Use of attitude congruence to identify safety interventions for small residential builders

Yu-Hsiu Hung, Tonya Smith-Jackson, Woodrow Winchester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The construction industry has experienced high numbers of occupational injuries and fatalities over the years. To address this issue, differences in safety attitudes and behaviours were explored among construction workers, first-line supervisors, and project managers in small residential construction companies with respect to recommendations for safety interventions. A triangulation design consisting of observation (shadowing), subjective quantitative (questionnaire), and subjective qualitative (interview) methods was used to obtain different but complementary data on the same safety challenges. Shadowing was utilized to explore onsite safety problems and/or risky behaviours resulting from safety attitudinal discrepancies among the three groups. Questionnaires were administered to identify salient themes for the observed practices. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore the causes of the observed safety problems. Results revealed that first-line supervisors did not enforce safety rules strictly or consistently, and that significant differences in safety attitudes and risk perceptions were observed among the three groups. Results also support a tendency among subcontractors to practise risky behaviours, even though they generally articulated a desire to avoid injuries. The recommended interventions include holding regular safety meetings between managers and workers, implementing informal training to supplement formal training, and closely examining and reviewing the appropriateness of health and safety policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-130
Number of pages18
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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