

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35 construction industry. Over 44 % of the respon dents did have a close relative who work ed in the construction industry. Respondents were then asked about the ir perceived importance of safety on a construction site. Nearly 95 % of the respondents felt that safety was somewhat to very important ( Figur e 4 19 ). Five percent of the respondents thought it had very little importance. Figure 4 19 Perception of importance of safety on construction sites ( n = 537 ) Respondents were asked to indicate the percentage of safety responsibility that they felt was bestowed on field personnel. The majority (75 % ) indicated that between 51 % and 100 % of the safety responsibility rested with field personnel ( Figure 4 20 ). Nearly ha lf of the responses felt over 70 % of the responsibility was with field personnel. Figure 4 20 Percent of safety responsibility that lies with field personnel ( n = 1,172 )

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36 T he respondents were asked a series of four questions on how they felt about four particular attri butes of construction projects namely deadlines, budgets, quality and safety. The importance of meeting construction project deadlines was most commonly answered as ery important followed by c onsiderable importance The importance to the respondent s of me eting construction project budget costs delivering a high quality construction project, and being safe were also most often answered as being very important, followed by c onsiderable importance Overall, quality was rated the most important while meeting costs was least important ( frequency counts in Figure 4 21 ). T he respondents were then asked about the perceived importance of meeting deadlines, meeting costs, quality projects and being safe from While the four attribute that this level of importance was more on meeting deadlines and costs than delivering a qua lity project and being safe ( frequency counts in Figure 4 22). Figure 4 21 Importance of specific project attributes ( n = 1,326 )

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37 Respondents were asked about their perception of how important meeting deadlines, meeting costs, delivering quality projects and being safe were to supervisors. Results showed that 69 % of the respondents felt that meeting deadlines was either very important or considerably important. Meeting project budget costs was considered to be very important or considerably important to supervisors by 60.9 % of the respondents. T he perceived importance to supervisors of delivering high quality construction projects was considered to be v ery important or considerably important by 56.2 % of the respondents. Being safe was considered to be very important or considerably important to 52 % of the respondents (frequency counts in Figure 4 23) Figure 4 22 Perceived importance to the company on specific project attributes ( n = 1,324 ) The influence of experience was examined in terms of student attitudes. More than half the pre term survey participants (51.9%) with no previous experience expressed some level of agreement that accidents are a natural part of construction. Approximately one third (32.3%) disagreed to some extent Almost 16% answered they were neutral on this statement (Figure 4 24). The responses of the participants with no experience were also examined in regard to their

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38 level of agreement with the statement w o About 81% responded that they had some level of agreement with the statement Slightly over 8% of the respondents disagreed to some extent (Figure 4 25) Figure 4 23 Perceived importance to supervisors of specific project attributes (n = 1,134 ) Figure 4 24 P erception of respondents with no previous experience and with more than six months experience that accidents are a natural part of construction.

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39 Similar to the previous pair of question s as a follow up another subgroup of participants those with more than six months of construction experience were examined and asked the sa m e two questions. First, they were asked how much agreement they had with the state ment that ccidents are a natura ver half of the respondents (50.3 % ) expressed some level of agreement with the statement while 38.7 % disagreed to some extent ( Figure 4 24 ). This same subgroup was are preventable O ver two thirds (67.9 % ) agreed or strongly agreed. About 9 % disagreed to some extent Approximately 6 % responded they were neutral on this question ( Figure 4 25 ) Figure 4 25 P erception of respondents with no previous experience and with more than six months experience in the belief that work injuries are preventable. T o help better understand the relationship between those responde nts with no previous experience and th os e w ith more than six months experience, each of the two previous subgroups w ere combined ( Figure s 4 24 and 4 25 ). This allowed for a side b y side comparison of the

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40 percentage s of the perception that each sub group of respondents demonstrated. Percentages had to be used rather than the total number of responses due to the fact that their were different amounts of respondents in each sub group. A total of 51.9 % of the sub group with no experience agreed to some extent with the statement. From the sub group with more than six months experience about half ( 50.3 % ) agreed to some extent This accounted for a difference of 1.6 % between the two sub groups. A total of 32.3 % of the group with no experience disagreed t o some extent with the statement. From the second subgroup, 38.7 % with more than six months experience dis agreed with the statement to some extent. This was a difference of 6. 4 % T o help facilitate a better understanding of the relationship between those with no previous experience and those respondents with more than six months experience, each of the two previous subgroups that were asked to what extent they agreed with the belief that ork injuri es are preventab le were combined ( Figure 4 25 ). This allowed for a nother side b y side comparison of the percentage s of the different levels of agreement that each sub group of respondents demonstrated. A total of 81.2 % of the sub group with no experience agreed to some extent with the statement. Nearly 85 % of the sub group with more than six months experience agreed to some extent with the statement. This accounted for a difference of 3.7% between the two groups. A total of 8.2 % of the sub group with no e xperience disagreed to some extent with the statement. Similarly, about 9 % of the sub group with more than six months experience disagreed with the statement to some extent as well This accounted for a difference of just over one percent (1. 1% ) The following two paragraphs describ ed the results for those student participants that took the survey at the beginning of the term and who were also construction majors W hen this sub group was asked to what degree they ag a c cidents are a natural

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41 3 % agreed to some extent. Opposingly, 38.7 % disagreed to some extent ( Figure 4 26 ) When this same sub group of construction major survey participants were asked to what extent they ag reed with the statement that 67.9 % agreed or strongly agreed. About 85 % agreed to some extent About 9 % disagreed to some extent Of the respondents, 5.8 % reported being neutral on the question ( Figure 4 27 ) T o examine if there were similar findings regardless of major, two more sets of data percentages were produced from the study findings, but this time they were for those participants who took the survey at the beginning of the term and who were also business majors. When this sub group was asked to what extent they ag reed with the statement that a ccidents are a natural 55.5 % agree d to some extent About 29% at least slightly disagreed ( Figure 4 26 ). Figure 4 26 P erception of construction majors and business majors that accidents are a natural part of construction.

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42 Figure 4 27 P erception of construction majors and business majors in the belief that work injuries are preventable. Whe n this same subgroup of business major survey participants were asked to what extent they agreed with the statement that about 82 % of participants agreed to some extent. A little over half ( 53.8 % ) either agreed or strongly agreed. About 18 % at least slightly disagreed or w ere neutral (Figure 4 27) 4. 2: Further Analysis In this section of the results the data were further broken down for additional analysis. Unlike the previous part this section calculated a mean safety attitude score for different subgroups. The scoring method has been outlined below. The use of Z scores, which are a statistical measure that quantifies the distance (measured in standard deviations) a data point is from the mean of a data set a long with those standard deviations, which are a measure of the dispersion of a set of data from its mean were used to c alculate a p value The test of the difference of two means were conducted to determine the significance of the findings. This was done to show whether or not there was a significant difference between the different subgroups being compared.

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43 To analyze the data from the different subgroups a score was calculated based on the following three questions namely h ow much the respondent agreed with the statement that accidents are a na tural part of construction work i ndicate the extent that they agree d with the belief that work related injuries are preventable and last to i ndicate how important working s afely was to them personally. The same seven response choices were provided for each question, and they were numbered one thr o u gh seven, with seven carrying the heaviest weighting. The score was then made to equal the sum of the answers to these three questions, w ith 21 being the highest possible score Then this score was converted to a percentage value (meaning that the sum represented the percent age of 21) In the first analys i s only the group of respondents who were majoring in construction was included. For construction majors the score ranged from 42.86% to 100% with a mean safety attitude score of 78.77. The data were then analyzed based on the following After i s olating construction m ajors and an alyzing the difference between beginning of term and end of term data t he beginning of term mean safety attitude score was 77.9 wi th a standard deviation of 12.1 The end of term mean safety attitude score was 82.2 wit h a standard deviation of 11.9 The difference of the means was significant with Z scor e being equal 3.7 and the p value being less than 0.001 After i s olating c onstruction m ajors and analyzing the difference t he Freshman or Sophomore mean safety attitude scor e was 76.3 wit h a standard deviation of 12.1 Junior or Senior mean safety attitude score was 79.3 wi th a standard deviation of 12. 2 The difference of the means was significant with the Z score being equal to 4 and p value being less than 0.0 0 1 ( F igure 4 28 ). These results demonstrated that as the level of construction

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44 education increased, whether it was by taking a class on safety or by simply having been further along in their studies (upperclassmen), the mean safety attitude scores also increased which showed a greater appreciation for safety. Figure 4 28 Mean safety attitude scores of respondents who were construction majors when grouped by p re or post term participation and by their grade level classifica tion In this second analys i s all 1,950 respondents were included. In this case, the re spondents were grouped by major First, pre construction majors were compare d to construction majors For pre construction, the mean safety attitude score was 64.7 with a standard deviation of 9.8 For construction majors, the mean safety attitude score was 7 8. 8 with a standard deviation of 12.2 The d ifference of the means was significant with the Z score equaling 12. 5 and the p value being less than 0.001 Second, construction majors were compared to civil engineering majors For construction majors, the mean safety attitude score was 78.8 with a standard deviation of 12.2 For civil engineering majors, the mean safety attitude score was 74.8 with a standa rd deviation of 11.6 T he difference of the means was significant with the Z score equaling 3.1 and p value being less than 0.001 ( Figure 4 29 ). Although the figure did not seem to indicate that there was a

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45 significant difference, the calculations showed there was, which reinforced the findings from the previous question that as the level of construction education increased, on average so did the mean scores. It needed to be noted that civil engineering students were not exposed to safety education as pa rt of the curriculum of their major at the time of this study. However, it was offered as an elective. Without it, not much was taught on safety. Figure 4 29 Mean safety attitude scores of respondents by their major Please note that all findings from this point forward were based on i s olating just the respondents who were c onstruction m ajors higher age usually equates to more e xperience. Thus the respondents were grouped by age and their mean safety attitude scores were calculated. For resp ondents ages 17 21, the mean safety attitude score was 77.2 with a standard deviation of 12.3 For respondents ages 22 and over, the mean safety attitude score was 81 with a standard deviation of 11.8 The difference of the means was significant with the Z score equal to four and p value being less than 0.001 ( Figure 4 30 ). This result once again reinforced the view that the more education or experience (which usually come with higher ages), that participants had equated to higher mean scores which meant greater

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46 appreciation f or the importance of safety. Simplified, participants of higher ages on average thought safety was more important than those participants who were younger. The gender data were not broken down for analysis because, between construction majoring men (mean score of 78.65) and construction majoring women (mean score of 79.92), there was no significant difference in the mean safety attitude scores when the p value was calculated. Figure 4 30 Mean safety attitude scores of construction major respondents by age. As was previously discussed in the literature review, ethnicity or race can play a role in the belief that safety is important. Thus, i n this next analys i s the respondents were grouped by ethnicity and their mean safety attitude scores were then calculated. For Caucasian respondents, the mean safety attitude score was 78.6 based on a sample size of n=565. For African American respondents, the mean safety attitude score was 81.4 based on a sample size of n=20. For H i s panic respo ndents, the mean safety attitude score was 78.9 based on a sample size of n=16. In this analysis, t he difference of the means was determined not to have be en significant. Thus, the research in the literature review was not supported.

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47 Similar to a previous analysis, in this one the respondents were grouped by how much personal exper ience they had in construction but only construction majors were included in the data set The finding in this analysis was unexpected. For respondents with zero to 12 months experience, the mean safety attitude score was 80.1 with a standard deviation of 12.1 F or respo ndents with 37 or more months experience, the mean safety attitude score was 76 w ith a standard deviation of 12.4 The difference of the means was significant with the Z score equal to 3.3 and p value being less than 0.001 This was an unexpected finding It showed that as experience increase s lower scores result ed showing a decrease in overall safety im portance attitudes ( Figure 4 31 ). Fig ure 4 31 Mean safety attitude scores based on personal experience in construction as reported by construction major respondents In the following analys i s the respondents were again grouped by the number of firms they had worked for in constr uc tion but un like the last analysis, only the participants who were majoring in constr uction were included For r espondents who had not worked for any firms the mean safety attitude score was 73.5 with a standard deviation of 12.2 For respondents who had worked for one firm, the mean safety attitude score was 78 with a standard deviation of 12.3

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48 For respondents who had worked for two firms, the mean safety attitude score was 80.1 with a standard deviation of 11.8 For respondents who had not worked for three or more firms, the mean safety attitude score was 77.9 with a standard deviation o f 12.4 The difference of the means was determined to not be significant ( Figure 4 32 ). This finding was not expected. If the trend was to again be reaffirmed that as the level of experience of the participants increased, similarly their appreciation fo r construction safety should also have increased. As was evident by the mean safety attitude score of those who had worked for three or more firms, this was not always true. It was noted that a higher number of firms worked for does not necessarily equat e to a greater length of overall experience. A participant could have worked for many years for just one firm, while other participants may have just worked three summer internships. Figure 4 32 Mean safety attitude scores of respondents by the n umber of firms worked for In the analys i s that follows the construction major respondents were grouped by whether or not they had attended any safety training sessions or safety meetings For respondents who had not attended any, the mean safety attitude score was 78.2 with a standard deviation of 12.6 based on a sample size of n=274. For respondents who had attended a safety training session or safety meeting, the mean safety attitude score was 79.9 with a standard deviation of 1 1.9 based

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49 on a sample size of n=371. The difference of the means was de termined to not be significant. This finding showed that regardless of whether or not the participants attended any safety sessions or meetings, there was not a statistically signific ant difference between their perceived appreciations for the importance of construction safety. In the following analys i s the respondents from the last group that answered yes were grouped by how many safety training sessions or safety meetings they had a ttended, the ones that had attended 10 or more were compared to the ones that had not attended any For respondents who had not attended any, the mean safety attitude score was 78.2 wi th a standard deviation of 12.6. For respondents who had attended 10 o r more, the mean safety attitude score was 81.2 with a standard deviation of 12.3 Th e difference of the means was significant with the Z score equal to 2.2 and p value being less than 0.05 ( Figure 4 33 ). This was an interesting finding. Even though the re was no significant difference in the mean safety attitude scores of those who had attended safety meetings and those who had not, of the group that had, those participants who attended greater numbers of meetings had a greater appreciation for safety as reflected by their higher mean scores. In the following analysis, the respondents from the last group that answered they had attended safety training sessions or safety meetings were asked how valuable they were. Of the respondents that answered they wer mean safety attitude score was 81.8 mean safety attitude score was 69.2 with a standard deviation of 7.8. The difference of the mean sa fety attitude scores was significant with the Z score equaling 3.5 and p value being less than 0.001 (Figure 4 34 ). This finding showed that those participants who perceived the safety

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50 reciation for the p erceived importance of safety as demonstrated by their significantly higher mean scores. Figure 4 33 Mean safety attitude scores of respondents based on the number of safety sessions attended Figure 4 34 Mean safety attitude scores of respondent s when aske the perceived value of the safety ses sions or meetings they had attended. In this analys i s the respondents were grouped by whether or not they had been witness to an injury on a construction site. Then they were grouped based on whether or not they thought it could have been prevented. mean safety attitude score was 70 with a standard deviation of 13.6. If the mean safety attitude score was 77 with a standard deviation of 11.5. The difference of the mean safety

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51 attitude scores was significant with the Z score equal to 2.5 and p value being less than 0.01 ( Figure 4 35 ). This sh owed that those participants who felt that the injury they witnessed could have been prevented also showed significantly greater mean scores, which demonstrated a higher perceived value of the impo rtance of construction safety. Figure 4 35 Mean safety attitude scores of respondents by whether or not they thought the witnessed injury could have been prevented. Injuries do occur on construction jobsites. In the following analys i s the construction major respondents were group ed by whether or not they themselves had been injured on a construction site. Then they were analyzed based on whether or not they thought it could have been prevented. mean safety attitude score was 70.4 with a st andard deviation of 13.3. mean safety attitude score was 76 with a standard deviation of 11.4. The difference of the mean safety attitude scores was significant with the Z score equaling 1.7 and p value less than 0.05 ( Figure 4 36 ). When compared to the results of the previous question, there was a clear there was bias by people were hurt themselves as compared to those who only witnessed someone else getting injured as to whether or not the injury could have been prevented. Participants seemed to not want to accept much responsibility for their own injuries.

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52 Many of the respondents had previously taken a class that covered the topic of safety on the jobsite. In the following analysis, the only respondents includ ed were from the subset that had taken a class previously that covered this topic. They were asked what percent of the class mean safety attitude score was 76.7 with a sta ndard deviation of 11.7 based on a sample of n=236. If the mean safety attitude score was 81.8 with a standard deviation of 12.1 based on a sample of n=102. The difference of the mean safety attitude scores was significant with Z being equal to 3.5 and p value being less than 0.001. This finding re illustrated many of the previous findings that demonstrated as education or experience increased (even ever so slightly), so did the mean scores, which demonstrated a greater perceived appreciation for the importance of safety. Fig ure 4 36 Mean safety attitude scores of construction major respondents who had been injuried and whether or not they thought it coud have been prevented. Responsibility for injuries on construction sites falls on everyone. In the following analys i s hen an accident occurs, who do you think shoulders the If the respondents selected the foreman, their mean safety

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53 attitude score was 76.8 The following we re the results If the respondents selected the superintendent, their mean safety attitude score was 80. If the respondents selected the project manager, their mean safety attitude scor e was 78.7. If the respondents selected top management, their mean safety attitude score was 79.6. The difference of the means was determined to not be significant ( Figur e 4 37 ) The respondents from this study seemed to believe that the responsibility for injuries on construction jobsites fell fairly evenly across the different personnel positions. To better understand how the construction major participants felt about their own knowledge of safety, in the following analysis, the respondents were asked how they would rate mean safety attitude score was 81.1 with a standard deviation of 10.9. If the respondents selected mean safety attitude score was 78 with a standard deviation of 12.5. The difference of the mean safety attitude scores was significant with Z being equal to 2.8 and p value being less than 0.01. This was not the expected finding. According to this data, more safety knowledge means lower score s and thus a worse attitude towards proper construction jobsite safety (Figure 4 38) This finding contradicted some of the previous findings that showed as education level increases so do the mean safety attitude scores of the participants. It seemed that knowledge and education should be synonymous. Figure 4 37 Mean safety attitude scores of construction major respondents when asked who they thought shoulders the greatest responsibility for accidents.

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54 Figure 4 38 Mean safety attitude scores of construction major respondents when asked how they would rate their kn owledge of construction safety. In the following analys i s the respondents that were majoring in construction we re asked, based on their own personal experience, to what extent safety rules were typically obeyed on construction sites. mean safety attitude score was 76.9 with a standard deviation of 11.8 If the respondents answered mean safety attitude score was 79.9 with a standard deviation of 10.9. The difference of the mean safety attitude scores was significant with Z being equal to 1.9 and p value being less than 0.05 ( Figure 4 39 ) This finding demonstrated that those participants who showed considerable appreciation for following safety rules and also perceived considerable adherence by their co workers for them also had significantly higher mean scores. B asically, if the respondent thought safety rules were important and were usually followed they generally had a higher appreciation for construction safety as a whole.

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55 Figure 4 39 Mean safety attitude scores of construction m ajor respondents when asked to what extent safety rules wer e obeyed on construction sites. In the following analys i s the respondents were asked if they had any close relatives who were in the construction business, and, if so, how they would rate that rel importance of safety relative to the completion of a job. The following we re the results If the mean safety attitude score was 74.1 with a standard deviation of mean safety attitude score was 78 with a standard deviation of 11.8. The difference of the mean safety attitude scores was significant with the Z score being equal to 2.5, with p valu e less than 0.01 ( Figure 4 40 ) Not surprisingly, respondents who had a close relative who worked in the construction industry tended to have a greater appreciation for the importance of construction safety as was evident by these significantly higher mea n scores. In this last analysis, the respondents were asked how important was working safely to typical construction companies. The following were the results from just the subgroup of mean safety attitude score was 73.1 with a standard deviation of 13.8. If the respondents mean safety attitude score was 79.6

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56 with a standard deviation of 11.6. The difference of the mean safety attitude scores was significant with a Z score of 3.3 and p value being less than 0.001 ( Figure 4 41 ) Those who believed typ ical construction companies demonstrated that proper safety was at least somewhat important also showed that t hey themselves had a higher perception of the importance of safety as was evident by their significantly higher mean scores. Figure 4 40 Mean safety attitude scores of construction major respondents when asked how they would rate th eir close construction safety relative to the completion of a job Figure 4 41 Mean safety attitude scores of construction major respondents when asked h ow important was working safely to typical construction companies.

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57 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION S AND RECOMMENDATION S It was most reassuring that, when students were asked to i ndi cate the extent they agree d with the statement that w ork related injuries are preventable, the majority agreed to some extent. This question was chosen because it demonstrated whether the participants fe l t injuries they had witnessed, or just injuries on the jobsite in general, were preventable or not. T he findings ov erall show ed t hat most individuals surveyed seemed to think safety on construction sites was important and that past teaching methods have had an impact. There was not a single question asked in this study which had responses that showed a majority of re spondents felt that a particular aspect of safety questioned on was not important. However, t here were two puzzling findings in particular : 1. That higher safety attitude scores occur with students with less construction experience 2. That higher safety attitu de scores occur then again with respondents with a lower perceived knowledge of safety T his seemed completely counterintuitive. It seemed to make sense that as an individual has been witness to injuries or that individual has received more education on the dangers that exist on a construction site, that these factors would have improved their safety attitude score s. Upon further reflection, for those individuals with more experience, it was the opinion tha t this was due to a particular level of comfort that forms with being around or on construction sites often as an indivi dual moves through their career that seems to instill a false sense of security and/or safety. Students have been instructed on the dang ers that exist in the construction industry, but they have not had any, or very little, first hand experience to reinforce these teachings while the student s w ere at a level that an instructor c ould have had the opportunity to answer any questions

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58 that cou ld have helped prevent the student from drawing some improper conclusi on on his or her own Also interesting was the clear bias that seems to exist between those participants who were hurt themselves on a construction as compared to those who had only be en witness to an injury. The bias was in whether or not the respondent felt the injury could have been prevented, and to whom the fault was primarily with. People who had themselves been injured seemed to believe it was not their fault and that the injur y could not have been prevented. Opposing this view was the responses of participants who had been witness to an injury. Their responses seemed to imply that the injury could have been prevented and some of the fault fell evenly on those who were injured Possibly i ncluding more real life trips to actual construction sites of varying sizes and scopes where instructors could have pointed out all the dangers that were observable and how they could be avoided could have had a greatly positive impact of the quality of the knowledge gained on the importance of safety while these students were still in school M aybe this safety teaching technique, if implemented, could begin to turn around this trend where individuals have go t ten out of school and enter ed the real world and begun to think safety was not as important as they were lead to believe. showed that it would be counter productive to improving safety attitudes The study showed t hat individuals with a lower perceived knowledge of safety scored higher on their safety attitude importance scores. This did not seem to make sense. When teachers instruct their students about safety the expected result sh ould be an increased knowledge of safety, and thus a greater perceived importance of safety T or knowledge level just so

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59 they would have a higher tested appreciation of construction jobsite safety seemed not a prudent course of future actio n T he question was to try and answer how to improve the quality of the education and simultaneously teach in a manner that would easily be self reinforced once the students are actually working out in the real world. Maybe safety classes should not hav e group ed all students in one class, but possibly classes separated into two main categories. T hose categories being people pursuing either field roles or management roles. Then maybe students could receive specialized education catered to their specific future needs which would then in turn have a greater chance for receiving experiences that would help to reinforce what they were taught To the construction industry, t he only acceptable level of injuries is to have had none at all. Every effort need s to be made to improve safety in t he construction industry. T his change needs to happen at the top. If high level company executives show that safety is important to them, this attitude will filter down to the worker level and help to instill a culture where all employees are ever mindful to be on the lookout for dangers and ways to prevent them. Second, to the academic community, there were some unexpected findings that this study unveiled: 1. A s perceived knowledge of safety goes up, the mean safety a ttitude scores of respondents went down, demonstrating an unsettling notion that even if you teach someone the importance of safety, they may not be taking it serious enough to really pay attention, or believe that they will not be one of the unfortunate f ew to experience an injury.

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60 2. The second unexpected finding was that higher safety attitude scores occur red with students with less construction experience, once again demonstrating an unsettling finding The data seemed to show that as people progress through their careers, they become jaded to the dangers that exist because maybe they have not witnessed or experienced any themselves. Something needs to be done to help drive the point home that safety needs to be a priority for all individuals who work in the construction industry. Possibly, professors could focus more on showing actual examples of injuries and not just teaching about numbers, percentages, and statistics. As gruesome as it may be, showing pictures of actual injuri es and fatalities may just give students the shock and wake up call that they need. Lastly, it is advised that future researchers to add the question to ask the respondents who had either experienced or witnessed an injury while on a construction site h ow severe the injury was. Possibly this will get included in a subsequent study. It would also be helpful to be able to experience level affects the perceived value o f safety meetings or sessions.

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61 APPENDIX SURVEY INSTRUMENT Please give your HONEST RESPONSES to the following questions. Any questions that you feel you cannot provide a response to either leave blank. Name: _____________________________ Major: i s i s .)]: ____________ Age: ___________ Years Gender: Race: i s How much personal work experience do you have in Construction? _____Years _____Months Number of firms you have worked for in construction: _____ firms If a company has a h i s tory of having accidents on its projects, who can probably best change that trend ? ( Check ONLY ONE ) How much do you agree with the opinion that accidents are a natural part of construction work? Strongly Agree Agree Slightly Agree Neutral Slightly D i s agree D i s agree Strongly D i s agree Have you attended any safety training sessions or safety If yes, how many have you attended? _______ How valuable were they? ( Check ONLY ONE ) Have you ever witnessed an injury on a construction site? Yes If yes, do you think it could have been prevented? Have you ever been injured on a construction site? If yes, do you think it could have been prevented? Which university course that you have completed, includ ed the most information on worker safety: ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ __________________

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62 What percent of that class was devoted to safety? _________% Indicate the extent you agree that work related injuries are preventable. ( Check ONLY ONE ) Strongly d i s agree D i s agree Slightly d i s agree Neutral Slightly agree Agree Strongly agree When an accident occurs, who do you think shoulders the greatest responsibility for the event? ( Check ONLY ONE ) How would you rate your knowledge of construction safety? ( Check ONLY ONE ) In your experience, to what extent are safety rules obeyed on construction sites? ( Check ONLY ONE ) Do you have any close relative who are in the construction business? perception of the importance of safety relative to the completion of a job? ( Check ONLY ONE) importa nt importance Important Important How would you d i s tribute the responsibility for safety between the field personnel and home office personnel? ____% Field Personnel ____% Home Office Personnel 1. Indicat e how important each of the following are to you personally. Not Important Very Important Meeting project deadlines 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Meeting estimated project costs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Doing a high quality job 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Working Safely 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2. In your opinion, how important was each of the following to typical construction companies. Not Important Very Important Meeting project deadlines 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Meeting estimated project costs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Doing a high quality job 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Working Safely 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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63 3. In your opinion, how important was each of the following to supervisors. Not Important Very Important Meeting project deadlines 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Meeting estimated project costs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Doing a high quality job 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Working Safely 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Thank you for your participation.

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64 L I S T OF REFERENCES Ltd., Department of Psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, The Safety Science Group at the Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands. Hinze, J. (1997). Construction Safety, Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. H i s lop, R. D. (1999). Construction site safety: A guide for managing contractors Lew i s P ubl i s hers, Boca Raton FL Holt, A. S. J. (2001). Principles of construction safety Blackwell Science, Oxford, England. Howarth, T., and Watson, P. (2009). Construction safety management Wiley B lackwell, Chichester, U.K. Levitt, R. E., and Samelson, N. M. (1987). Construction safety management McGraw Hill, New York. Lingard, H. and Yesliyurt, Z. (2003 ). The Effect of Attitudes on the Occupational Safety Actions of Australian Construction Workers: The Results of a Field Study Journal of Construction Research 4(1). i s J ournal of Const ruction i s 18(11). United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2011). Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2010. www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2011). Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Char ts, 1992 2010 (preliminary data Rate of fatal work injuries for 2006 2010. www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm

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65 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Chr i s topher Cameron Decker was born in Tampa, FL in 1979. He was the first child of Amy and Jim Decker He grew up in Lakeland, FL, with h i s two brothers and s i s ter, Justin, Jamie, and Elizabeth. H i s father, grandfather and great grandfather were very involved with the construction industry in Florida. Chr i s topher graduated from Lakeland Senior High School in 1998. Afterward, he worked for h i s fathe r while he stud ied at Polk Community College for h i s Associate of Arts in Business A dmin i s tration. Upon completion, he applied and was accepted to the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, where he continued h i s studies. He graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in B usiness A dmin i s tration. While managing a local business in Gainesville, he met h i s wife Sandra. They were married on April 11, 2008, and have remained in Gainesville ever since. After deciding to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather Chr i s topher went back to s ch o ol to study buildi ng construction sciences. He has been fin i s hing h i s Master of Science in Building Construction at the University of Florida. During this time Chr i s topher worked for local construction firms in t he Gainesville area. He spent one term interning for Charles Perry Construction, where he had the opportunity to work on many projects on the University of Florida campus. Later, he wo rked for approximately one year for W. W. Gay Mechanical Contractor of Gainesville, where he had the opportunity to get a lot of experience in the mechanical and plumbing div i s ions of construction. Following thi s he was offered a multi semester internship with Brasfield & Gorrie General Contractors, LLC, where he was given the opportunity to start working in the capacity of a project engineer. Recently, Chr i s topher was offered a full time position as a project engineer with Foresight Construction Group, Inc. in Gainesville, FL, and has been working on co mmercial renovation projects on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, FL