PW 0388 Construction safety culture in canada: assess and intervene

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Abstract

Background

Construction Safety Nova Scotia has started to invest in research on how organizations can better understand and improve their safety culture. Affiliate construction firms have volunteered to undergo a safety culture assessment and a follow-up intervention program designed to address areas of improvement identified in their assessment.

Objective

Bruce Collins, General Manager of Nova Scotia Construction Safety, will discuss his experiences from an ongoing industry-wide safety culture initiative. Bruce will share the successes and challenges of the project and his insight on how to implement a similar initiative in your industry.

Methods

Given the composition of the construction industry (i.e., the majority of firms only have 2–5 employees), a provincial construction safety association, Construction Safety Nova Scotia, is in a prime position to access the network of independent construction firms and help assess their safety culture.

Findings

To date, the project has developed and validated a safety culture assessment, created an industry benchmark for the assessment, and has started industry-wide interventions based on common safety culture themes.

Conclusions

Bruce will discuss each of the project milestones and conclude with a recommendation for areas of future industry level safety culture research.

Policy implications

Requiring firms to undergo a mandatory safety culture assessments has already been implemented in industries that were early adopters of safety culture research (e.g., nuclear and aviation). In comparison, the construction industry is only in the early stages of safety culture adoption. Offering safety culture assessments to firms that are willing to voluntarily undergo the process is a starting point to build a case for future safety culture assessment requirements.

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