Construction Safety Practices of Specialty Contractors

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Construction Safety Practices of Specialty Contractors
FERONTI JR, THOMAS K. ( Author, Primary )
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Physical trauma ( jstor )
Productivity ( jstor )
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Copyright 2006 By Thomas Keller Feronti, Jr.


This document is dedicated to my grandfathers.


iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The completion of this thesis would not ha ve been possible if not for the help and encouragement of a group of people. First and foremost I thank my thesis committee chair, Dr. Jimmie Hinze. The assistance provided to me by Dr. Hinze has been invaluable. I thank my parents who instilled the value of education in me from a young age and provided the foundation for my hi gher education aspirations. And finally, I thank my loving wife St ephanie. Her support and encouragement throughout this process have given me the motivati on and desire to complete this project.


v TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES............................................................................................................vii LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................viii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Statement of the Problem..............................................................................................1 Significance of the Study..............................................................................................1 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE..............................................................................3 History........................................................................................................................ ..3 Jobsite Injuries and Fatalities........................................................................................9 Training....................................................................................................................... 13 Improving Safety........................................................................................................15 Barriers to Implementation.........................................................................................24 Success Stories............................................................................................................30 Legal Ramifications....................................................................................................32 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................35 Introduction.................................................................................................................35 Derivation of Anticipated Findings............................................................................35 Research Design.........................................................................................................37 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................40 Statistical Treatment...................................................................................................41 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................43 Demographic Descriptive Statistics............................................................................43 Results of Testing the Research Hypothesis...............................................................49 Safety Performance.....................................................................................................52 5 CONCLUSIONS........................................................................................................60


vi 6 RECOMMENDATIONS............................................................................................62 APPENDIX A SURVEY COVER LETTER......................................................................................65 B SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE...................................................................................66 C DATA ANALYSIS SPREADSHEET........................................................................68 D DEMOGRAPHIC STATISTIC TABLES..................................................................81 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................83 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................86


vii LIST OF TABLES Table page 1: Gross Annual Volume of Responding Contractors.......................................................44 2: Number of Fulltime Field Employees..........................................................................44 3: Types of Projects Undertaken by the Contractor Respondents.....................................45 4: Types of Work Performe d by Contractor Respondents.................................................49 5: Firms with Fulltime Safety Directors............................................................................50 6: Safety Practices Implemented by Respondents.............................................................50 7: Respondents Opinions on the Relations hip Between Safety and Productivity.............52 8: Types of Work Performed and Safety Performance......................................................53 9: Percent of Time Safety Directors Spe nd in the Field and Safety Performance.............53 10: Requirements to Wear Hard Hats and Safety Performance.........................................54 11: Type of Drug Testing Conducted and Safety Performance.........................................54 12: Toolbox Safety Meetings and Safety Performance.....................................................55 13: Orientation of Workers and Safety Performance.........................................................55 14: Site Specific Safety Progr ams and Safety Performance..............................................56 15: Implementation of Safety Incentives for Safety Performance.....................................57 16: Perceptions of Safety versus Pr oductivity and Safety Performance............................58 17: Amount of Work Subcontract ed and Safety Performance...........................................58 18: Hours of Orientation Trai ning and Safety Performance..............................................59


viii LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1: Type of Projects Undertaken.........................................................................................46 2: Work Obtained Through Select Bidders List................................................................47 3: Amount of Work Subcontracted to Others....................................................................48


ix Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Bu ilding Construction CONSTRUCTION SAFETY PRACTICES OF SPECIALTY CONTRACTORS By Thomas Keller Feronti, Jr. August 2006 Chair: Jimmie Hinze Major Department: Building Construction Before the establishment of the Occupa tional Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1970, safety on construction jobsit es was not a major focus of workers, employers, or facility owners. Injuries on construction projects were commonplace and, unfortunately, injuries and so me fatalities were often rega rded by many as being a cost that was an integral part of getting construction projects completed. While the perception of injuries and illnesses has changed, there is still room for considerable improvement in the safety performance of the construction industry; i.e., additional efforts must be expended to protect the health and well-being of construction workers. One of the means of impr oving the knowledge about cons truction safety is to identify the best practices that have been implemented by companies with the greatest success in safety. In general, the companies wi th the best safety performances have been the larger construction companies. While it is beneficial to e xplore what the large construction companies are doing to achieve t hose goals, it may be unrealistic for a small


x or medium sized construction company to a ddress safety in the same manner. Good safety performance in smaller firms may be achieved by different means. Smaller construction companies may be exp ected to achieve the same high level of safety performance as the larger companies, but they tend to have fewer resources to accomplish this task. There have been no known studies that have extensively examined the safety practices of small and medium sized construction companies that have identified safety practices that are pa rticularly effective in these firms. The goal of this research was to examine the safety practices of small and medium sized construction firms. Rather than looki ng at what the companies with the most resources have done to improve safety, this study examined the safety activities of companies with fewer resources. With most of the work in the construction industry, especially in the area of commercial buildings and resi dential construction, being completed by smaller specialty contractors, it is important to understand how safety performance can be improved in these firms. The study obtained general information about small and medium sized contractors. The study then examined the safety practi ces implemented by the small and medium sized construction companies, including a ny new or innovative methods. By comparing the safety practices with the recordable injury rates of the contractors, it was possible to identify the methods that were most effective. This information could provide insights on directions that small and medium sized cons truction firms should follow to improve their overall safety performances.


1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Little has been researched about the be st safety practices of small and medium sized construction companies. Most constr uction safety research studies have been conducted with large construction firms, those firms with annual revenues exceeding $100 million. It has not been established if the safety practices of large firms will be just as effective in smaller firms. With la rger budget allocations for safety, larger construction companies have the ability to devote considerable resources to implement safety practices. With limited financial re sources, small and medium sized construction companies must find alternative methods to accomplish the same goal of zero accidents on their construction jobsites. Statement of the Problem Small and medium sized construction comp anies are expected to perform at the same level of safety performance as large construction companies, even though they do not have the same financial re sources. If the limited resour ces of the small and medium sized companies make it difficult for them to u tilize the same safety approaches that have been successful in the large firms, perh aps new and innovative practices should be explored that can accomplish the same goals. Significance of the Study Injuries and fatalities continue to be a serious concern on co nstruction jobsites. While the injury frequency rates and the fata lity rates of the cons truction industry have improved significantly since the passage of the Occupation Safety and Health Act


2 (OSHAct), the level of safety performan ce is still not acceptable. Additional improvements in safety performance are need ed, and these will need to occur through the individual efforts of construction firms. Se veral construction safety studies have been conducted on the best safety practices of th e construction industry. However, the major studies have all focused on the means and methods implemented by the large construction companies. If no further study was to take place, the inference would be that the small and medium sized construction comp anies must employ the same methods that have been proven successful in the larger firms. It is not clear that safety performance is achieved in the same manner by firms that diffe r considerably in size. Further study is warranted. Most construction firms in the United States would be considered small or medium in size (those firms having a gro ss annual volume less than $100 Million), but this sector of the construction industry has received little atte ntion by safety researchers. By investigating and analyz ing the safety practices of small and medium sized construction firms, much can be learned about the best safety pract ices that might be employed by small and medium sized firms. This information could be used by small and medium sized construction firms to impr ove their safety performances, thereby drastically reducing the number of injuries and fatalities on their construction sites.


3 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE History In the early days of development and c onstruction, safety on the jobsite was not a major consideration for most companies undertaking the completion of construction projects. Accidents on site, l ong-term injuries, and even deaths were almost common occurrences. Even in the current age, “death is an unobtrusive pred ator on United States construction sites, striking in maddeningly routine mishaps, disguising itself in the numbing repetitions of the day, coiling inside the steel and trucks and backhoes used to do the work” (Korman, Illia, Barnes, & Rosta, 2002:1). It was not until the passage of the Occupa tional Safety and Health Act of 1970 that a broader awareness of safety in the c onstruction industry was created. Through the passage of this act, “the Occupational Sa fety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established to protect the health and safety of all workers in the United States of America by setting and enforcing standards; pr oviding training, outreac h, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health” (All About OSHA, 2003). While OSHA was established to protect worker s in all fields, more than half of the agency’s inspections are related to the constr uction industry. Because of the nature of the construction industry, hazards are more difficu lt to identify and accidents are more likely to occur (OSHA Explores New Options, 1999). Studies have shown that “in construction,


4 the risk of accidents is double that of indus try in general, and al so the incidence of occupational diseases is fifty percent hi gher than the average” (Laukkanen, 1999:55). While many executives of construction companies espouse their goals of “zero injuries”, few actually believe that “zero injuries” is attainable in the construction industry. Nonetheless, the construction industr y continues to make strides towards that goal as the financial and human incentives are too important (Korman with Reinain, 1997). Beginning in the mid 1990’s, a renewed se nse of interest was placed on OSHA relative to construction industry safety practices. In 1996, fe deral agencies were directed by the United States Congress to develop five -year strategic plans to improve safety. OSHA identified the reduction of injury a nd illness as one goal, with the reduction of fatalities as the other. OSHA set out to reduce each by fifteen percent (Krizan, 2000). Expanding upon this directive, in 1997 OS HA identified over 12,000 workplaces with the highest rates of injury and illness through a survey of 80,000 companies (OSHA Explores New Options, 1999). This led to an incr ease in inspections by OSHA in 1997 to “preserve the credibility of its enforcement program” (OSHA Ratchets Up Inspections, 1997:16). In order to accomplish their goal of pres erving credibility, OSHA stayed true to their word and increased the total number of workplace inspections in 1997. While all industries experienced an increase in inspections, the hi ghest percentage increase was seen in the construction industry. For all industries, OSHA increased the number of inspections by 10,000 in 1997, from 24,024 to 34,264. Of those 34,264 inspections, 18,280 were in construction. The number of construction related inspections was up


5 6,881 from the previous year (OSHA Ratchets Up Inspections, 1997). While contractors complain that OSHA “unfairly penalizes them by running up the total fine by citing every small violation” (Korman with Reinain, 1997:32), it all appears to be for the right reasons as OSHA is working towards changing the st atus-quo of the constr uction industry, which fosters the unsafe practices and the high incidence of injuries and illnesses (Lingard and Holmes, 2001). OSHA has also begun to implement a mo re targeted injury reduction program through partnerships, outreach, and enfor cement (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001). Ultimately, OSHA would like to expand and gr ow the new targeted inspection program within the constructi on industry; however, they are finding this difficult, as many construction workplaces are not in existen ce long enough for the inspections to occur (OSHA Explores New Options, 1999). To combat this, OSHA also is aiming its re sources at more serious c onstruction hazards. OSHA will conduct a so-called “focus ed” inspection rather than a comprehensive one if a contractor can show that it has a viable, ongoing safety pr ogram. The focused inspection concentrates on the four hazards that typica lly cause most construction fatalities: fall, electrocution, struckby, and caught-between. A focused in spection usually is faster and less adversarial. (But) the Agen cy will convert (the inspection) to a comprehensive one if inspectors turn up serious violations. (OSHA Ratchets Up Inspections, 1997:16) While OSHA may be considered the most prominent organization responsible for the reduction of injuries on construction job sites, ther e are a number of people, organizations, and programs working toge ther with the common goal of improving construction worker safety. These groups in clude contractor groups, unions, insurance companies, equipment manufacturers, as well as OSHA. The combined resources of these groups provide a wide array of input and sources of assistan ce (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001).


6 An increased focus on overall construction site safety practices also allows the focus to be shifted to more specific areas of concern. Recently, a consortium of contractors, contracting agen cies, and government policy makers met to focus on the high incidence of injury and illness in construc tion work zones. The first annual National Highway Work Zone Safety Awareness Week was launched in April 2000 in order to publicize the hazards of construction work zones (Krizan, 2000). This increased awareness was due to the fact that in 1998 alone, people were killed and 39,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes in construction work zones” (Krizan, 2000:36). Unfortunately, in today’s construction c limate, just having the theories in place does not guarantee that a job will be comple ted with zero accidents. In many instances, safety on the construction jobsite is not th e primary focus during design, or during the actual construction phase. For financial re asons, the speed with which a general contractor or a subcontractor is able to finish a project is al most as important as the cost (Kohn, 1999). The client expects th e contractor to finish the work on time, within budget, and with a certain expectation of work quality (Tam et al., 2000). Construction site safety is often sacrificed to meet those particular go als. Some inspectors are finding that “a large section of the industry is not improving itself, as it claims. Many in the industry are deliberately cutting corners, pa ying lip service to safety a nd risking the lives of their workers” (Construction Firms Fail, 2003:1). Some clients are starting to require that construction site safety be considered during the design and contract phases. A cons truction company’s safety record can often times be the deciding factor in whether or not a construction contra ct award is won or lost, both for hard bid and negotiated pr ojects (Kohn, 1999). Because of this, many


7 construction companies are attempting to cha nge their corporate culture to one more concerned with the well being of its empl oyees. Creating a corporate culture that promotes best safety practices requires a commitment and effort from all levels of a company (Tam et al., 2000), but it has been s hown that “safety begins with management demanding best practices. This works only wh en craftspeople buy into the concepts – when they understand it is often not the unsaf e worker who gets killed – it is someone who happens to be in the wrong place at th e wrong time” (Safety Success Story, 2003). If safety practices are ingrained into the daily routine of the employees, the culture will change as it has been shown that “people will follow safety rules and work safely if that has been the way people do things in a company” (Tam et al., 2000:394). Often times, it is the general contractor that sets the site safety guidelines, but the amount of work performed by the general contra ctor declines each year as more work is completed by subcontractors (Construction Indus try Institute, 2004). This scenario, in which a subcontractor must adhere to a sa fety program developed with no input from their employees on best practices, is less than ideal. OSHA has looked at surveying subcontractors to identify the safety practices of individual trades. While this would seem to be a most beneficial study, it has proven to be difficult to conduct (OSHA Explores New Options, 1999). There are many construction firms operati ng in the world today, but the majority of the construction companies are small or medium sized companies, with over 90% of the general construction companies having le ss than twenty employees (Lingard and Holmes, 2001). The larger companies know the ramifications of a loss-time injury and, as a result, devote the manpower and financial re sources for proper safety programs (Bradt,


8 1999). The smaller the contractor, the less invol vement in safety practices and the more challenging it is to follow previously adopted practices. As Lingard and Holmes explain Small (construction) businesses are char acterized by poor management skills and authoritarian management st yles. Small businesses are poorer at implementing safety programs than larger businesses. Sma ll businesses are char acterized by poor communication between employees and manage ment on safety practices. Small business proprietors are often unaware of their respons ibilities for safety, operate in intensely competitive business environments and lack the resources of larger firms. (Lingard and Holmes, 2001:218) It is interesting to note, however, that in one study comparing small to mediumsized firms, the smaller firms tended to have better safety records than their somewhat larger brethren. This may be attributed to more direct contact by the owner in a smaller firm (Hinze, 1997). Even with the apparent improvement in construction site safety techniques and practices, the ultimate goal is still a moving target . According to Thomas Broderick, “The issues that we are discussing today and trying to find solutions for, such as authority to stop a job and why workers won’t wear persona l protective equipment, are frighteningly similar to the issues being waded through back in the 1950’s” (Korman, 2001:26). There has been a decline in frequenc y of construction fatalities a nd injuries, but “there is a numbing sameness to their causes” (Cause s of Death are Too Familiar, 2000:20). Ultimately, it will require “safet y to be woven into the culture of construction companies” for improvement to reach desired go als (Korman with Reinain, 1997:30). It is difficult to understand why construc tion employees are so reluctant to follow best safety practices considering the pract ices have been established for their own protection (Tam et al., 2000). Each year, th e construction industry moves closer and closer to the ultimate goal of zero accident s, but it is important to remember that:


9 Working in construction is still a tough, da ngerous way to earn a living. But injury and illness rates have declined steadily over the past several years, and the trend appears to be continuing. The improvement is “a sour ce of pride and satisfaction among the many organizations and contractors whose top pr iority is sending craft workers home each evening as healthy and whole as they a rrived. (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001:1) Jobsite Injuries and Fatalities As previously noted, the four hazards th at typically cause most construction fatalities are falls, electrocutions, struckby accidents, and caught in-between accidents (OSHA Ratchets Up Inspections, 1997), with falls and electrocutions being the most common (Kohn, 1999). While the instance of injuri es has steadily declined (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001), “when construction cl oses the books on 2002, there will be another 1200 or so (fatalities) and the cumulative loss of life and treasure will be more apparent. The industry had 1225 fatalities in 2001, according to the United States Labor Department, an all time high. And fatal accide nts have risen steadily since 1992 when the total was 889” (Kor man et al., 2002:1). The first step to reducing injuries and fatalities on construction jobsites is identifying those areas that have the most ri sk and the highest inci dence rates. One of those areas is work involving cranes (Costs for Certifying, 2003). Acci dental contact with power lines by cranes is one of the most co mmon hazards with “almost one out of three of the average 350 yearly electrical related fa talities involving cranes and overhead power lines” (Korman, 2004:13). The current OSHA sta ndard “prohibits cr anes from working within specified distances of energize d lines, depending on the voltage, but many contractors do it anyway” (Korman, 2004:13). B ecause of the frequency of accidents, and the realization that crane opera tors are ignoring the standard as it is written now, “the new


10 standard may recognize this practice as a re ality and instead try to encourage crane operators working closely to energized c onductors to do it safely” (Korman, 2004:13). It is not always the crane operators that are injured or kille d when cranes and energized power lines come in contact. It can sometimes be people working near the crane operation as the following example demonstrates “Three employees of a demolition contractor were killed when a wheeled crane’s boom became entangled in a 7200-volt power line while demolishing a cement batch plant. The incident occurred when the driver backed the crane up an incline under the energized power line and the boom hit the wires. (The operato r) was thrown or fell from the cab. Two other workers went to his aid and were electrocuted when one came in contact with the cran e.” (Crane Accident Kills Three, 2003:9) Another area of concern with regard to jobsite safety is roadwork. In 1998, there were 772 people killed and 39,000 injured in moto r vehicle crashes in construction work zones. Examples of those injured and/or ki lled include flaggers, laborers, equipment operators, inspectors, engin eers and supervisors employed by contractors and state departments of transportation who are struck by construction equipm ent on the site or by wayward motor vehicles (Krizan, 2000). As mo re roadwork is completed at night to minimize the effects on traffic the danger is incr easing, so much so that some feel that the roadwork construction companie s and municipal agencies should reexamine priorities to decide whether inconvenience is worth the risk of night work (Krizan, 2000). While most of the safety regulations on work zones focus on the prevention of accidents and deaths caused by workers being hit by oncoming traffic, some studies have shown that only about one-thir d of the fatalities are the re sult of a worker being hit by


11 vehicles, while the remaining two-thirds of the accidents occurring inside of the work zone do not involve motorists (Bui lding a Safer Job Site, 2001). Trench cave-ins are also a frequent ki ller on construction work sites. In one instance, two workers were trapped in a fi ve-foot wide sewer trench dug for new homes. One of the trapped workers was accidentally decapitated by a backhoe during the rescue attempt with the other worker also being kille d. In another accident, a worker was trapped in waist deep mud. The rescue attempt la sted for hours with the mud being removed down to the trapped man’s ankles before a se cond collapse killed him. In both instances mentioned, the trenches did not have shoring or other form of worker protection (Recent Trench Cave-Ins, 2003). A recent high-profile acciden t occurred on a new casino project in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The floors of the new structure, being constructed with a widely recognized method, collapsed killing four and injuring more than a dozen others. The collapse is believed to have been due to improper shor ing of the new floors and the removal of shoring before the concrete floors were fully cured. It was reported that some of the victims were covered in wet concrete and impaled by reinforcing bars (Korman, 2003:13). Injuries to construction workers are not always immediately known. The construction industry has a high rate of bac k, shoulder, and knee injuries, many of which do not show up until later on in life after cons tant abuse (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001). Studies have also shown that working on c onstruction sites may harm the hearing of many different craft workers. In many instances , “hearing losses commonly attributed to


12 old age sometimes can by traced to occupati onal exposures as hearing loss is a slow, subtle process that progresse s over years” (Korman, 1999:12). Employers and clients are becoming more a nd more aware of where the majority of accidents occur. Falls, manual material ha ndling, and driving accidents are the reason behind most accidents and fatalities (Korman with Reinain, 1997). One study showed that “more than half (fifty-five pe rcent) of the accidents in build ing construction happen in the immediate work environment, i.e. passa ges and work spaces” (Laukkanen, 1999:56). In surveying the workers themselv es, Laukkanen learned that the lack of order on a job site was cited as the worst hazard, with twenty-sev en percent of the workers identifying this. Following the lack of order were falls and slipperiness with twenty-two percent each (Laukkanen, 1999). There is an alarming trend w ith regard to safety related to the nationality of construction workers. According to the Bur eau of Labor Statistics, “fatalities among Hispanic construction workers jumped more than one-hundred percent between 1994 and 1999, while injuries among that population rose sixty-two percent. Experts believe, however, that the figure coul d actually be much higher as many of the injuries go unreported. During the same period, injuries to African-American and Caucasian workers dropped twenty percent” (Bu ilding a Safer Job Site, 2001:2) . OSHA is beginning to pay more attention to contractors in South Fl orida as a result of the high number of construction deaths (32 in 1998) in that area alon e. Many feel that this could be related to the high percentage of immigrant workers in S outh Florida that have “a dubious grasp of safe practices as well as English” (Kohn, 1999:16).


13 Unlike certain other industries in which the more skilled and more experienced workers suffer fewer injuries, this does not occur in the constructi on industry. Because of the mobility of the worker and the constantly changing construction environment, there is little to no correlation between experience and injury (Laukkenan, 1999). According to Laukkanen, “only half of the c onstruction accidents and only a third of other occupational accidents occur during the first year of em ployment with a firm” (Laukkanen, 1999:56). Studies have also shown that regardless of experience, “most injuries occur within the first month that a worker is on a long te rm project and at firms with less than 1000 employees” (Korman with Reinain, 1997:30). As opposed to skilled workers, “more of the accidents of semi-skilled workers (i.e. assistant building work ers) occurred during manual lifting, carrying, and pulling or pushing” (Laukkanen, 1999:56). Training One of the best ways to describe the relationship between good safety practices and training would be to assert , “the heart of any safety pr ogram is training” (Korman, 2001:27). As Laukkanen describes, “the impor tance of safety in struction, on the job training and the integration of occupation safety and health in vocation education has been emphasized in many recent studies, and the occupation training of construction workers is now promoted in most Eu ropean countries” (Laukkanen, 1999:53). Construction workers themselves feel that training is “the most important factor in sustaining their work ability ” (Laukkanen, 1999:56) and most workers agree that safety training should be part of the daily routin e (Korman with Reinain, 1997). Some examples of craft worker training may include “tool box talks, pre-shift huddl es, site specific orientation, and safety related vide os” (Korman with Reinain, 1997:30).


14 OSHA has a ten hour training program th at it encourages construction companies to utilize as a “minimal step”, but gives little other information related to training (Korman, 2001:27). It has been shown that many construction companies fail to either adequately train their employees for the equipm ent and tools they will be using, or even train them at all (Korman et al., 2002). As disheartening as it may seem, some experts estimate that less than one quarter of the c onstruction workers receiv e any training related to construction safety (Laukkanen, 1999). OSHA has the ability to fine constructi on companies for the failure to train their employees (All About OSHA, 2003). However, th ere is very little de finition provided in relation to training. Monday morning tool box talks, many of which lack depth or information relative to the day’s activities, ma y be all that an employer needs to provide in order to demonstrate that the employees have been trained (Korman, 2001). The lack of a definition with regard to safety is a problem. The “cookie-cutter, half-hearted safety training, such as Monday morning toolbox talk s are nothing more than a foreman giving a dreary reading from a manual. The lackadaisi cal effort often fails to identify relevant hazards or motivate workers to practice safe habits” (Korman et al., 2002:2). There is only so much that OSHA and the federal government can require of construction firms. Unless the site personnel have the motivation to follow through on the safety practices shown and rationalized in th e ten-hour training program, the industry will continue to experience the same levels of injury and death. For that reason, “a greater reliance than ever before was placed on the construction industry to proactively and voluntarily manage safety for itself” (L ingard and Holmes, 2001:217). Rather than OSHA increasing the number of in spectors and on-site inspections,


15 the emphasis has shifted away from enforcement and toward training and education. (The industry) no longer focu ses on policing projects for safety violations. Instead, the philosophy embraces the proactive concept of a planned safe work site that focuses on the health and welfare of everyone associated with the project. (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001:4) Steps are being taken to develop a more formal approach to the training of construction workers. Many employers have se en the financial benefit of having soundly trained workers and have begun to allot funds and other resources into various forms of training and instruction, causing a dramatic increase in the number of trained workers on construction sites (Korman with Rein ain, 1997). Studies have shown that Proper safety orientation and training is key to eliminating accidents. Every new employee should see a video (produced, like many safety materials, in Spanish and English) that outlines safety requirements , as well as an overview of the company and employee benefits. Also, each new hire must read a safety booklet. (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001:5) Some experts believe that “due to the h azardous nature of the work, the variety of working conditions and the basic vocational e ducation of (many of) the workers, both safety training and on the job training are im portant at constructi on sites” (Laukkanen, 1999:53). Initial safety training will help identify some of th e safety risks that workers will encounter. Understanding those risks is vital to understanding the need for good safety practices (Lingard and Holmes, 2001) . Studies have shown that construction workers with less experience are more prone to be involved in accidents, proving the need for continuous training (Laukkanen, 1999). Improving Safety The focus of many studies is to examin e not just what issu es the construction industry is having with regard to good safety practices, but also to examine different ways to improve safety practices. While larg e construction companie s have an abundance of resources to spend on safety, small and medium sized construction companies must


16 deal with limited budgets. All agree, however, that improving safety is paramount to the success of a construction company. The former head of OSHA, Charles N. Jeffress, sought to institute a number of new initiatives for the construction industry. One of the main items on the agenda was “a plan to target the most dangerous constructi on work sites. (The program) be based on the Cooperative Compliance Program, a controversial enforcement program developed last year by OSHA for general industry. Participa ting employers agree to meet specific criteria, identify and fix hazards and notify OS HA of the action in exchange for not being subject to regular inspections ” (Winston, 1998:11). This new program is similar to a bill sponsored by Senator Michael Enzi (R-Wyo) that would “allow employers to buy an exemption from OSHA penalties by hiring a consultant” (OSHA Explores New Options, 1999:13). One of the ways in which to determ ine whether or not smaller construction companies even have safety programs is to inspect them. OSHA is instituting a new program in which “most of the new inspections will examine smaller employers, not worksites, to determine if they have safety programs that meet cu rrent standards” (Kohn, 1999:16). Without adequate safety programs, the employees of these small companies cannot be expected to know the current OSHA standards. Along with determining whether or not companies have adequate safety programs, OSHA and other agencies intere sted in the health and well-being of construction workers are beginning to focus on the cause of accidents to explore new standards and regulations. One such organiza tion taking a pro-active approach is NIOSH, which


17 sends investigators and researchers to find out what happened at about eighty accidents each year, many at construction sites. In exchange for anonymity, the investigators are given relatively unguard ed accounts of what happened. Employers cooperate because NIOSH, a unit of the Department of Health and Human Services, is not OSHA, a unit of the La bor Department whose enforcement mission and penalties are often cont roversial. The reports culminate in a series of recommendations that often refer to regulations in a predictable way, but occasionally go beyond that to comment on deeper causes and solutions not covered by regulations. (Korman et al., 2002:1) In the coming months, NIOSH is planning on releasing a highly anticipated report on construction site safety that “will c ontain recommendations on what contracting agencies and policy makers can do to save lives” (Krizan, 2000:36). With increased attention focused on the root cause of accident s, and not on the penalty associated with the tragedy, standards can be adjusted to re flect current construction means and methods. One of the benefits of th e newfound interest in the cau se of accidents is that OSHA will have the ability to amend the standards to account for current conditions. Some of the areas of focus at this time are crane standards, scaffolding, noise reduction and ergonomics. For the first time in over th irty years, OSHA and the United States Department of Labor are considering changes to the crane and derrick safety standard. One of the major changes would be to allow crane operators to work close to energized power lines as long as certain safety pr ecautions are taken (Korman, 2004). Another discussion relates to scaffolding and the need to have better security plans, instructions, and certain levels of qualification before craf ts people are able to use scaffolding. It is believed that injuries related to scaffolding mishaps could be reduced if additional measures were addressed in th e regulations (Laukkanen, 1999). Because hearing loss is an injury that may not surface until late r on in life, OSHA sought to enact tougher standard s to protect this generation of workers. A coalition of a number of different organizations worked w ith OSHA to come up with a better standard


18 to promote workplaces less harmful to heari ng (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001). With a recent increase in the number of back, shoulder, and knee injuries, OSHA has “even proposed a new ergonomic standard specifically for the construction industry” that was intended to curtail this increase (Laukkanen, 1999:54). Simply placing the material closer to the location of use would aide in the redu ction of these types of injuries. The less the employees must lift and carry, the bette r (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001). While the investigation into whether or not smaller construction companies have adequate safety programs and looking furthe r at the cause of accidents will no doubt help move the industry towards a safer work plac e. It will most likely come down to more innovative practices to accomplish the ultimate goal. One such idea is to have owners become more involved with construction site safety. Previously, owne rs have not played a direct role in project safe ty. The owner does have the abili ty to influence safety in a number of different ways. For example, the owner may set a limit on the number of hours worked each day and the number of days wo rked each week; safety requirements can be written into the contract to en sure the contractor is aware of the owner’s goals; and input can be provided for the contractor’s safety program. The owner may even require the contractor to assign a full-time safety representa tive to a particular project. There is now concrete evidence that shows that owner i nvolvement in the early stages can have a positive impact (Tuchman, 2003). Yet another innovative idea, as described by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, comes from France. In that country, safety and health initiatives are targeting “the wives and partners of the bo sses of very small (construction) companies (fewer than 20 people” (Eurpoean Agency for Safety, 2004:2).


19 The selection of the construction firm to complete a project often comes down to schedule and cost, with safety being almost an afterthought. However, a study has shown that Five specific contract requirements can re duce the recordable incident rate from 2.77 when only one or two are used, to 1.22 when all five are present. These contracts require at least one full-time safety professional; owner approval of safety professional; specified minimum training fo r workers; a site-specific safety roleplay; and submission of a safety policy signed by the (Construction Firm’s) Chief Executive Officer. (Tuchman, 2003:1) Incorporating safety into the bidding and contract pr ocess also would place all contractors on a level playing field. Often times, the contract or that submits the lowest bid has cut the most corners, with safety being one of the first items cut. If safety was part of the bid, it would not allow contractors to l ook at safety as a way to save on initial as well as long term costs (Krizan, 2000). Having the Owner involved in site safety discussions from the onset of a project would be a benefit in various ways . These are summarized as follows: Another kind of breakthrough would be po ssible if designers became involved in safety planning. The relationship between the Owner, Designer, and Contractor is critical to attacking the obstacles to sa fety. The current legal atmosphere does not encourage it, however. Some think that right now, the legal system and the insurance system has caused architects to be uninterested up to the point of being afraid of getting involved in safety. Tr anscending the obstacles sometimes can be as simple as tweaking an AIA standard c ontract document. Only a few adjustments are needed to the basic contract agreem ent. Once made, the changes would allow the lawyer to recommend that his clie nts get involved in pre-job planning, constructability reviews and the logis tics of the means and methods (Korman, 2001:29). The mentality related to construction safety often starts at the top of the corporate structure. A corporate hierar chy that places great emphasis on a positive safety record will tend to see good results. Conversely, a compa ny that places little or no emphasis on safety will often times have a poor safety record. For that reason, the biggest difference


20 between a safe company and an unsafe one can be traced back to the commitment set forth by the company’s officers (Korman, 2001). One such way that management is able to show their commitment to improving sa fety is through an incentive program that rewards projects and individuals for good sa fety performances. Incentives can be as simple as a belt buckle, a t-shirt, or a ball cap; or as elaborate as team luncheons and financial rewards (Building a Safer Job Site , 2001). To get the maximum benefit from a safety incentive program, studies have shown that Safety programs seem to work best when they are part of an existing safety program and when short and long-range goa ls and incentives are developed by the project team. Effective l ong-range incentives are vacation days or bonus pay. Shorter-term incentives, given on the s pot for notable safe decisions, include stickers and pocket knives” (Kohn, 1999:16). It is best to present the rewards in a public forum so that both the public and the other contractors will see the emphasis as well as the prize (Tam et al., 2000). Safety programs with incentives are not just a tool to be used on construction sites. The incentives can also serve as a motivation to come up with bette r ideas of means and methods for a single company or industry wi de. One company established “a cash awards program to motivate members to come up w ith innovative ideas about how to prevent injuries on construction jobsites. One idea was a plastic power line awareness marker that slips over cones and announces “Power Lines Overhead”; another idea was a remote control device held by a spo tter outside vehicles and wh en the spotter identified a problem, the button would activate an alar m without actually activating the brakes” (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001:8). Even without providing cash rewards as an incentive, many workers serve as the best source of information for new ideas to improve safety on construction sites. For roadway work in particular, workers are ofte n the best resource for new ideas. One such idea was developed as a result of the high ra te of injuries to flaggers on roadwork


21 projects. The idea was “a device that has a paddle mounted on a battery-powered motor that flips the sign 180 degrees while keeping the flagger at a distance. The flagger would operate the portable device with a remote-contro lled switch attached to a twenty-five foot cable” (Illinois to Test Flagging Device, 2004:16). Along with the ideas generated by workers, there has been much focus on improving safety on roadwork projects. NIOSH would like OSHA to require highvisibility clothing for workers as another fo rm of personal protective equipment (Krizan, 2000). The state of Florida is trying a new appr oach in which State Police officers “pose as workers to nab work zone speeders” (Angelo, 2002:59). One state’s Department of Transportation and the branch of Associated General Contractors have teamed up to create a video about being safe in construc tion work zones aimed at teenagers (Krizan, 2000). Even though much of the emphasis is placed on protecting workers from the outside public, NIOSH believes th at controlling the equipment traffic within the jobsite is as important, if not more so (Krizan, 2000). Improving the safety performance of the non-English speaking population of construction workers has proven to be a much more difficult endeavor. As previously mentioned, the incidence rate of injury and death among the Hispanic population of construction workers for example has risen st eadily while that of African-American and Caucasian workers has dropped (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001). In one instance A contractor recognized th at his Hispanic workers and their English speaking Supervisors were not comm unicating. A ‘culture class’ was developed in which (the Supervisors) learned a bout the culture of their Hisp anic co-workers, including their exceptional closeness with family members and the importance they place on courtesy. The information was gathered a nd delivered in a PowerPoint presentation to the Supervisors. The result was a big ‘aha’ for the group. (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001:3)


22 One company took this a step further by hiri ng a bilingual safety trainer to serve as an interpreter in the hopes of slowing down the high rate of injuries among the Hispanic workers (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001). One area that requires additional attenti on, according to all groups, is training and education. It is going to take an increased fo cus on new technologies with training as the emphasis to address the issue (Laukkanen, 1999). A study completed showed that more than fifty percent of the respondents favored an increased focus on education and training for craftspeople (Lingard and Holmes, 2001) . Currently, OSHA has a ten-hour safetytraining program that some think should be a legal standard and expanded to include longer sections for supervisors and managers on communication and creating a safety culture. Augment traditional methods of training with simplifie d nonverbal symbols and methods of communication. Direct the safety ‘messa ge’ to the fast gr owing population of Hispanic workers and construction owne rs and managers. Require and motivate architects and engineers to become involved in safety considerations so that safety can be designed into a project. (Korman, 2001:26) Discovering ways to put safety manageme nt in the hands of the people actually completing the work seems to be an effective tool. According to one study, “a behavior based safety intervention was found to be e ffective in improving certain safety practices, which construction workers believed to be w ithin their control” (Lingard and Holmes, 2001:218). Expanding upon this idea, one company has, Taken the concept of behavior based safety in which the goal is for every employee to eventually become an observer. About ten percent of craft worker s on a particular job site serve voluntarily as ‘safety sentinels’. Th ey are trained in hazard identification and in ‘people skills’. They conduct one in-depth observation per week a nd are urged to coach co-workers, making suggestions as neede d. The hoped for result is a self-monitoring


23 environment in which all workers are respons ible for their own behavior. (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001) Empowering the employees to take part in the creation and implementation of the safety programs gives them a greater sense of pr ide in their habits. To foster this sense of pride, some contractors have begun to post up to date statistics in a public place in order to remind everyone of the importance of safe ty and praising them for their good deeds. (Tam et al., 2000). Altering the daily routines may also se rve to improve safety among construction workers. With craftspeople getting stuck in da ily routines, the focus on safety can be lost and this can result in accide nts. One recommendation would be to “start every morning with a pre-task safety exercise at every j ob site” (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001:5). By having the employees start the day with safety on their minds, their focus on safety might be stronger. Change up the working arra ngement by having employees work in multiskilled teams rather than working alone (Laukkanen, 1999). While many may feel that working in groups slows them down, having add itional sets of eyes focusing on the task at hand should serve to curtail some of th e accidents caused by lack of attention. Taking additional breaks throughout the day can serv e to break up the monotony of work and refocus the workers on the task at hand. Als o, visualization has been shown to be an effective reinforcement tool. By placing re minders throughout the jobsite, workers are subconsciously focusing on safety while no t feeling as though they are being nagged (Korman et al., 2002). Most of the innovative methods mentione d above will more than likely improve safety performance, but they will probably extend project durations. While the schedule


24 should not be the overriding factor in safety decisions, it woul d be naive to believe that owners and construction firms would blindly agree to these ideas if costs were to be impacted. For that reason, some less intrusiv e ideas may work for construction projects. Some contractors have begun to install video cameras on their jobsites. This allows the workers to maintain their familiar work envi ronment while also providing the benefit of focusing an additional set of eyes on work er habits. The videos shown in training sessions can often times be stale and the work ers may feel as though the situations do not relate to them, but seeing themselves on th e video tape performing unsafe work practices has been shown to have a great impact (Kohn, 1999). Barriers to Implementation Ultimately, it is up to the construction co mpanies and their employees to take it upon themselves to adhere to the safety guide lines set by the government and the project owners. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons this compliance does not always occur. The construction industry is t ypified by “one-off projects, a constantly changing work environment, a highly competitive tendering system, and a high turnover of labor” (Lingard and Holmes, 2001:218), all factors that lead to difficulties in improving safety. Of course, there are some who are more fatali stic in their views and feel that accidents are unavoidable due to the nature of the c onstruction industry (Cau ses of Death are Too Familiar, 2000). The primary reason that safety guidelines ar e not always followed is because of the perception of many that proper safety procedur es are too costly. Even with the increased focus on protecting the workers, contractors often claim, “money gets in the way. Money comes before someone’s life. (Contractors) can’t afford to spend money and time on safety procedures; (they) look for cheaper and quicker ways of doing things” (Lingard


25 and Holmes, 2001:222) Often times, companies bid a job so close to the break-even point, that if any days of productivity are lost due to safety issues, they run the risk of being put out of business (Korman, 2001). Smaller projects are more prone to this risk as the smaller construction companies try to cut costs to survive, as they do not have the resources that a larger compa ny may have. Safety is more often than not the portion of the work that is overlooked (Lingard a nd Holmes, 2001). This management philosophy has the potential to make its way down to the project managers, as studies have shown “many site managers tended to undermine the safety regulations and measures in pursuit of job progress and minimal costs of pr oduction” (Tam et al., 2000:395). These site personnel view their primary focus as meeting the schedule and the cost constraints, with consideration given to safety only after m eeting those goals (Tam et al., 2000). While some companies give their site managers the authority to stop work on a project if safety begins to falter, this is not often done due to “the common misunderstanding that safety slows construction” (Korma n with Reinain, 1997:30). Large construction companies are much mo re likely to have successful safety programs, but small construction companies face different challenges (Korman, 2001). Many times, the owners of the small constructio n companies are also in the field working on the projects. The amount of time require d to complete the paperwork and other administrative tasks associated with site safety takes away time that the person is able to spend in the field (Korman w ith Reinain, 1997). Less time in the field means that projects take longer to complete. Studies have al so shown that “small construction industry participants have low expectations and accept the prevailing level of safety risk in the environment. They are resigned to the fact th at they have little input into decisions


26 impacting the work environment” (Lingard and Holmes, 2001:223). According to one survey, “contractors have felt misunderst ood by OSHA. The burden of complying with ever more safety standards weighs heavily on smaller firms” (Korman with Reinain, 1997:32). The financial stability of the smaller cons truction companies aside, there are still a number of other reasons why proper safe ty procedures are not implemented. The construction industry has “large numbers of poorly educated workers” (Laukkanen, 1999:53). With the leve l of education among construction workers decreasing, many small construction companies are hiring the least educated, which may lead to an increased rate of accidents (Korman with Reinain, 1997). The construction industry, moreso than many other industries because of the value of trade work experience, has “tended to separate work life from the formal schooling system” (Laukkanen, 1999:59). There is also reluctance among construc tion workers to follow new safety guidelines and procedures. Some contractors feel that safety is beyond their control (Lingard and Holmes, 2001), while ot hers just flatly refuse to adhere to established safety practices such as using personal prot ective equipment (Kor man, 1999). Although the overall rate of injuries in the construction industry has shown improvement, the numbers are still high. Researchers feel that “the culture and attitude of construction personnel is the major problem” (Tam et al., 2000:395). Th is may be due to the fact that “the construction industry is a male-dominated, predominantly blue-col lar industry. Males have been found to be more resistant to pa rticipation in programs designed to change workplace health and safety culture” (Li ngard and Holmes, 2001:218). According to one study,


27 There are several recurring s cenarios in the routine accidents. One danger is when older, experienced workers grow overly fa miliar with their surroundings and become inured to the hazards around them. At the ot her end of the spectrum, new workers trying to make a showing by finishing work quick ly can lose track of their surroundings. (Korman et al., 2002) The constantly changing nature of the work in the construction industry makes it difficult for new practices to be accepted (Laukkanen, 1999), and many companies find that even when safety programs are establishe d, a great deal of effort is spent overcoming the resistance of the staff (Tam et al., 2000). It is not just the changing nature of th e work that poses challenges, but also the constant change in employees. The constructi on industry has a high level of turnover that decreases the understanding of risks involved on a part icular construction site. Contractors complain that dealing with and training transient workers is too expensive. This burden is often too much for small construction companies (Korman, 2001). With the high turnover rate, th e construction industry is also se eing a rise in the population of immigrant workers. Some estimates put the number of illegal immigrants working on construction sites at forty percent (Kohn, 1999) . Hispanic workers make up the largest portion of immigrant workers, and helping th is group understand construction safety is one of the biggest challenges (Korman, 2001). As the economy improves, the number of construction projects increases exponentially. With the increase in projects, there is a need to hire more workers. The newer, less experienced, less educated workers tend to be more accident-prone than those employees that have worked in the industry for an extended period of time (Korman with


28 Reinain, 1997). There is also a tendency for construction companies to bid markets and projects that are less familiar to them when the demand for c onstruction services is high. These are conditions where pr ofits are also potentially very high. When contractors undertake projects in which they have limited or no experience, there is less familiarity and a higher chance for injuries (Kohn, 1999). The nature of the procurement process in the construction in dustry leads to a reduction of safety considerations. The cost of labor and materials among specific trades does not vary greatly from one contractor to the next; what does change are the project general conditions. Often times, the first item cut to reduce costs is safety equipment and materials. The competitive bid process often leads to contractors cutting corners with safety (Lingard and Holmes, 2001). Some c ontractors have expre ssed the opinion that safety should be part of the construction docum ents and specifications so that companies are bidding on the same “playing field” (Kri zan, 2000). Lingard and Holmes describe the importance of this by stating It is important that constr uction clients play a role in ensuring that safety requirements are resourced appropriately. In the context of intense competition and the pressure to minimize construction costs, it is essential that cost estimates and, consequently, tender bids reflect the cost of undertaking construction work safely. Research suggests that the inclusion of safe ty costs in a tender reduces the lost time accident frequency rate from a range of 2.5-6.0 per 100,000 man hours worked to a range of 0.2-1.0 per 100,000 man hours work ed on major construction projects. Principal contractors need to incorporate safety requirements into their cost estimates and reflect this in the tende r price submitted. (Lingard and Holmes, 2001:224) Including safety guidelines and procedures in the plans and specifications is made more difficult by the fact that “some eighty percent of designers have never had any safety training in their career” (Angelo, 2004:17 ). The estimators and designers have the most involvement in the pre-construction pro cess, but have little to no training in site


29 safety. The pre-construction process should involve safety considerations either by including safety in the constr uction documents, completing a c onstructability review with the site management team, or by hiring safe ty specialists (Linga rd and Holmes, 2001). Once on-site, it is vital to clearly define both the hierarchy of command for safety related issues and the responsibilities of each of those individuals. One study discovered “the responsibilities of the project team we re not clearly defined. When there was an accident on site, parties always passed th e buck to others” (Tam et al., 2000:395). A proposed new plan would define responsibil ities and require regul ar site visits by multiple company personnel to observe work ing conditions (Tam et al., 2000). Defining and prioritizing responsibilities may work towa rds the improvement of the behavior of craftspersons on site. With the multiple levels of contractors and subcontractors, unilaterally made decisions often do not cons ider the person in the field (Lingard and Holmes, 2001). Some believe that the actual number of in juries on construction sites may be even higher than statistics show. To combat the financial ramifications that may stem from workplace injuries, some contractors have found ways to hide injuries. One of the ways to detect hidden injuries is through the loss ratio. “A high lo ss ratio with a low incident rate is a sign of hidden injuri es and could mean that (the contractor) is managing injuries and not managing the safety program” (Korman with Reinain, 1997:32). Certain innovative safety procedures such as incen tive programs may actua lly work against the ultimate goal. Some believe that “employees hide injuries so that they do not cost their group a prize offered for a stellar safety reco rd. Other employees will hide injuries in order to qualify for even smaller prizes such as baseball caps. OSHA says that managers


30 seeking bonuses are more likely to try to hide injuries than workers hoping to get incentives” (Korman with Reinain, 1997:32). Success Stories While it may seem as though the inciden ce of accidents is growing more and more frequent with no apparent end in sight, there are policies and procedures that seem to be having positive effects and some construction companies are seeing some marked improvements. One construction company with less th an $100 million in annual revenues has taken a design-build approach to some projects won through the construction management (CM) procurement process. The new approach considers all of the safety issues from the construction process through the life of the build ing (Angelo, 2004). The company has taken the approach that havi ng the pre-construction team involved with safety improves the practices on site so they as k that “the designers first participate in an intensive but modified ten-hour United Stat es OSHA safety program typically required for construction workers” (Angelo, 2004:17). Th e designers take the information learned during the class and incorporat e symbols into the construc tion documents with “warning signals for eight potential hazards such as electrocution, asphyxiat ion, or falls” (Angelo, 2004:17). Incorporating a plan such as this works to “minimize risks to workers on site; all persons around the sites; and adjoining bu ildings, structures, and land” (Tam et al., 2000:396). To ensure that proper safety techni ques are followed, the designers are given the authority to halt construction if they obs erve a hazard or a poten tial hazard. Once a project is completed, the entire project team including the owner, architect, and construction representatives meet to review th e project with specialized safety checklists designed to help them mainta in a clear focus (Angelo, 2004).


31 Some companies become more involved w ith the development of company safety procedures and manuals. Companies are deve loping their own safety manuals and are requiring new employees to read them before starting on a job. The manuals are provided for each job site, along with a site-specific safety plan ba sed on the generalizations described in the company manual (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001). The site-specific safety plans are based on the thought that “the supervision plan should comprise an outline safety supervision plan which sets out the management and communication structure for ensuring the coordination of deta iled safety supervision plans for the whole of the (project) through the planned stages of construction; an d a detailed safety supervision plan which sets out specific safe ty requirements, describing the part of the works concerned, analyzing its complexity, it s relationship to other works and setting down method statements together with precau tionary and protective measures” (Tam et al., 2000:396). Studies have shown that having a comprehensive safety plan can work to improve production “because the safety plan ning process means that you have to plan your work. It imposes a planning discip line” (Korman with Reinain, 1997:32). Studies have shown that safety procedures have improved among those companies requesting feedback from the employees. Improving the flow of information from on site workers to the management team has improved the overall practices (Laukkanen, 1999). Even more effective are th ose companies that have a team of site employees working with management to observe safety practices on a daily basis. These employees have the field experience with the specific trades and have the ability to “communicate positively without threatening the worker being observed” (Building a Safer Job Site, 2001:7). Taking all of the info rmation gathered from the site employees


32 and basing targeted inspections on areas of concern have gone a long way towards improving safety practices (Laukkanen, 1999). All in all, the construction industry has seen improvement in the safety practices of the workers. One study showed The frequency of the fatalities has remain ed relatively constant despite the huge upturn in construction volume and employ ment in the latest boom. During the 1991-1997 period, there was an average of 585 deaths, compared to the 624 that occurred in 1998. Five million workers were employed in construction in 1991, compared to six million in 1998. (Causes of Death are Too Familiar, 2000) Along with the overall numbers decreasing or remaining constant, “the construction industry’s injury and illness rate has dr opped by twenty-six percent between 1990 and 1995, and fourteen percent from 1994 to 1995 for cases involving days missed from work. The rate for all cases in 2003 was 6.18 cases per one hundred full-time workers” (Korman with Reinain, 1997:28). One company alone saw their “workers’ compensation rating tumble to 0.75 saving the company millions over several years in insurance premiums” (Korman with Reinain, 1997:28). Not only do the companies save money on the insurance premiums, but they will also be more effective in the bidding market compared to other companies with hi gher workers’ compensation ratings. Legal Ramifications In today’s age with litigation so prevalent, there are legal challenges that a construction company may face b ecause of a high rate of injury or death. Lacking an effective safety program can hurt a company in a number of different ways. Companies can either “invest in safety, or pay for not having it” (Safety Success Story, 2003:16). Multiple fatalities may cause a facility owner to change construction companies as one contractor found out after three fatalities occurred on an industrial project with the owner claiming that the change “was intended to restore the confiden ce of the public in


33 safety at the site” (Kemezis , 2004:14). The contractor who was removed not only lost the current project, but also faced additional scru tiny on future projects for the lack of an effective safety program. Some countries have even begun programs that may prevent a contractor from submitting a bid on a project due to poor safety performance in the past. China’s Housing Authority has “included safety as one of the performance yardsticks of public housing projects in their Performance Assessment Sc oring System. Poorly sc ored contractors are suspended from tendering for a certain peri od of time” (Tam et al., 2000:394). Another country, Norway, has a government appointed panel th at evaluates individual contractor performances upon project completion. That ev aluation “determines whether or not the contractor will be suspended from tendering to government projects” (Tam et al., 2000:394). In most states, “an injured worker’s sole remedy against the employer for injuries is workers’ compensation benefits. However, an employee may recove r damages from the employer when the contractor’s intentiona l wrongful actions caused the employees injuries” (Contractor not Liable for Inju ry, 2003:24). With the heightened focus on construction site safety, more and more c onstruction companies may be found liable for additional damages that not only causes insuranc e premiums to rise but also results in additional lost revenue due to lawsuits. With insurance premiums rising, there is a financial motivation for companies, in addition to the humanitarian reasons, for havi ng effective safety programs. The financial loss due to rising insurance premiums and litigation costs are the only major tangible financial losses but are often times only a fraction of the overall losses. A study by the


34 Construction Industry Institute “woke up to the economic disaster that accompanied workers’ deaths, aching backs and clogged l ungs. The study showed that the total losses from each injury were roughly four times the insurance loss” (Korman with Reinain, 1997:28). While the injured worker is the focu s of attention for lo st days and medical costs, the co-workers are often times just as affected. Studies have shown that the coworkers present at the location of an injury or fatality are “traumatized to the point where they suffer from depression or need to rebuild their shattered sense of security” (Korman et al., 2002:1). Workers that observe fatal accidents may lose w eeks of productivity. As Lingard and Holmes state While the burden of safety responsibility has rested on the c ontractor alone during the construction stage of th e project, successfully reduc ing the risk of injury requires all parties to bear some respons ibility for safety, including the client, designer, material and equipment suppliers , principal contractor, subcontractors, and construction project managers . (Lingard and Holmes, 2001:223) This is a battle that can be won, but only with the efforts of everyone.


35 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Introduction In recent years, there has been an in creased focus on the sa fety practices of construction companies. The primary body of research, however, focuses mainly on large construction companies that have the resources to invest in company specific, as well as industry wide, safety programs. The primary focus of this study was to examine the safety practices of small and medium sized construction companies to determine if there are any innovative practices being uti lized in a cost-effective manner. Construction projects are structured so th at the general contractor or construction manager establishes the desired safety level for the project. This is accomplished with input from the project owner in many instan ces, but not the smaller specialty firms and subcontractors that will be responsible for th e completion of the work. This puts a burden on the firms to maintain a certain level of a dherence to a program with which they have had no input in the design. The smaller firms have fewer resources to devote to safety, which may, in turn, lead to le ss than ideal safety practices. Derivation of Anticipated Findings The growing understanding and importance of construction safety and safety management in the construction industry in recent decades has led to new developments in the performance and management of proj ects. Generally speaki ng, large construction companies have been responsible for the es tablishment and implementation of the most progressive safety programs. Th e purpose of this thesis is to examine and analyze how


36 small and medium sized construction compan ies establish safety programs to accomplish similar goals, albeit on a smaller scale. The majority of the literatur e available on the subject of construction site safety focuses on the importance of having successful safety management programs and they point out the difficulty that smaller constr uction companies have with providing the necessary resources to their empl oyees. It would be reasonable for one to assume that this study will demonstrate that small and medi um sized construction companies have a difficult time in achieving the safety pe rformances of the larger companies. The review of literature showed that th ere are a number of ways in which small and medium sized construction companies are ab le to use the resource s at their disposal to maintain a high level of safety performance on their projects. It w ould be reasonable to believe that those small and medium sized construction companies that put forth the effort, and explore alternatives to th e programs being implemented by the large construction companies will experience a higher level of safety performance than those that do no more than the basics. Therefore, the following hypotheses were developed: Hypothesis 1: Small and medium sized construction companies will not have the same level of safety performance as larger companies with more abundant resources. Hypothesis 2: Small and medium sized construction companies that explore alternative methods of safety program implem entation will have higher levels of safety performance than those that do not. Hypothesis 3: The number of small and me dium sized construction companies only implementing the most basic safety means a nd methods will be higher than the number of


37 small and medium sized construction compan ies exploring alternative and innovative methods. Research Design The objective of this research was to obtain current information on the safety practices of small and medium sized constr uction firms, especially those normally operating as subcontractors. Th is group of firms (subcontractor s) was selected as most of the work in the commercial building sector is performed by specialty contractors. Since the information on the safety practices of sp ecialty contractors is not published, it was determined that this information could best be obtained directly from specialty contractors via surveys. Initially, the study was intended to focus on small and medium sized construction companies working on construction projects in the state of Florida, primarily those working in the proximity of Gainesville. Howe ver, in order to expa nd the cross-section of respondents, the study was expanded to incl ude companies completing work in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as well. The inclusion of firms in Massachusetts was done to eliminate any regional bias. While the results were not intended to represent all sectors of the construction industry or all regi ons of the United States, this exploratory study was to provide insights into the extent that safety is incorporated in the daily operations of specialty contractors. There was no specific individual in the specialty firms who was targeted for completing the survey. The organizational st ructure of specialty contractors varies considerably and the sizes of the firms also vary considerably. Therefore, any employee with knowledge of the specialty contractor’s safety program and safety performance was


38 eligible to participate. The respondents c ould range from field employees, to site superintendents, to safety directors. With the help of industry professionals , a survey was developed to ascertain important information with minimal effort on the part of the survey respondents. Questions were primarily those seeking b ackground information on the responding firms, information on safety performance, and inform ation regarding safety practices that are implemented by the firms. Most of the questio ns sought responses that could be checked, whether a “yes” or “no” or from a list of multiple choices. The survey was designed to be completed in a short period of time, perhap s as short as five minutes. A cover letter describing the nature of the study was included with each survey to provide a level of comfort as to the anonymity of the responses . A copy of the survey and the cover letter are included in the Appendix as Appendix A and Appendix B. For the purposes of this study, only thos e firms with gross annual revenues of $100 million or less were classified as small or medium sized. Suppliers of materials were not included as the study focused on the sa fety of the laborers on site and the labor for suppliers is predominantly found at the manufacturing plant. Upon approval from all members of th e research team, the surveys were distributed. Approximately 500 surveys were circulated from July 2003 through June 2004. Surveys were sent to office representati ves of certain compan ies (safety directors whenever possible) and were also di stributed among field employees (either superintendents or foreman) for a number of others. In order for a field employee to have the option of participating, they were required to have intimate knowledge of the company’s safety policy and performance. On ly one survey was sent to each company


39 (i.e. either office staff or field employees) to avoid multiple responses from the same organization. While there was not a specific category included within the survey for “Don’t Know” responses, the respondents were made aware, both in the cover letter and verbally, that they should only respond to those questions with which they were comfortable. Of the 500 surveys distributed, 93 respons es were garnered from the state of Florida with another 38 from the state of Massa chusetts. All but four of the responses in the state of Florida were garn ered from the on-site employ ees of the responding firms and all but two of the responses in Ma ssachusetts were on-site responses. The researcher, as an employee of a cons truction management fi rm in Florida and subsequently a real estate development co mpany in Massachusetts, had a professional relationship with many of the companies included in the su rvey distribution. For those firms not known professionally, the survey s were mailed with an accompanying cover letter to a safety director or company pr incipal. For those companies known to the researcher, the surveys were hand delivered to representatives of each firm, be it a field employee, the site superintendent, project mana ger, safety director, or company principal. A brief verbal explanation was provided e xplaining the premise of the study and the anticipated goal, which coincide d with the letter attached to the survey. The assurance of anonymity for the respondents was reiterated thr ough the letter as well as verbally when the surveys were distributed. Many of the surveys were completed at the time of distribu tion and returned immediately. Many participants were ent husiastic about the study and requested information regarding the final results. Fo r those respondents who did not complete the


40 survey at the time it was handed to them, va rious means were available to return the surveys, but most of the surveys were return ed in person within seven days. Very few of the surveys that were distributed on the proj ect sites were not returned. Because of the professional relationship that existed between the researcher and the participants, there were many face-to-face meetings that provide d opportunities for survey distribution and collection. Data Analysis Once all of the surveys had been collecte d, the data were organized to begin the process of analysis. A MicroSoft Excel spread sheet was created that allocated a column for each survey question as well as a line fo r each of the 131 respondents. Each possible response for each question was provided a numer ical value. For example, to delineate between those responses from the Stat e of Florida and th e Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Florida respondent s were identified with the number 1 and Massachusetts respondents were identified with the number 2. This process was continued for each of the questions. Responses to questions that so licited a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response were coded as a 1 or 2, respectively. However, some of the questions with open-ended responses allowed for a variety of answers. For some que stions, theoretically th ere could have been 131 different answers. Fortunately, this was not the case, and it was possible to provide a reasonable numerical value for grouping the responses. For thos e questions that were not answered by the respondents, th e number ’ was utilized. In order to maintain the anonymity promis ed to the respondents, certain measures were taken in the data collection phase to ensure individual companies would not be identified. The easiest way to identify a company, especially one that was already known by the researcher, was through the trade exper tise. For this reason, trades were grouped


41 together by the general type of work perfor med so that the examination would be by an area rather than a specific trade. For exampl e, rather than have a numerical value for painters, drywall companies, finish floor co mpanies, etc., one number was provided for all interior finish companies. A copy of the spreadsheet uti lized for data collection with all responses is included in the appendix as Appendix C. Statistical Treatment The first step in the statistical analysis was to separate the respondents by selected demographic criteria. The respondents were separated by gross annual volume, building trade, etc. This was done to ensure that the respondents met the criteria and parameters as set forth in the methodology. Each of the demographic tables can be found in the appendix as Appendix D. It should also be noted that of the 131 responses, 109 were from firms that were specialty contractors. The final analysis included only the response from those firms. The second phase of the analysis was to begin to examine the respondents’ views towards safety. In order to accomplish this, it was necessary to identify the percentage of respondents that have implemented a variety of safety practices. The safety practices ranged from having a safety director to ha ving safety incentive programs. Certain questions contained follow-up questions and, these responses were analyzed as well. The final portion of the stat istical analysis was to examine the level of safety commitment, as demonstrated through the sa fety practices being implemented on site, and the relationship with recordab le injury rates. This portion of the statistical analysis was completed using the Kendall’s Correlation Coefficient. This particular type of statistical analysis measures the degree to which two variables are related. For this


42 research, a relationship was considered to be statistically significant if the level of significance was 0.05 or less, and a tendency to ward statistical si gnificance was assumed to lie between the level of 0.05 and 0.10. The independent variables were the respondents’ utilization of specific safety pr actices, either yes or no, and the dependent variable was the OSHA recordable injury rate.


43 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Upon completion of the study, the results were analyzed in a variety of ways. For the purpose of examining the demographics of the study respondents, the results were analyzed both as a combination of the re sponses from the state of Florida and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts , as well as individually. Demographic Descriptive Statistics In order to have a sample size large e nough to determine the significance of the results, the minimum sample size was determin ed to be 100 responses in order to achieve the confidence level necessary fo r statistical significance. Be tween the responses from the State of Florida and the Co mmonwealth of Massachusetts, the goal was achieved. The study garnered ninety-three responses from cont ractors in the state of Florida and thirtyeight from the Commonwealth of Massac husetts for a total of 131 responses. As described in previous chapters, the goal of this study was to determine the construction site safety practices, means, and methods of a specific group of specialty construction firms – those that are considered small or medium in size. In order to limit the size of the specific group, only firms that had annual gross revenues of less than 100 million dollars were considered for the study (Table 1). As Table 1 demonstrates, the majority of the responses came from firms grossing between eleven million and twenty million dollars annually. Note that some re spondents did not provide this information.


44 Table 1: Gross Annual Volume of Responding Contractors Annual Volume (in millions of dollars) Number of Firms 1 to 10 21 11 to 20 44 21 to 30 19 31 to 40 11 41 to 50 5 51 to 75 6 76 to 100 3 Total 109 Another measure of the size of a firm is the number of field workers that it employs. Table 2 provides the break down of the number of full time field employees. Most firms employed no more than 20 field work ers. Note that the largest firm, in terms of employees, employed 51 workers. Table 2: Number of Full-time Field Employees Number of Field Employees Number of Firms 1 to 10 46 11 to 20 41 21 to 30 10 31 to 40 7 41 to 51 5 Total 109 (Total of 109 Respondents: 76 Subs in Florida and 33 Subs in Massachusetts) As with larger construction firms, the t ype of construction work undertaken by each firm may play a factor in the safety record, as well as the type of safety program being implemented. As explained in the Literature Review, many municipa l projects (including schools, judiciary buildings, ci vic buildings, etc.) being cons tructed have more stringent safety requirements than projects of a si milar nature with private ownership. Table 3


45 separates the firms by the type of projects most commonly co mpleted. It was interesting to note that a high percentage of th e respondents from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts work on commercial projects only, while the respondents from the State of Florida tend to have a more di verse repertoire of projects. Table 3: Types of Projects Undert aken by the Contractor Respondents Type of Projects Number of Firms Commercial 58 (53.2%) Commercial, Schools and Manufacturing 18 (16.5%) Commercial and Schools 16 (14.7%) Utility, Civil, Public and Highways 10 (9.2%) Schools 4 (3.7%) Industrial 2 (1.8%) Civil 1 (0.9%) Total 109 The manner in which a contractor proc ures work also plays a role in the construction site safety. Figure 1 provides a breakdown of the per centage of work the respondents complete with public owners as we ll as a breakdown of the percentage of work the respondents complete through the competitive bid pr ocess. The chart is not to be used as a comparison as each respondent is represented in both breakdowns. The purpose of the chart is to demonstrate the type of owner that each of the respondents typically works for. As explained in the Literature Review, th e manner in which work is procured may be a factor in the safety performance of th e contractor. When work is procured through the competitive bid process, the contractors are more likely to have a tendency to cut as many costs as necessary out of the bid in orde r to win the job. It has been alleged when cost cutting is required that construction safety means and me thods are the first to be cut


46 from the price of the work. Ofte n times, work that is comple ted with public ownership is done with workers being paid the prevailing wage, which puts all of the bidders on a more level playing field and enc ourages safety to play a more prominent role. Of course, it could be argued that on public works projects the margins will tend to be smaller due to the competitive bid process, which w ould compromise safety performance. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80Percent of Respondents 025%50%75%90%100%Percent of Projects in Volume Public Works Private Competitive Bid Figure 1: Type of Projects Undertaken Figure 2 shows the number of contractors that are awarded work by being included in a select bidders list. Contractors are t ypically placed on a select bidders list for a number of factors. Select bidder lists are used by private owners and only those contractors who are considered worthy are incl uded in the list. This ensures the owner that the bidders will be responsible and it assures the each of the contractors submitting a bid that their odds of winning are relatively good. As explained in the Literature Review, injuries on a construction site affect not only the injured party but al so the productivity of all those around. A contractor wi th a repetitive history of acc idents and poor construction


47 site safety is not going to be placed on many select bidders lists. As Figure 2 shows, over seventy of the respondents procured all of th eir work by being included in select bidders lists. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80Percentage of Respondents 050%75%90 to 99%100%Percentage of Projects Figure 2: Work Obtained Through Select Bidders List As explained in the Literature Review, the safety performances of some contractors decline as they become more removed from th e facility owner or co ntractor of record. Those contractors that are in timately involved in the develo pment of the site safety procedures, as well as the completion of the work, tend to have better safety performances. Figure 3 shows the amount of work that each of the respondents subcontracted out to other firms. Over ninety percent of the responde nts stated that they self performed all of the work to which they are contracted.


48 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100Percent of Respondents 010%15%25%30%50%100% Percent Subcontracted Figure 3: Amount of Work Subcontracted to Others The trade specialty and type of work performed by a contractor may also play a role in the safety performance of the compa ny. While it may seem that certain firms, such as roofing contractors and stru ctural steel erectors would naturally have worse safety records than interior finish contractors, such as painters . Every trade represented on a construction project faces some degree of risk as each trade is exposed to its own unique level of danger. A worker can be injured when performing virtually any task if the proper methods and techniques are not observed and practiced. Table 4 provides a breakdown of the tr ades represented by the respondents. The highest percentage (29 firms) of respons es came from contractors involved in the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing trades . Contractors involved with the exterior envelope and interior finishes also had a hi gh rate of response at twenty-two and twentyone firms, respectively. The trades included in the exterior envelope category are roofing, insulation, storefronts, etc. Interior fini shes include drywall, flooring, and painting,


49 among others. This grouping was done to consolid ate statistical information as well as to serve as an additional layer of anonymity for the respondents. Table 4: Types of Work Perf ormed by Contractor Respondents Type of Work Number of Firms Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing 29 (26.6%) Exterior Envelope 22 (20.2%) Interior Finishes 21 (19.3%) Carpentry 7 (6.4%) Sitework 7 (6.4%) Masonry 7 (6.4%) Steel 5 (4.6%) Sitework and Utility 5 (4.6%) Concrete 4 (3.7%) Concrete and Carpentry 2 (1.8%) Total 109 Results of Testing the Research Hypothesis The survey progressed from the demographi c oriented questions to those questions related to safety practices wh ich also related to the specifi c research hypotheses. The goal of the study was to identify the safety practices employe d by small and medium sized construction companies, while also investiga ting whether or not any of these companies have implemented new and innovative techni ques to improve safety performance. To determine the respondents’ initial leve l of safety awareness, one question asked the respondents to indicate whether or not their company employed a full-time safety director. As Table 5 shows, eighty-two of the 109 responde nts did not employ a full-time safety director.


50 Table 5: Firms with Fulltime Safety Directors Firm has Fulltime Safety Director Number of Firms Yes 27 (24.8%) No 82 (75.2%) Total 109 For those companies that answered “Yes” to having a full-time safety director, a follow up question inquired about the amount of time that individual spent each week on the various construction sites. Answers to th is question ranged from ten percent of the time to 100% of the time. Several questions were asked about sa fety practices that are commonplace among large construction firms. Table 6 provides the responses concerning seven safety practices: required hard hats , drug testing programs, orie ntation programs, weekly toolbox meetings, required safety glasses, si te specific safety programs, and safety incentive programs. Table 6 provides th e percentages of re spondents that have implemented each of the seven practices. Of th e various safety practices, the most widely implemented include the mandatory wearing of hard hats and on-the-job drug testing. The other practices are implement ed by only a few contractors. Table 6: Safety Practices Implemented by Respondents Safety Practice Implemented by Firms Not Implemented by Firms Wearing hard hats is required 76.1% 23.9% Drug Testing Program 56% 44% Orientation for all employees 22.9% 77.1% Weekly toolbox meetings held 6.4% 93.6% Wearing safety glasses is required 3.7% 96.3% Site specific safety programs prepared 3.7% 96.3% Safety incentive program 2.8% 97.2%


51 Depending on the responses given, some of the questions also had follow-up questions. The follow-up questions were posed in order to obtain additional information about the safety practices that were implemented. Of the firms that responded “yes” to having a drug testing program, 43.3% conducted only employment pre-screening dr ug tests; 48.3% conducted several types of drug tests including employment pre-screen; and 8.3% conducted onl y the post accident drug tests. The firms that stated that they had im plemented an orientation program for all employees were asked to specify the degree of orientation. Broken down as a function of hours, twenty of the firms required eight hours of orientation, four firms required sixteen hours of orientation, and one firm re quired forty hours of orientation. As the Literature Review explained, one of the common perceptions in the construction industry is that constructi on safety somehow ne gatively affects or compromises productivity. Some feel that small and medium sized construction companies are less inclined to implement sa fety practices, as the decreased productivity will affect their profit margin on the project. When asked about the relationship between productivity and safety, eightyeight percent of the responde nts felt that safety had no effect on productivity; ten per cent felt that safety compromised productivity; while eleven percent felt that safety improved productivity.


52 Table 7: Respondents Opinions on the Rela tionship Between Safety and Productivity Perception about Safety/Productivity Number of Firms Safety compromises Productivity 10 (9.2%) Safety has no effect on Productivity 88 (80.7%) Safety Increases Productivity 11 (10.1%) Total 109 Safety Performance Once the demographic information was compiled and the safety practices were analyzed, the process led to of the determination of the OSHA Recordable Injury Rate (RIR). The RIR is a widely used safety perf ormance statistic that represents the number of OSHA recordable injuries incurred pe r 200,000 hours of worker exposure. For the survey respondents, the average RIR was 5.18. Since the average RIR for the construction industry was determined to be 6.81 in 2003 (the last year for which the data are available) it is apparent that the survey respondents performed slightly better than the national average. It should be noted that of the respondents, 63 specialty contractors provided information on the company RIR. The following ten tables provide the analysis of the RIR as related to particular variables. As discussed previously, there is a perception that part icular trades (i.e. roofing, structural iron work, etc.) incur more injuries because of th e nature of the work. The highest RIR of any group (w ith more than one response) was that of the contractors in the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing tr ades with an RIR of 9.19 (see Table 8). The lowest RIR of a group (with more than one response) belonged to those tradesmen involved in interior finish work with an RIR of 1.21.


53 Table 8: Types of Work Perf ormed and Safety Performance Type of Work Number of Firms Average RIR Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing 17 9.19 Exterior Envelope 11 2.97 Interior Finishes 14 1.21 Carpentry 4 3.12 Sitework 1 0 Masonry 6 8.39 Steel 5 5.00 Sitework and Utility 1 12.5 Concrete 3 2.22 Concrete and Carpentry 1 13.33 Total 63 5.18 (average) A important component of the data analysis was to investigate the extent to which specific safety practices impact construction site safety. Table 9 shows the relationship that exists between the amount of time the fu ll-time safety director spent on site and the RIR. Seventeen firms with full-time safety dir ectors provided their RIR. Of the five firms with safety directors spendi ng less than fifty percent of the time on site, the RIR was 12.35. For the twelve firms with a safety direct or spending greater than fifty percent of the time on site, the RIR was 2.5. With a correl ation coefficient of -.395 and a p-value of less than 0.03, the relationship is statistically significant. Table 9: Percent of Time Safety Directors Spend in the Field and Safety Performance Time Spent in the Field Number of Firms RIR* 10 to 25% 5 12.35 50 to 100% 12 2.50 Total 17 *Differences of the RIR are statistically significant The data were analyzed to examine the correlation between th e requirement of a construction firm to have its employees wear hard hats and the construction firm’s RIR.


54 Of the sixty-three firms providing informati on on the RIR, fifty-five required their workers to wear hard hats and those firm s reported an RIR of 4.65. The remaining eight that do not have a hard hat requirement re ported an RIR of 9.81 (see Table 10). This relationship is not stat istically significant. Table 10: Requirements to Wear Ha rd Hats and Safety Performance Hard Hat Requirements Number of Firms RIR Hard hats must be worn 55 4.65 No hard hat requirements 8 8.81 Total 63 5.18 (average) The study also looked at the relationship be tween a firm’s drug testing program and it RIR. Of the thirty-six firms that had a drug testing program, four only required drug testing after an accident and those firms had an RIR of 10.27. Fourteen firms conducted pre-hire drug tests and those firms reporte d an RIR of 5.62. The re maining eighteen firms implemented a variety of drug tests, includ ing pre-hire drug tests, and these firms reported an RIR of 5.64 (see Table 11). The re lationship between drug testing and RIR is not statistically significant. Table 11: Type of Drug Testing Co nducted and Safety Performance Type of Work Number of Firms RIR Post Accident 4 10.27 Prehire 14 5.62 Prehire and Other Tests 18 5.64 Total 36 Weekly toolbox talks are thought to improve construction site safety as they are thought to help the workers to focus their at tention on particular tasks and to provide


55 heightened awareness to specific areas of c oncern that may be forthcoming. Of the sixtythree respondents, four conducted weekly tool box safety meetings and fifty-nine did not. The four firms that held the toolbox talks re ported an RIR of 2.69 while the firms that did not hold weekly toolbox talks reported an RIR of 5.35 (see Table 12). While this may appear to provide a direct co rrelation between toolbox meeti ngs and safety performance, the results are not stat istically significant. Table 12: Toolbox Safety Meeti ngs and Safety Performance Are Toolbox Meetings Held Number of Firms RIR Yes 4 2.69 No 59 5.35 Total 63 The orientation of workers may cover t opics related to good construction safety techniques and practices. Not all construction companies require their employees to take part in orientation seminars. The fifteen firms that did provi de orientation seminars to their employees have an RIR of 5.02. The fo rty-eight firms that did not require such orientation had an RIR of 5.23 (see Table 13) . The relationship between orientation and safety performance is not statistically significant. Table 13: Orientation of Work ers and Safety Performance Do All Workers Receive Orientation Number of Firms RIR Yes 15 5.02 No 48 5.23 Total 63 One of the more innovative and less co mmon safety practices for small and medium sized construction firms is to ha ve a site specific safety program. These


56 programs take general safety requirements and modify them to meet the specific needs of a particular project. Only two firms indicated that they prepared site specific safety plans and they each reported an RIR of zero. The sixty-one respondents that did not provide safety programs specific to each job repor ted an average RIR of 5.35 (see Table 14). While there appears to be a direct correlati on between having a site specific safety program and lower RIRs, the results are not conc lusive as the findings are not statistically significant. Table 14: Site Specific Safety Programs and Safety Performance Site Specific Plans are Prepared Number of Firms RIR Yes 2 0 No 61 5.35 Total 63 A more traditional safety program for a sm all or medium sized construction firm is the implementation of a safety incentive progr am that rewards those individuals and/or projects that have exemplary safety performances. As explained in the Literature Review, there are conflicting opinions as to whether or not incentive programs help or harm safety performance. One school of thought is that having a goal and rewarding those who work toward achieving that goal will cause the wo rkers to focus more on the tasks at hand and to be certain to complete the work more carefully. Others believe that an incentive program actually causes more harm as it may fo rce workers to hide injuries for fear of being the worker who causes the en tire team to miss out on a reward. Table 15 shows the relationship between safety incentive programs and safety performance. As with the data for the site specific safety programs (Table 14), there were a limited number of small or medium size firm s that had implemented a safety incentive


57 program. The two respondents that implemented a safety incentive program reported an RIR of 8.33. Sixty-one respondents did not have an incen tive program and they reported an average RIR of 5.04. While this may app ear to support the assertion that safety incentive programs increase injury rates and co mpromise safety performance, the results are not statistically significant. Table 15: Implementation of Safety Incentives for Safety Performance Is there a safety incentive? Number of Firms RIR Yes 2 8.33 No 61 5.04 Total 63 Determining how small and medium sized construction companies truly feel about safety is important to analyzing the steps that can be taken to improve overall safety performance. One of the questions included in the survey asked the respondents to express their views on the relationship be tween safety and productivity. Five firms responded that they feel safety compromises productivity and those firms reported an average RIR of 9.08. Fifty-one firms felt that safety has no effect on productivity and those firms reported an average RIR of 5.36. Se ven of the respondents felt that safety actually increases pr oductivity and those firms repor ted an average RIR of 1.20 (see Table 16). In examining the statistical si gnificance of these fi ndings, the correlation coefficient was calculated to be -0.169 with a p-value of less than 0.10. This does not qualify the results to be statistically significan t, but there is a tende ncy towards statistical significance.


58 Table 16: Perceptions of Safety vers us Productivity and Safety Performance Perception about Safety/Productivity Number of Firms RIR* Safety compromises Productivity 5 9.08 Safety has no effect on Productivity 51 5.36 Safety Increases Productivity 7 1.20 Total 63 * Differences of RIR are trending towards statistical significance As explained in the Literature Review, the further removed from the contractual arrangement between the general contractor a nd the facility owner, the less inclined a firm may be about adhering to the safety re gulations. Table 17 looks at the relationship between the amount of work subcontracted and safety performance. Fifty-four respondents did not subcontract a ny of their work to others and they had an average RIR of 4.74. Nine firms subcontracted at least a portion of their work to others (subsubcontractors) and those firms reported an av erage RIR of 7.80. There is no statistical significance to these results. Table 17: Amount of Work Subcont racted and Safety Performance Amount of Work Subcontracted Number of Firms RIR 0 54 4.74 Greater than 0 9 7.80 Total 63 It would be reasonable to assume that the firms that provided orientation seminars to their employees would have lower inciden ces of injury. Fifteen respondents required their employees to attend orie ntation seminars and provided RI R statistics. Eleven of the fifteen required eight hours of orientation and those firms have an average RIR of 6.43. The other four firms required more than eight hours of orientation a nd those firms had an


59 average RIR of 1.14 (see Table 18). With a corre lation coefficient of -0.389 and a p-value of less than 0.05, this information is statistica lly significant and shows a direct correlation between the number of hours of orient ation training and safety performance. Table 18: Hours of Orientation Training and Safety Performance Hours of Orientation Number of Firms RIR* 8 hours or Less 11 6.43 More than 8 hours 4 1.14 Total 15 Differences of RIR are statistically significant


60 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS The safety practices of small and medium sized construction firms have not been explored extensively in prior research studies. Past research studies on construction safety were focused on large construction firms and th e techniques and prac tices that they had implemented to achieve safety success. With most contractors being either small or medium in size, the results of this study can be beneficial in aiding those firms in making significant improvements in their safety performances. The study was originally inte nded to examine and analyze the day-to-day safety practices of small and medium sized constr uction companies using a set of criteria as defined by the three research hypothesis. However, after completing the study and examining the data gathered, it has been determined that the study would serve the industry better as an explorat ory study as opposed to proving or disproving a set of hypotheses. The basic premise of the study was that small and medium sized construction companies do not have the same resources as large construction companies to devote to safety programs and procedures, and therefore do not have the same ability to implement certain safety practices. The results, as compiled through this exploratory study, show that this premise is true, and this is further demonstrated by the existence of a core group of common conditions. The first of the common conditions is th at small and medium sized construction companies do not have sophisticated safety programs. In fact, they have a limited


61 employment of even the most basic technol ogies and methods. This condition is most egregiously shown by the fact that a major ity of the respondents did not require their employees to wear hard hats. Another condition that supports the basic premise is that the safety performance records do not correlate to the responses to the various quest ions regarding the implementation of safety practices. This leads this researcher to believe that injuries are not being reported and, therefor e, steps are not being taken to remediate the causes of accidents. An interesting outcome of the study that also served to support the premise was that the more levels of hierarchy in a company, the higher the rate of injury. There is a different dynamic in smaller companies in th at the decision makers are often times on the projects working along side their employees . With more levels of bureaucracy, the decision makers are more removed from the working conditions. A 1994 study by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics showed th at companies with between 20-249 employees had the worst safety performa nce statistics (Hinze, 1997). Th is range of employees would be within the expected range of small to medium sized firms.


62 CHAPTER 6 RECOMMENDATIONS While the overall sample population was large enough for a stat istical analysis, there were very few responses provided for sp ecific questions relate d to safety methods and practices. This study does provide insights on the nature of suggested future studies on the subject. It is recommended that a re search study be conducted w ith essentially the same objectives as this current study with some modifications to increase the number of responses and to improve the quality of information gathered. When conducting the study, care must be exercised to ensure that th e respondent is the indi vidual who is most knowledgeable about the safety policies and practices of the firm. As a result, the responding individuals should be safety dir ectors, company principals, or project managers. The respondent must be familiar with the field safety practices and must be able to provide information on the safety performance data of the firm. To avoid concerns about anonymity, the distribution of the surveys must be carefully structured so that the respondent’s anonymity is assured. An effective approach might be to distribute the surv eys by mail with self-addressed stamped return envelopes. It was counter-intuitive that many firms th at did not implement standard safety practices reported having low recordable in jury rates. If this is accurate, additional information should be sought that might expl ain why these small and medium-sized firms had good safety performances, despite their failure to implement many of the proven safety practices employed by larger firms.


63 The focus of this study was geared toward examining the new and innovative safety practices that small and medium sized cons truction firms have implemented. According to the results, there are insufficient numb ers of small and medium construction firms implementing new and innovative safety practices to make a true determination as to their effectiveness. It is entirely possibl e that the achievement of success in safety performance among the small and medium firms lies outside of the implementation of the new and innovative safety practices. Furt her study should be focused on the overall approach to accomplishing different work ta sks. The interpersona l relationships in smaller companies might be stronger, especia lly when workers work alongside each other over an extended period of time. As explained briefly in Chapter 5, the num ber of employees has an effect on the overall safety performance of the firm. Rath er than defining size by gross annual volume, as was the case for this study, it may be more realistic to define size by the number of employees. This would allow for a greater le vel of comparison between company sizes as well as comparison to previous studies exam ining the topic from a different viewpoint. Including ranges of responses may facilitate a greater res ponse rate as opposed to requiring the respondents to write out answers. Taking the definition of company size a step further, it would be interesting for future studies to investigate the hierarchy of companies. Ar e the company principals out in the field working alongside their employees, or are there levels of management with the laborers two or three steps removed from upper management? It may also be helpful to find out the turnover rate of employees for each firm. Examining the percentage of employees that ha ve been with the same firm for one year,


64 five years, or longer may help to further expl ain the safety performance rates. It would be interesting to determine how much employee turnover actually aff ects the overall safety performance of firms. This study had a basic premise that the sm all and medium sized construction firms had less of a commitment to safety than la rger firms. This commitment was measured by the responses to the survey quest ions related to safety techniqu es and practices, as well as the recordable injury rates. It may be benefi cial in future studies to find other ways to measure commitment. This commitment mi ght be measured in terms of money committed to safety, work hours devoted to safety or other means examined in future investigations. Open-ended responses are difficult to analyze as a function of a hypothesis or expected findings. For this reas on, it may be beneficial to eliminate that portion of the survey. For contractors, this study has shown that there is much more work to do in the way of promoting proper safety practices and techniques. One recommendation for contractors would be to focus on the most basic compliance issues related to the OSHA regulations. This effort should begin with hard hats and other personal protective equipment, and the requirement for all empl oyees to wear proper attire while on site. Holding weekly toolbox meetings is another ba sic safety approach that should contribute to improved safety performance. Each step fo rward is a step in th e right direction. With each step, the construction industry moves clos er to the ultimate goal of zero accidents.


65 APPENDIX A SURVEY COVER LETTER July 28, 2003 Subject: Safety Survey of Small & Medium Florida Construction Firms Dear Contractor: The M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construc tion at the University of Florida is conducting a study of safety related to small and medium constr uction firms in the state of Florida. The focus of the study is to identify specific practices that are being employed by firms to ensure the safety of their employees on construction projects. To the extent possible, the study will attempt to identify those practices and techniques that ar e particularly effective in improving safety performances. This information should be u seful for the implementation of specific safety techniques and should therefore be beneficial to the entire construction community. The ultimate goal is to improve construction worker safety. The survey questionnaire contains a variety of ques tions related to company safety efforts. Many of the questions can be answered by simply ch ecking the applicable answer. There are no risks associated with participating in th is study and participation is en tirely voluntary. The survey can be completed in about ten minutes. Naturally, yo u are asked to answer only those questions that you feel comfortable in answering. The results of this study will be compiled and a summary report will be prepared. As a token of our appreciation for participating in the study, we will provide a complimentary summary report to you if you so desire. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Responses provided by specific firms will be kept st rictly confidential to the extent provided by law. Research data will be summarized so th e identity of individual participants will be concealed. You have our sincere thanks fo r participating in this important study. Yours truly, Dr. Jimmie Hinze Director, Fluor Program for Construction Safety (352) 273-1167 FAX: ( 352)392-9606 Email:


66 APPENDIX B SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE Safety Survey Construction Firms (Please answer only those questions you are comfortable in answering) 1. What is the annual volume of the company? $________Million 2. What was the volume of the company 5 years ago? $________Million 3. How many full-time field employees does the company employ? ________ (average) 4. What is the company’s typical relationshi p with the facility owner? (Please select one) General Contractor Subcontractor of General Contractor Construction Manager Construction Manager at Risk Design Build Other: ___________________________ 5. What type of projects does the company build? (Select all that apply) Utility Commercial Public Schools Civil Highways Industrial Manufacturing 6. What percentage of the work is done with public owners? ________% 7. What percentage of the work is obtained through competitive bids? ________% 8. What percentage of the work is obtained by being on a select bidders list? ________% 9. What percentage of the work is subcontracted to others? ________% 10. What type of work is self-perform ed (completed with company employees? __________________________________________________________________ 11. Does the company have a full-time safety director on staff? Yes No If “yes”, what percentage of the workday does the company safety director spend in the field? ______% 12. Does the company have a drug-testing program? Yes No If “yes”, what type of drug tests does t he company conduct? (Check all that apply) Pre-Hire Random Post-Accident For Cause 13. Are all company field employees required to wear hard hats? Yes No


67 14. Are all company field employees required to wear safety glasses? Yes No 15. Are weekly “Tool Box Meetings” conducted on the project sites? Yes No 16. Does the company prepare project specific safety programs for all projects? Yes No 17. Does the company provide orientation for all its employees on project sites? Yes No If yes, how many hours are devoted to the orientation program for new employees? _____ hours per worker 18. Does the company have an incentive program based on safety achievements? Yes No 19. Has the company implemented any programs w ithin the past five years to promote safety? Yes No If yes, please describe the programs. _____________________ ________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 20. Of the practices implemented by the company to promote safety, which has been most successful? _____________________________________________________________________ 21. How do you view safety as it relates to productivity? (Please check one) Safety compromises productivity Safety has no effect on productivity Safety increases productivity 22. How many company employees suffered OS HA recordable injuries last year? _______ 23. How many company employees suffered OSHA r ecordable injuries five years ago? ______ Optional A summary of this research study will be prepared. If you would like to receive a copy of a summary report as soon as it is available, you ma y include your name and address below and one will be provided to you. Note that your firm’s iden tity will not be used in any way other than to get a report to you. Thank you for your participation in this research study. Name: _____________________________________________________ Firm: ______________________________________________________ Street Address: ______________________________________________ City: ___________________________ State: ___________ Zip: ____________


68 APPENDIX C DATA ANALYSIS SPREADSHEET CaseNo MAorFL Q1AnnVolQ2Vol5Q3EmpleeQ4RelationQ5TypProj Q6PctPub 1-FL (millions) (full time field) 1-GC 1-Utility 2-MA 2-CM 2-Schools 3-DB 3-Industrial 4-Sub 4-Commercial 5-CM/Risk 5-Civil 6-Other 6Manufacturing 7-Public 8-Highways 92 & 4 102, 3, 4, & 6 111, 5, 7, & 8 1 1 91.0 80.0 36 4 10 90 2 1 89.0 99 45 4 10 50 3 1 77.09938 4450 4 1 73.0 65.0 38 2 10 60 5 1 65.0 57.0 50 4 10 100 6 1 65.0 99 41 4 10 75 7 1 64.072.04119100 8 1 63.0 51.0 21 4 4 50 9 1 58.0 40.0 22 4 10 100 10 1 57.09943 41025 11 1 56.0 48.0 38 4 10 50 12 1 50.039.0181980 13 1 49.0 99 28 4 10 100 14 1 49.09951 41050 15 1 48.0 99 26 5 4 50 16 1 47.0 35.0 28 4 10 100 17 1 45.0 40.0 27 5 9 100 18 1 43.040.040 41050 19 1 41.0 30.0 13 4 4 75 20 1 39.0 60.0 25 2 9 100 21 1 39.09913 41050 22 1 38.89935 4975 23 1 38.0 99 27 1 9 50 24 1 37.0993514100


69 25 1 36.028.096475 26 1 35.0 33.0 38 4 4 100 27 1 34.0 99 17 4 10 75 28 1 33.09929 4425 29 1 33.0 99 17 4 10 100 30 1 32.09924 41075 31 1 32.0 99 15 4 11 100 32 1 32.099161925 33 1 31.0 29.0 23 4 4 75 34 1 30.0 26.0 24 1 4 75 35 1 29.0 99 14 4 9 100 36 1 28.0 20.0 18 4 4 100 37 1 27.0 99 15 4 4 100 38 1 27.0991864100 39 1 27.09914 4975 40 1 27.09920 4450 41 1 25.0 99 15 4 4 100 42 1 24.0 19.0 18 4 4 100 43 1 23.0 99 18 4 4 90 44 1 22.018.012 411100 45 1 22.0 99 15 4 4 75 46 1 22.0 99 17 4 9 100 47 1 22.0 99 15 4 9 100 48 1 21.09910 4450 49 1 20.09912 4475 50 1 20.09920 4450 51 1 19.0 99 10 1 4 75 52 1 19.0 11.0 22 4 2 100 53 1 19.09921 4450 54 1 19.0 11.0 5 4 9 100 55 1 19.09920 430 56 1 19.09913 4450 57 1 18.017.031 4325 58 1 18.0995 41050 59 1 17.0 16.0 8 4 11 50 60 1 17.0 99 6 4 4 50 61 1 17.0 99 4 4 9 90 62 1 17.0 99 20 4 4 75 63 1 16.0 14.0 18 4 9 100 64 1 16.0 99 14 4 4 100 65 1 16.0994 411100 66 1 16.0 99 7 4 4 75 67 1 15.099161990 68 1 15.0 99 17 4 9 75 69 1 15.0996 4450 70 1 14.0 9.0 9 1 4 50 71 1 14.0 99 5 4 10 50 72 1 13.59918 41075


70 73 1 13.09910 4575 74 1 13.0 99 11 4 9 25 75 1 12.29910 4975 76 1 12.0999 4290 77 1 12.0 99 8 4 9 50 78 1 12.0 99 7 4 4 100 79 1 12.0996 4475 80 1 11.6998 4450 81 1 10.07.015 4925 82 1 9.2 99 3 1 4 50 83 1 9.0994 42100 84 1 9.0 99 8 4 4 90 85 1 8.1 99 5 4 11 75 86 1 7.0 99 10 4 4 90 87 1 6.799111450 88 1 6.14.03 42100 89 1 6.0 99 10 4 4 100 90 1 4.4 99 2 4 9 50 91 1 3.47.010 4990 92 1 1.8 99 7 4 4 75 93 1 1.5993 4475 94 2 62.0 56.0 28 2 10 50 95 2 44.0 35.0 16 1 10 25 96 2 32.0 99 10 4 4 75 97 2 31.028.019 41150 98 2 30.022.018 4425 99 2 28.0 25.0 7 4 4 0 100 2 26.0 99 13 4 11 25 101 2 25.0 99 13 4 4 75 102 2 23.0 99 9 4 4 25 103 2 22.0 15.0 19 4 4 50 104 2 20.015.05 4450 105 2 20.0 99 11 4 4 25 106 2 20.0 99 21 4 4 0 107 2 18.0 99 15 4 11 75 108 2 17.0 9.0 7 4 4 50 109 2 16.013.011 4950 110 2 16.09910 440 111 2 15.011.08 41150 112 2 15.0 99 19 4 4 75 113 2 14.0995140 114 2 14.0998 4450 115 2 13.0 99 15 4 4 25 116 2 13.0 99 7 4 4 75 117 2 13.011.09 440 118 2 12.0997140 119 2 12.0995 4475 120 2 11.06.06 4475


71 121 2 10.0 99 15 4 4 0 122 2 10.0 99 10 4 4 0 123 2 9.0 99 2 4 4 50 124 2 8.5 99 12 4 4 0 125 2 8.0992 4475 126 2 7.5995 41125 127 2 6.0994 440 128 2 5.0 99 5 4 4 25 129 2 4.5 99 2 4 4 25 130 2 3.00.513 440 131 2 1.1 0.5 1 1 4 0 Q7ComBid Q8SelBid Q9PctSubQ10Self Q11SafDirQ11PctFld Q12DrugTst 1Sitework 1-Yes 1-Yes 2Utility 2-No 2-No 3Concrete 4Masonry 5Steel 6Carpentry 7Envelope 8Interiors 9MEP 103 & 6 111 & 2 124, 6, & 8 95 98.9 0 9 1 75 1 100 100 0 9 1 100 1 100 50 1008 150 1 15 100 100 99 1 100 1 90 100 50 5 1 100 1 100 100 0 9 1 100 1 85 100 7010 150 1 100 100 0 9 1 50 1 100 100 0 9 1 100 1 100 100 09 1100 1 100 100 0 8 1 75 1 0 100 906 150 1 100 100 50 5 1 100 1 100 100 09 1100 1


72 95 75 50 11 1 75 1 100 100 0 9 1 100 1 10 100 100 99 1 50 1 100 100 08 150 1 95 100 0 9 2 99 1 0 100 100 99 1 50 1 25 100 011299 1 100 100 08 125 1 75 75 25 10 1 75 1 100 100 03 1100 1 100 100 08299 2 100 100 0 7 1 75 1 98.9 100 0 9 2 99 1 75 50 07299 1 100 100 0 9 1 50 1 100 100 09 125 1 100 100 0 9 2 99 1 75 100 1011299 1 90 100 0 7 2 99 1 100 100 25 3 1 50 1 100 100 0 8 1 25 1 100 100 0 7 2 99 1 100 100 50 5 1 100 1 100 100 08299 2 100 100 09299 1 100 75 010 150 1 100 100 0 10 2 99 2 95 100 25 7 1 25 1 100 100 0 7 2 99 2 100 100 1511299 1 100 100 0 8 2 99 1 100 100 0 8 2 99 1 100 100 0 7 2 99 2 100 100 07299 1 75 100 07299 2 75 50 09299 2 90 100 80 6 1 75 1 100 100 0 4 1 25 1 100 50 256299 2 100 100 0 7 2 99 1 100 100 08299 1 75 50 09299 2 25 75 04 175 1 100 100 03299 1 100 100 30 11 2 99 1 98.9 75 0 6 2 99 2 100 100 0 7 2 99 2 100 100 0 8 2 99 2


73 100 100 50 4 1 25 1 100 100 0 8 2 99 2 100 100 01299 1 100 75 0 8 2 99 2 100 100 03 125 1 100 100 0 4 1 10 2 90 75 07 125 1 90 75 0 6 2 99 2 100 90 0 7 2 99 2 75 100 256299 2 100 100 1011299 1 75 100 0 8 2 99 2 95 50 07299 2 100 100 06299 2 75 75 0 7 2 99 1 100 100 0 8 2 99 2 75 100 01299 2 100 100 08299 2 75 100 01299 2 100 50 0 6 2 99 2 100 100 08299 2 100 100 25 6 2 99 2 100 50 0 6 2 99 2 100 100 0 4 2 99 2 90 100 04299 2 50 100 07299 2 100 100 0 8 2 99 1 50 75 0 8 2 99 2 100 50 01299 2 100 100 0 6 2 99 2 100 50 08299 2 50 75 100 99 1 75 1 50 25 95 6 1 25 1 100 100 0 9 2 99 1 75 75 2511 125 1 75 90 09299 1 50 75 0 9 2 99 1 100 100 0 9 2 99 1 100 100 0 8 2 99 1 100 100 0 8 2 99 2 100 100 0 9 2 99 1 25 75 07299 2 100 100 0 9 2 99 1 100 100 0 9 2 99 1 100 100 25 1 2 99 1 100 100 0 8 2 99 2 95 90 07299 1 75 100 09299 2


74 50 75 101299 2 75 100 0 4 2 99 2 100 100 756299 1 100 75 09299 2 100 100 10 3 2 99 2 50 100 0 5 2 99 1 100 100 09299 1 100 100 506299 1 75 100 07299 2 100 95 09299 1 100 100 0 7 2 99 2 50 95 0 9 2 99 2 100 50 0 5 2 99 1 100 100 0 3 2 99 2 50 100 07299 2 100 75 01299 2 100 100 07299 2 100 100 0 3 2 99 2 100 75 0 4 2 99 2 25 0 09299 1 0 10 25 12 2 99 2 Q12DrgTstTyp Q13Hats Q14GlassQ15ToolBoxQ16SafPrgQ17Orien Q17HrsOr 1-Pre-Hire 1-Yes 1-Yes 1-Yes 1-Yes 1-Yes 2-Random 2-No 2-No 2-No 2-No 2-No 3-PostAccident 4-For Cause 5-PreHire&Other 5 1 2 1 2 1 16 5 1 2 2 1 1 40 5 1 1 12 1 8 5 1 1 1 2 1 8 5 1 1 2 2 1 8 5 1 2 2 1 1 8 5 1 2 122 99 5 1 2 2 2 1 16 5 1 2 1 2 1 16 5 1 22 1 1 8


75 5 1 2 1 2 1 8 1 1 2 12 1 8 5 1 1 2 2 2 99 5 1 22 1 1 8 5 1 2 2 2 2 99 5 1 2 1 2 1 8 5 1 1 1 2 2 99 5 1 2 12 1 8 1 1 2 2 2 1 8 5 1 2 1 2 1 4 5 1 222 1 8 5 1 2222 99 5 1 2 2 2 1 8 5 1 122 1 8 99 2 2222 99 5 1 2 2 2 2 99 1 1 2 2 2 2 99 1 1 2222 99 5 1 2 2 2 1 8 1 1 2 12 1 8 1 1 2 2 2 1 8 1 1 2222 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 5 1 2 2 2 1 8 1 1 2 2 2 2 99 5 1 2 2 2 2 99 5 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 1 2222 99 1 1 2222 99 5 1 2222 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 5 1 1 2 2 1 8 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 1 1 2222 99 1 1 2 2 2 2 99 1 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 5 1 2222 99 99 1 2222 99 99 1 2222 99 5 1 2 1 2 1 8 1 1 2 2 2 1 8 99 1 2222 99 1 1 2 2 2 2 99 1 1 2222 99 99 1 2222 99 5 1 222 1 8 1 1 2222 99


76 3 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 1 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 1 1 2222 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 5 1 222 1 8 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 1 1 2222 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 2 2 2 2 2 99 99 1 2222 99 1 1 2222 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 2 2222 99 99 1 2222 99 1 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 2 2222 99 99 2 2222 99 99 2 2222 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 2 2222 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 2 2 2 2 2 99 99 1 2222 99 99 2 2222 99 1 2 2 2 2 2 99 99 2 2 2 2 2 99 99 2 2222 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 2 2222 99 1 1 2 1 2 1 8 1 1 2 2 2 1 8 5 1 2 2 2 2 99 5 1 222 1 16 1 1 222 1 8 3 2 2 2 2 2 99 5 1 2 2 2 1 8 3 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 5 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 2 2222 99 1 1 2 2 2 2 99 5 1 2 2 2 2 99


77 3 1 2 2 2 1 8 99 2 2 2 2 2 99 1 2 2222 99 99 2 2222 99 99 2 222 1 8 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 3 2 2222 99 99 1 2222 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 1 2 2 2 2 2 99 1 1 2222 99 1 2 2222 99 99 2 2222 99 5 2 2222 99 99 2 2 2 2 2 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 1 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 2 2222 99 99 2 2222 99 99 2 2222 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 99 1 2 2 2 2 99 3 2 2222 99 99 2 2 2 2 2 99 Q18Incen Q19NewPrg Q20MstSucQ21Prod Q22InjurQ23Inju5 1-Yes 1-Yes 1-Earplugs 1Compromises 2-No 2-No 2Incentives 2-No Effect 3-Decals 3-Increases 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 99 3 0 0 2 2 9939999 1 1 2 2 0 0 1 2 99 3 0 0 2 2 99 3 0 0


78 2 1 319999 2 2 99 2 0 2 2 2 99 3 1 1 2 2 9939999 2 2 99 3 1 0 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 3 99 2 2 9939999 2 2 99 2 1 99 2 2 99 2 1 3 2 1 1 1 1 0 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 2 2 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 3 0 0 2 2 9929999 2 2 9919999 2 2 99 1 1 2 2 2 99 2 3 2 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 1 0 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 1 0 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 0 2 2 2 99 2 3 99 2 2 99 2 0 99 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 99 2 0 1 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 2 3 1 1 2 2 3 99 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 9919999 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 99 3 0 2 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 99 2 1 1 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 0 0


79 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 9919999 2 2 99 2 1 1 2 2 99 1 0 0 2 2 99 2 0 99 2 2 99 2 0 99 2 2 99 2 2 3 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 1 5 2 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 9919999 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 1 0 0 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 1 1 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 99 2 0 99 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 99 1 0 99 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 9929999 1 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 99 1 1 3 2 2 99 2 2 0 1 2 9939999 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 2 99 2 2 99 2 2 3 2 2 99 2 0 1 2 2 99 2 0 1


80 2 2 99 2 1 0 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 1 1 2 2 99 2 3 5 2 2 99 3 0 0 2 2 99 2 1 2 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 1 1 2 2 9919999 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 1 2 2 2 99 2 1 99 2 2 9919999 2 2 9919999 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 1 2 99 2 2 99 2 1 99 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 99 2 0 2 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 9929999 2 2 99 2 0 0 2 2 99 2 0 99 2 2 9919999 2 2 99 1 0 0


81 APPENDIX D DEMOGRAPHIC STATISTIC TABLES Annual Volume of Responding Subcontractors Annual Volume (in millions of dollars) Number of Firms 1 to 10 21 11 to 20 44 21 to 30 19 31 to 40 11 41 to 50 5 51 to 75 6 76 to 100 3 Total 109 Number of Full-time Field Employees Number of Field Employees Number of Firms 1 to 10 46 11 to 20 41 21 to 30 10 31 to 40 7 41 to 51 5 Total 109 Types of Projects Undertaken by the Subcontractor Respondents Type of Projects Number of Firms Commercial 58 (53.2%) Commercial, Schools and Manufacturing 18 (16.5%) Commercial and Schools 16 (14.7%) Utility, Civil, Public and Highways 10 (9.2%) Schools 4 (3.7%) Industrial 2 (1.8%) Civil 1 (0.9%) Total 109


82 Types of Work Performed by Subcontractor Respondents Type of Work Number of Firms Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing 29 (26.6%) Exterior Envelope 22 (20.2%) Interior Finishes 21 (19.3%) Carpentry 7 (6.4%) Sitework 7 (6.4%) Masonry 7 (6.4%) Steel 5 (4.6%) Sitework and Utility 5 (4.6%) Concrete 4 (3.7%) Concrete and Carpentry 2 (1.8%) Total 109 Firms with Fulltime Safety Directors Firm has Fulltime Safety Director Number of Firms Yes 27 (24.8%) No 82 (75.2%) Total 109


83 LIST OF REFERENCES All About OSHA. (2003). , Retrieved August 23, 2004. Angelo, William J. (2004). Design-Builder Build s Safety Into Total Jobsite Approach. Engineering News Record , 252(26), 17. Angelo, William J. (2002). Work Zone Stings Can Work. Engineering News Record , 249(14), 59. Bradt, James G. (1999). Third-Party Safety Audits Offer Services to Smaller Building Firms. stories/1999/04/12/focus4.html , Retrieved August 23, 2004. Building a Safer Job Site. (2001). http://newsletter.trainin , Retrieved February 10, 2004. Causes of Death are Too Familiar. (2000). Engineering News Record , 245(7), 20. Crane Accident Kills Three. (2003). Engineering News Record , 251(9), 9. Construction Firms “Fail” to Protect Workers. (2003). .jsp?cat=all&docid=BEP1_News_0000 , Retrieved August 23, 2004. Contractor Had to Provide Escape Respir ators. (2002). Engineering News Record, 249(14), 17. Contractor Not Liable for Injury Ca used by “Doctored” Harness. (2003). Engineering News Record , 251(9), 24. Costs for Certifying Crane Operat ors Weighed in Hawaii. (2003). Engineering News Record , 251(23), 20. Creswell, John W. (1994). Research Design: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. London: Sage Publications. Demolition Disaster. (2003). Engineering News Record , 251(24), 7.


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86 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Although I was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, my formative years were spent in Rutland, Vermont. Being a member of a large family – my father is one of sixteen children – the transition of moving was difficu lt at first. However, growing up in the unique environment of Vermont has help ed shape the person that I am today. My undergraduate education was split between two universities, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Vermont. I earned a bachel or’s degree in elementary education before moving with my then fiancé to Gainesville, Florida, to continue our education. After learning about the merits of the School of Building Construction, I chose to pursue a different route for my future. I found that my training in education and the experiences that the degree provided were i nvaluable during my academic studies and in my subsequent career. My wife and I now live in Falmouth, Mass achusetts, which is located on Cape Cod. I am employed by a real estate developmen t company, and I am currently a construction manager with the responsibil ity of building a new urbanist development. We recently were blessed with the birth of twins and look forward to what the future brings.