Project Site Leadership Role in Improving Construction Safety

RT-256 Topic Summary
RT 256

Overview

RT-256 was formed to study the following essential question: “What is the relationship between the leadership behaviors of site leadership personnel and project safety performance?” To do this, the team collected data from 31 CII member-company projects regarding leaders’ values, priorities, behaviors, and safety performance using the following safety leadership model.

The team defined nine Leader Safety Values, six Leader Behaviors, and six Site Safety Climate indicators. Data on these were collected through questionnaires obtained from over 3200 individuals across the supervisory hierarchy on the 31 projects using a 360° assessment approach. Recordable Injury Rate and Lost Time Incident Rate were used to define each project’s site safety performance.

RT-256 was not able to establish statistically significant answers to the essential question, in part because each of the 31 projects had superior safety performance. Nevertheless, RT-256 was able to extract other findings of value from the data.

One key conclusion reached by RT-256 is that the relationship between leader behavior and project safety performance is more complex than the initial safety leadership model depicts. Specifically, worker behaviors both compliance and “citizenship” behavior need to be included in the model, which RT-256 recommends be used as the basis for any future research into this topic.

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Craftworker vs. Supervisor Safety Values

There were statistically significant differences in the mean scores of the safety value factor scales on the basis of age with younger workers (who were primarily craft workers in the data), having lower scores on the scales for injuries are preventable, an injury-free workplace, and management responsibility for safety. (RS256-1, p. 18)
Reference: (RS256-1)

2 : Leader Behaviors

Site leaders' safety priorities behavior was strong and consistent across the supervisory hierarchy. There is opportunity for improvement in two areas: taking action to correct unsafe acts and commenting on issues i.e., safety, in addition to production. (RS256-1, p. 21)
Reference: (RS256-1)

3 : Safety Culture

Promote Safety had the highest mean score of the six leader behaviors while Challenge the Process and Inspire a Shared Vision had the lowest. There is an opportunity to improve perceptions of the leader behaviors in these areas. (RS256-1, p. 24)
Reference: (RS256-1)

4 : Safety Climate

The differences between supervisors and nonsupervisors in perceptions of safety climate were statistically significant for four of the six safety climate scales. Workers scores for Management Commitment and Supervisor Involvement in Safety were lower than those of their supervisors. Conversely, nonsupervisor scores for Individual Safety and Task Accomplishment were higher than their supervisors. (RS256-1, p. 27)
Reference: (RS256-1)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved safety

Research Publications

Project Site Leadership Role in Improving Construction Safety - RR256-11

Publication Date: 01/2012 Type: Research Report Pages: Status:

Project Site Leadership Role in Improving Construction Safety - RS256-1

Publication Date: 02/2011 Type: Research Summary Pages: 38 Status: Supporting Product


Supporting Resources

Presentations (CII Annual Conference & Workshops)

Plenary Session - Project Site Leadership Role in Improving Construction Safety

Publication Date: 07/2010 Presenter: Number of Slides: 32 Event Code: AC10

Implementation Session - Project Site Leadership Role in Improving Construction Safety

Publication Date: 07/2010 Presenter: Number of Slides: 49 Event Code: AC10


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